Rare Bee Trifecta In Play
Bees are awesome! I see honey-harvesting operations all across the SBC, and I know that smart parents in the area give the locally harvested honey to their kids to combat their allergies. They pollinate plants, they make honey, and if you put a bunch of them in that jerk from work's car - you get a day or two break from their jerk-ery! Our lawyers are advising me to recommend that you don't try that last one, because it's actually considered assault (who knew?).
As the SBC wakes up and reveals it's Spring-time beauty, we will definitely bee seeing more of our striped friends buzzing about. In honor of the black and yellow, I've found 3 bee related stories you've got to hear.
Cheerios is sending out 100 million wildflower seeds:
Scientists around the world agree that the bee population is dwindling. This is actually very bad. Mother nature relies on bees to pollinate a huge percentage of plants. That pollination is essential to the propagation of most plants. The propagation of these plants is essential to all life on this planet, both for food and oxygen (honeybees are responsible for pollinating 70 out of the 100 biggest human food crops. Due to a shrinking habitat (human encroachment), stronger pesticides, and parasites - bee numbers are going down faster than a Hollywood marriage.
To combat the bees shrinking habitat, General Mills (the company that owns the Cheerios brand) is sending out 100 million wildflower seeds to encourage consumers to Johnny-Appleseed these seeds all over the U.S. The thinking is: more flowers, more bees. Even though they have already reached their goal, they are not out of seeds! You can request your seeds here.
Thieves are targeting beehives in New Zealand:
Due to a 35% in the price of Mānuka honey (a local honey praised for it's extraordinary antibacterial properties), the hives of bees making it are a very hot property. The liquid gold goes for around $104 a kg and a hive is worth around $1,400! To top it all off, there are no VIN numbers or the like to track said hives. In the last year, authorities investigated more than 400 cases of beehive theft. I wouldn't way this was easy money though. You know several of these heists resulted in lots of stings. Check out the full Gizmodo article here.
Rampant antibiotic use by humans is killing bees:
A recent study conducted by MIT scientists confirmed that antibiotic exposure is killing honeybees. As honey production is making hundreds of millions of dollars a year in the US, you can expect honey operations to take measures to protect the hive and ensure it's health. One such measure is treating the honeybee larvae are treated with antibiotics to prevent infection and ensure a greater number of surviving bees make it to the right age for making honey. This is having the unintended side effect of destroying the healthy bacteria in the bees digestive system. Unfortunately, this is leading to more and more bee deaths than the preventative measure saves. There is a lot of science, but the full report is here.
Grab some honey, plant some flowers, and bee thankful for our black and yellow friends that make the SBC more beautiful, healthy, and stingy.