Hello everyone! Wow, we’ve been really busy touring the North island of New Zealand and the time has been getting away from us 🙂 There are SO many amazing adventures around every corner!
Well, before leaving the United States, we made a few beekeeper connections: my Aunt from Indiana, Meljess Bees from Murrieta, CA & Crystal’s Pure Honey from Vista, CA.
My Aunt spoke about amazing things happening with the EPA’s actions to Protect the Pollinator project issued by the President of the United States. In the EPA’s link provided above, they specifically mention the use of neonicotinoid pesticides being a large part of the cause of bee die off.
She mentioned a few months ago there was a “town hall” gathering of sorts. It involved Purdue University, IN State Chemists Office, local farmers, public and bee keepers to brainstorm on new ways to save the bees. Ideas such as reducing neonicotinoid pesticides, choosing to use non-fungicide seeds and planting native bee-friendly wild flowers (such as thistle, locus trees and white clover) on State lands.
As for my Aunt & her husband, two of their beehives, out of the 6 hives, created swarms. She said this is great for the bees because they must be strong enough to decide to split the colony, to expand further. This is not great for honey production since there are less workers on the current hive, but great for honey production next year!
In Murrieta at Meljess Bees, the bees are doing well, but they are taking a lot of steps to make sure the bees have access to water and stay away from pesticide crops. They do this by creating connections/partnerships with local farmers to bring the bees in and pollinate the farmer’s crops.
Jessica mentioned they did have problems a few years ago when a farmer was not being honest with them about their pesticide use. It decimated a few of their hives due to this dishonesty and broke a trusting relationship. Since then, they vet any new farmers with a fine tooth comb, so to not loose any more of their bees.
We also spoke with Dale & Chrystal from Vista, CA. Dale mentioned initially, the current biggest concern is the lack of water for the bees, here in California. He is seeing the hives not producing very much honey, because the bees have been eating it to survive.
The second thing he mentioned was the neonicotinoid being of grave concern. He described, if a farmer is using this pesticide, it will literally take out the whole colony. He also, like MelJess Bees, has long time relationships with the farmers to avoid any loss when pollinating their fields.
I hope this update gives you a small look into the varying degrees of the status of our bees.
Next update will be an international one, yeah!
Give bees a chance…use natural pesticides, not chemicals.