“Colony Collapse Disorder” is a new name given to an old problem in the bee community. It’s a name given to the rapid loss of adult bees in a given bee colony.
Bee keeping was first mentioned in Egypt some 4500 years ago when the title of “Sealer of Honey” was given to the beekeepers of their day. The oldest pictures carved and written of beekeepers were found during the “Old Kingdom’: In Niuserre’s sun temple beekeepers are shown blowing smoke into hives and showing them removing honey from hives. From the New Kingdom on honey and beekeeping was mentioned more and more.
One interesting fact I found was the Egyptians had a steady supply of honey from domesticated bees, but wild honey was prized much more by the big shots of that time. Honey Hunters were sent out by the kings to hunt for wild hives and bring back the honey they found for royal consummation. These hunters of honey were so important that the king would send out royal archers to protect them from wild critters and bandits.
Bees have been going through this disappearing act from the beginning of time. Actual verifiable records are rare but those we have shown these unexplained declines in domesticated hives have occurred in 1880’s, 1920’s,1960’s , 1990’s and today. These all baffled the bee communities.
One of the reasons given for the bee problem is that their natural habitat is disappearing. You see, just like people, bees need a varied diet to remain strong and healthy. The wildflower, weeds, trees and shrubs they would normally visit are being wiped out. They are force to fewer food resources. I grew up in Southern Illinois and saw so many open fields full of flowering plants mowed down and replaced by corn. Corn doesn’t need bees for pollination so bees were forced out of that area to search for food. As more and more farmland converted to corn production bees began to disappear, many just starve to death. In the central valley in California, there are thousands of acres of almonds that need bees but all other food resources in that area for bees are gone. Just think about it, if all you had to eat was almonds it probably wouldn’t take long for you to develop some health issues. Bees are no different; they need a variety of nectar and pollen to stay healthy. They need to be healthy to fight of the viruses, mites and other dieses that are killing them off.
So what do we do to help these little guys out?
Plant as many native flowering plants as you can in your yard.
Give them something to drink. Place a bird bath or just leave a bowl of water near you flowering plants.
Wheeler’s Pest Control Orange County wants to minimize our negative impact on bees but we know that at times a bee control service to exterminate bees is necessary. Your safety, your children’s safety are the top priority. So give us a call if you have a problem with bees, we’d be glad to help.
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