Celebrate our bees
Source locally produced honey near to you
What's going on with our bees?
Our bees are under serious threat... honey bee populations in many places around the world are seriously declining – Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is being reported in many places - that is, whole colonies of bees are dying suddenly each year and populations needing to be rebuilt. In USA in 2015 70% of domestic hives died off - in one year!
These deaths are due to a complex and interrelated set of problems which is pushing bees past the tipping point - from productive healthy colonies to mass bee deaths. The three issues contributing to this are:
- Bee pests and diseases
- Poor nutrition (insufficient or low quality pollen and nectar)
- Use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals particularly neonicotinoids
The behaviour of humans is a significant contributor to many bee stresses:
- National and global spread of bee diseases via taking of contaminated bees and honey products across borders
- Migratory beekeeper practices where large loads of bees are moved from location to location in search of honey flows or to provide pollination services
- Reduced availability of nectar and pollen from flowers because of over clearing of bushland, bushfires, floods and climate volatility
- Destruction of pristine forests and the poisoning of land and rivers by industry, mining and urban development
- Excessive use of pesticides, fungicides and herbicides - both in urban environments and in rural agricultural practices
Low honey prices, fraudulent "honey" sales undercutting quality product is also contributing to the tragedy of the declining viability of smaller players in the beekeeping industry. It also means that bees are being put under further stress as beekeepers struggle to maintain production volumes in their businesses and drive the bees harder.
We absolutely need to value long term bee health and the health of our pollinators above the currently accepted drive for profit and dollars at whatever cost.
What can you do about this?
- The future of Australian beekeeping is in your hands
- You can help by raising honey bees in your backyard, paddocks or rooftops. A few hives in the hands of many promotes bee diversity into the future
- Learn and practice natural bee management to keep your bees in the natural, healthy conditions that produce resilient bees
- Create a safe and chemical free habitat for our pollinators, with bee fodder flowers, trees and clean water
- Cease using bee harmful herbicides and pesticides in your home environment. There are many other ways of managing unwanted weeds and pests
- If you are farming then start to move away from agri-models that rely on monocultures and agrichemicals. Adopt ways of farming sustainably. Avoid herbicides and pesticides as they disorient bees so that they can't navigate back to their hive.
- Support local beekeepers by buying unprocessed honey direct from them or at your local co-ops and farmers markets
- Check out our link to the Honey Map above to locate where your local beekeepers can be found
- Support bee research: Research scientists are racing to develop a means of halting the spread of the destructive Varroa mite that wipes out over half the bees in USA annually as well as most other countries. Research into bee health is vital and is underfunded by our government. Check out Gather By's Donate pages for the current Bee research projects
Check out our Bee Resources section to find links to many great websites and information about bees. Click on the Bee Research link on the main Bee page to read interesting research and articles about honey bees.