Right now, both American bees and beekeepers have their work cut out for them, with more threats to their survival than ever before. But there’s good news, too: you can help.
Murder Hornets are Just the Tip of the Stinger
You may have heard about the coming wave of murder hornets: giant Asian hornets the size of a lipstick tube that can guillotine entire bee colonies. They’re an invasive species currently threatening honey bees in the Pacific Northwest, and fearless amateur entomologists are doing their best to stop them from spreading across the country. But they’re not the worst thing plaguing the bees, just the newest.
According to Dr. Sammy Ramsey, an entomologist at the USDA, we lost 40% of our honey bee colonies last year. That’s right in line with losses we’ve seen for the last decade: roughly 30% every year. What’s causing the crisis? A complex web of problems:
– Parasites like varroa mites can infest entire hives.
– Pesticides can end up in pollen and make it back to the hive.
– Poor nutrition from crop monocultures keeps bees from eating healthy diets.
– The mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder is still stumping scientists.
All of these challenges are ongoing – and gravely serious for bees.
American Beekeepers are Our Best Hope
Local beekeepers here in the US spend a lot of time with their hives. There’s just no better way to ensure that bees receive the balanced nutrition they need to maintain strong, healthy hives. Add to that the constant protection beehives need from pests and predators, and what was once a job has become a constant crusade on the bees’ behalf.
Surprisingly, the biggest problem for American beekeepers isn’t murder hornets or CCD. It’s foreign honey. Foreign honey is notoriously clear – because it’s usually been ultra-filtered – but it hides some murky economics. Its low price point is a sign that corners have been cut in production, like added adulterants or poor bee nutrition.
Foreign honey makes life hard for hardworking American beekeepers, whose relationships with farmers lead to high-quality honey and higher crop yields. They help all of us by pollinating crops, which puts more food on our plates and helps keep crop prices low. All these sweet benefits of local honey are lost if it isn’t 100% made in the US.
Want to learn more about how beekeepers are fighting murder hornets, mites and more? Our resident bee expert, Mario Padilla, is happy to provide some insight from inside the suit. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help A Beekeeper – No Bee Suit Needed
Each American beekeeper makes beekeeping their life’s work because they know just how much good American honey bees do for all of us. By partnering with local beekeepers around the US and bottling their honey, we help them focus on what they do best: taking care of bees. And when you choose raw & unfiltered local honey, you’re helping the beekeepers – and the bees – breathe a little easier.