There has been quite a lot of buzz about colony collapse disorder and the disappearance of honeybees. Much of it is very alarming, and it is of concern to us. Things you can do: Start keeping some beehives. Do not use neonicotinoids (a class of neuroactive insecticides similar to nicotine) or buy plants treated with them. Plant a diverse variety of flowers that successively bloom. Below is a list of common threats to the honey bees.

    • CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder): Over the last 3 years, more than 1 in 3 honey bee colonies have died nationwide. After WWII there were 5 million honeybee colonies… now there are only half that many (2.5 million).
    • Pests: Threats to the bee are Wax Moths, Varroa Mites, Tracheal Mites, American Foulbrood, and Colony Collapse Disorder.
    • Mites: The greatest threat to beekeeping is two varieties of mites (Varroa and Tracheal). And although these mites can be kept under control by a persistent beekeeper, the negative effects on the honeybee population has been devastating. The Back Yard Beekeepers Association surveyed its membership and learned that over 40% of the membership’s hives died in 1996. These mites are greatly reducing the overall honeybee population in the USA. The mites are of no concern to humans, except for the effect they can have on honey production.
    • Disease: Beekeepers are on the watch for various diseases unique to honeybees, and harmless to humans. “Foul Brood” and “Nosema” are two such diseases. These problems can easily be addressed by good management and proper medication.
    • Urbanization: With more and more urban development and the growth of cities, there is less and less foraging available to bees. However, areas like Fairfield County contain a rich assortment of nectar and pollen for honeybees, thanks to homeowners’ gardens and the lush, wooded countryside.
    • Africanized Bees: The arrival of so-called “killer bees” in a few southern states has received sensationalized treatment in the media. In some areas of the country, this negative publicity has stimulated local restrictions and ordinances on the hobbyist beekeeper.
    • Fear: “The most common concern about honeybees is bee stings. Honeybees are not aggressive by nature and are unlikely to sting. Only 0.4% of Americans report an allergy to insect stings in the U.S., and almost none of these are caused by honeybees. In addition, less than 1% of the US population is at risk of systemic reaction to stings by honeybees. Severe reactions from the sting of any one insect in a year are 1 in 5,555,556. The chance that someone will be hit by a car is 59.3% higher.”

Have a question? Click here to get your questions answered.

Or enter your email below to signup for our newsletter.