One of the coolest things we get to do at Bee The Swarm is spread awareness about different charitable and non-profit organizations that are doing amazing things around the world. One of those organizations is HoneyLove, a California-based non-profit dedicated to saving the honeybee population. In case honeybees aren’t something you regularly Google, here’s a brief history on why this is such a worthwhile cause.
It is estimated that one third of our average diet is dependent directly or indirectly upon insect-pollinated plants. Fruits and vegetables including strawberries, apples, onions, avocados, carrots and nuts like cashews and walnuts all get pollinated at least partially by honeybees.
The honeybee is so important that around the country trucks of honeybees are transported from state to state in crates in order to help with pollination in areas that can no longer support a healthy year-round honeybee population. If you’ve ever seen one of these trucks driving on the road, trust us, you’ll remember!
Now what’s the problem exactly?
The national and global honeybee population has been dying rapidly. Over the last century, the honeybee population has been in decline in large part due to harmful pesticides. The pesticides don’t only harm the honeybee that first came into contact with it, but endangers the entire colony. Honeybees take the poisoned nectar and pollen back to their hive, spreading the poisonous chemicals to the hive. As these toxins build up in the the hive, the honeybees ultimately become disoriented and can no longer fly. One insecticide, neonicotinoids, is so harmful that it is banned in Europe and Australia, but is legal here in the US.
Even more recently the honeybee population has taken an even more drastic hit, as it is estimated that 33% of all colonies are now abandoned. In what is referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen and plenty of food to care for the remaining bees and queen. No one knows exactly what has been causing CCD. Is it pesticides, climate change, long road trips, pests, or is it something else entirely? Whatever the cause, a solution to a major problem must be found. And that’s where HoneyLove comes in.
HoneyLove’s mission is to protect the honeybees. HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Their solution to the honeybee population issue is the Urban Beekeeper. HoneyLove believes that through education and training that local communities can become the safest place for honeybee hives. And the best part is, anyone can become an urban beekeeper. Meaning people just like you are exactly what is needed to Save the Bees!
HoneyLove provides training materials, workshops, starter kits, and they even have a new book called Save the Bees, with natural backyard hives.
The biggest takeaway from HoneyLove is that anyone can help the cause. Things as fun as planting a pollinator friendly garden in your backyard that doesn’t use pesticides, joining activist forums, or even leading the charge and rescuing a hive that would have otherwise been exterminated. So go to their website, and check out how you too can help save the honeybee!