In February 22, 2018, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds approved that March 14 would be officially called “Iowa Honey Bee Day.” The event aims to highlight the importance of honeybees to the state’s agricultural sector and the environment.
The idea was proposed by the Iowa Honey Producers Association which, according to Gov. Reynolds, will give the bee association and beekeepers of Iowa the chance to show state legislators how honeybees contribute to a healthy environment. This is by making sure various flowers, nuts, vegetables, and fruits will be available for both humans and wildlife.
In Iowa, there are over 4,000 beekeepers, from full-time commercial apiaries to hobbyists. In the past, beekeeping was mostly done in Iowa’s rural areas. These days, however, beekeeping has gone urban, giving rise to an increased number of beehives both in towns and cities of the state.
A reception was scheduled at the Iowa State Capitol on March 14, from 7 to 9 a.m. It’s planned to be made open to the public to give citizens of Iowa a glimpse of the future of honey bees and how they’re able to help the state and the environment.
The Buzz About Caring For Bees
Bees might cause fear in some people, but the buzzing insects play an important role in our everyday life. By way of pollination, bees make the production of crops possible including the common fruits and vegetables we see in the produce aisle.
In the United States, bees are responsible for about one in every three bites of food with a crop value of $15 billion to $18 billion, which is why a global panic has commenced after reports of the declining population of bees hit the headlines. With the world facing a massive bee crisis, preservation efforts have since been launched. The government, along with environmental groups, is encouraging citizens to fight for the preservation of these pollinators.
Rebuilding The Bee Population
Scientists have now identified three main reasons why bees are dying out: habitat loss, pesticides, and varroa mites.
Bees losing their natural home could be a result of a devastating weather calamity, such as storm surges and intense flooding. However, another problem that’s plaguing bees is monocultural agriculture and urbanization. Bees have been losing areas where they can nest or forage for food.
Pesticides are also causing the decline, specifically neonicotinoids, a chemical that’s been found to attack the nervous system of bees. There’s been a move to control the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in fields, but the European Food Safety Authority has recently proposed to put a total ban on the chemical for the survival of bees.
Varroa mites also pose a threat to the lifespan of bees. Aside from attacking bees, these parasites also carry with them pathogens that destroy can destroy a bee colony.
With the constant introduction of pro-bee policies, the whole world is starting to realize the negative impact of the declining bee population. Even small steps can help larger-than-life possibilities, like planting perennial flowering plants and grasses to attract pollinators.
A lot of apiary owners are also turning to supplementation aimed for bees, such as BeesVita Plus from makers Healthy Bees LLC. The principle is to treat bees like pets — we make sure they have the best possible environment to lengthen their life.
Supporting local beekeepers and buying raw honey in your locality is also one way of helping the agricultural sector. If you spot a swarm of bees somewhere in your neighborhood or your own garden, environmentalists’ advice not to spray them, as they probably would be there only for the meantime.
Remember that without bees, coming up with seed for next year’s crop would be impossible. It’s important to work closely with beekeepers and pro-bee groups to ensure their survival.