Two weeks ago our honey bees were thriving and producing brood (eggs) for this year’s generation. We had lost our previous hives over the winter of 2019 and replaced them last year. We were looking forward to bumper honey for the bees and more to share with our friends.
Yesterday we opened the hives and found two colonies had completely collapsed and the third was very small, with no brood. Thousands of dead bees. This is devastating and incredibly sad.
For four years we had thriving bees, and then something happened about three years ago. The bees seemed disoriented and some were aggressive for the first time. We became concerned that they had been exposed to pesticides or natural predators that weaken the colonies. As they died out, we replaced them with a different lineage, hoping they would be stronger.
Now it is clear that there has been a catastrophic event from toxins.
This experience has made me so aware of the amount of toxins and chemicals that we take for granted and use. We humans are using too many poisonous pesticides! It gets into the water table and then bees drink it, and bring it back to the hive.
If you spray to kill bugs, then you are spraying to kill bees. If you spray to keep mosquitos away, then you are spraying to kill bees.
If you play golf on a manicured golf course, and there are no insects bothering you, then the bees and other pollinators are dead.
I can’t say “Not in my Back Yard!” because it has already happened. Alas, we will not put ourselves through the cost, hard work and heartache of having bees in this back yard again.
May we all wake up to the fact that we as a race, in small ways and in monumental commercial ways, are devastating our planet and bringing it to the brink of distinction.
Friends of the Earth is a charity with a bold voice for justice and saving the planet. I have increased my donation today.