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  • The bees are in trouble, but we can all help them survive by using the helpful tips in this video.

  • Hi everyone my name is Kaylee LaMoine, video producer here at Hostas Direct.

  • We are very concerned with all environmental issues and want to help in any way that we can.

  • I had the opportunity to visit with a customer of ours JoAnne Sabin, who amongst other things is a bee keeper, speaker, and bee keeping instructor.

  • Coming up is a special story on bees. Why they are disappearing, why helping them survive is important to all of us, and what we can all do to help.

  • So we just don't need to be as afraid of bees as we really are.

  • Bees are actually gentle and beneficial and we need to be nice to the bees, because the bees are in trouble. A lot of people have heard in the news about colony collapse disorder or CCD.

  • and this showed up in the mid-2000's where commercial bee keepers, several of them in the same year discovered that their hives were perfectly healthy one day and they came back for the next inspection a week later

  • and there weren't dead bees, there were no bees. That's what colony collapse disorder is, and disorder just means we don't really know what it is.

  • It's unusual for the bees to all disappear. If there's been some incident then there would be dead bees usually in front of the hive, usually if there is a pesticide killing there will be dead bees in front of the hive.

  • The hive will decline slowly if there is a disease or a parasite. Which, there are diseases and parasites that are killing bees as well.

  • But they kill the hive slowly, so the colony collapse is this big mystery. Other bees if they see an unattended hive, "hey, free honey in here" and they'll come get it.

  • But in the colony collapse hives other bees won't even go in and rob the totally undefended honey, and when they did test inside those hives, they couldn't test any dead bees because there were no dead bees.

  • Bit they found a multitude of diseases in those hives. More than we even knew existed.

  • Bees are beneficial because they pollinate, that's actually their best product that they do for us.

  • When we eat our food, a lot of that food is a result of an insect pollinating that plant. Plants and bees evolve together. The plant attracts the bee with the nectar and the pollen, and the bee gathers it and helps the plant by helping it reproduce.

  • If a vegetable or a fruit didn't get pollinated then we wouldn't have the fruit or the vegetable. Or we would have a fruit or a vegetable that's undeveloped or immature or really just not as much of it.

  • So we can thank a bee for every third bite that we eat. Not only because of the food that they directly pollinate but also the food that they pollinate then indirectly helps feed other things that we eat like livestock.

  • We eat alfalfa, and alfalfa is pollinated by bees. That's the main benefit is their pollination.

  • We still have not found any single cause of colony collapse disorder. It's probably a combination of things. Probably poor nutrition, lack of habitat. All the feral bees, the native bees, they have no place to live anymore

  • because we pave everything, we have these big huge lawns that they can't live in. The other thing that's probably a contributing factor is the diseases and the parasites.

  • one parasite in particular, the varroa mite and they feed on the developing bees and weaken them. Make them more susceptible to diseases, so vector diseases and that weakens the hive in general.

  • But the last piece of the puzzle is probably pesticides, and we tend to use pesticides more quickly than we need to. We don't always use them correctly

  • There's two different kinds of pesticides. A new pesticide that just came on market and started being widely used around about the time colony collapse so there's a number of bee keepers that suspect there's a correlation there.

  • So their trying to do more testing to find out their role. This new class of pesticides are systemic, they're called neonicotinoids. The neonicotinoids, they are take up into the whole plant

  • So when a pest bug comes and chews on the plant it will die because it gets the insecticide on that leaf even though you didn't put the insecticide on that leaf, it's in the whole plant.

  • So what this means for the bees is that the insecticide is actually in the pollen and nectar of the treated plant. The bees bring that back to their hive and they'll feed it to their young, and they'll eat it themselves

  • What that does is continuously expose the entire colony to the pesticide, and this is true not only for honeybees but also for all the native bees.

  • What's going on right now is that many independent research studies indicate that this has several detrimental sublethal effects on the honeybees as well as the native bees. Things that would lead to their decline

  • If we want to help the bees, there's a couple of things. Provide habitat, be a bee keeper, and I know that's not for everybody.

  • Provide food for them. Now, the bees need to eat from spring all the way through fall, and if we have just one kind of flower or if we have no flowers in our yard there's nothing for them to eat.

  • Maybe take some of that grass and make an extra garden, and give them a variety of plants because the bees only get food from the plant when it's blooming.

  • So, when one thing is done blooming and there's nothing else blooming, they have nothing to eat. We want to have a variety of plants, some that bloom in early spring, mid-spring, early summer, mid-summer, all through the season.

  • All the way up until fall. Especially early spring and late fall. It's troublesome for the bees because we usually plant things in the middle of summer when we like it.

  • Hostas, bees like hosta flowers. They're a good thing to plant for shady gardens, along with other things. Bees tend to like purple flowers, the one that we saw earlier that had a lot of bees on it, they like that one.

  • That's a salvia plant. If it's a plant the butterflies and hummingbirds like that means it's got a lot of nectar in it, chances are that the bees will like it.

  • Another benefit is the honey that they make and we love honey, it taste wonderful, it's fabulous to cook with and it's more nutritious than a sweetener than just plain sugar.

  • It's also got some healing properties that a lot of people don't know about. So, wounds and burns actually can heal better and faster when you dress them with honey.

  • Spread the word that people don't need to be as afraid of bees. That's there's a difference between bees and wasps. Bees are much more docile, much more friendly, less likely to sting.

  • Especially honeybees who will die if they sting so they don't want to. Last resort is chemicals and pesticides. There's a lot of manual things we can do that are less invasive, less destructive to the environment.

  • Colony collapse disorder or CCD is just part of the problems plaguing bees. We have provided additional information about other things killing bees and how you can help in the links in the description below.

  • No matter where you buy your plants from we hope you expand your gardens with flowering plants for bees, butterflies, birds and the environment in general. Thanks for watching.

The bees are in trouble, but we can all help them survive by using the helpful tips in this video.

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