Friday, 10 January 2014

Farm News Friday - A Bee in my Bonnet

2010-03-18_(23)_Honey_bee,_Honigbiene,_Apis_mellifica

From The Guardian, this week, here is an article about the decline in honey bees and the potentially devastating consequences.

We’ve actually got a rather precarious hive of bees, Neil took them on some years ago, they swarmed, we cleaned the hive out and left it, another lot swarmed from somewhere and moved in. We have never had so much as a teaspoonful of honey from them. He’s just not taken to bee keeping, I don’t think.

I probably should take over – that could be another new start – but in the meanwhile we’ve made a small contribution to honey bee numbers, and left them to it in peace and quiet and a choice spot on an organic farm.

This 2009 article from the BBC attempts to calculate the impact on food prices of a total collapse of the bee population. It quotes Einstein (or not):

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

An estimate of the worth of the pollination services provided by bees comes out at £200m a year, but the article goes on to project a retail value of closer to £1bn.

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