Over in the States honey bees are disappearing to a disease known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Basically it means bees just leave their hive and go to find somewhere to die. It’s all very Capt. Oates from Scott of the Antarctic.
Anyway, it led multinational food producer Häagen-Daz to create the website mentioned at the end of the video above. says we rely on bees for one third of our food supply. But in recent winters over 25 percent of bees in the States have disappeared.
Various explanations have been put forward including pesticides, pollution and genetic modification of crops all weakening bees’ immune systems. Organic bees seem to be doing better than their peers. And Celcias, which has followed this story closely, notes that bees may just be feeling the stress of today’s lifestyle:
The so-called ‘colony collapse disorder’ was a final worker’s strike from a creature that’s been doing hard labour under our modern production systems for too long.
Celcias continues to note that the underlying problem may be diet. Rolling fields of monoculture mean that bees can no longer get a diverse diet of nutrients to keep them healthy.
Here in NZ beekeepers have been watching the disease closely from across the Pacific Ocean and warning us of the dangers if it should arrive. Sadly, given the passage of the Biosecurity and Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Legislation, it appears we may not be listening.