ALL CREATURES GREAT & SMALL

Bees, Plankton, and Canaries: Who is to blame; Them or Us?

Should our bees go extinct in as few as ten years, as many experts suggest, so go the majority of our most loved and nutritious human foods, including many of our fruits, vegetables, oil crops, clovers and alfalfas for our livestock and a more. Bees pollinate one sixth of all flowering plants and about 400 agriculture plants. As one expert put it: without bees you had better love gruel, for that is what will remain for us.

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Thankfully, for now it seems, Pasasdena is a haven for bees. There are wild bees everywhere. Let’s keep it that way shall we?

What are you doing to attract and increase the beneficials to your garden?

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  1. Dan says:

    One thing that is always left out on the publications of reducing bee populations is that the honey bee is not native to North America. I don’t really subscribe to the fact that C02 is killing bee’s, I think it has more to do with these massive populations that they truck all over the place and feed with a monoculture.

    In my opinion we need to start encouraging native bee population but with that side I don’t think this would be a sustainable approach to the large commercial farms. This is because a lot of the native bee’s are solitary.

  2. plantainpatch says:

    We grow herbs and flowers for the nectar, we have a mason bee house set up and have shallow saucers with small stones for them to drink from. We also don’t spray anything that will kill them or their beneficial friends.
    So thankful for the bees!

  3. Jean says:

    Thank you for your wonderful site and sharing your daily adventures! You are a true inspiration for us novice farmers. We are getting serious about our “victory garden” and I have been delighted and amazed at the number of bees that have been attracted to the flowering fruits and vegetables. Very exciting to see these little creatures doing God’s work.

  4. Erin says:

    As Dan correctly points out, the honey bee is not native to North America. However, neither is the food plants they pollinate; those too have come to our lands via the Old World of Eurasia. So if the honey bee goes, so too go those foods which depend on them where we live. Supporting native bees like the mason bee is beneficial for supporting the plants they pollinate, which include native species like blueberries, and other fruiting trees. But they don’t pollinate all the plants the honey bee does, so ideally, with the food we are accustomed to, we need both the honey bee and the native bees like the mason.

  5. Ken Kunst says:

    I have a mixed bunch of bees and beneficial insects doing the pollinating in my garden. I’ve found that letting cilantro go to seed has attracted beneficial wasps and what I believe to be syrphid flies. I do have some honey bees, but the real workhorses of pollination in my garden are the giant and menacing-looking black carpenter bees…they do a tremendous job!

  6. Anais says:

    Thanks for sharing how you are going about bringing beneficials to your garden.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Joe says:

    It isn’t just the bees in N. America that are dying, beekeepers in Europe this year have also reported cases of hive collapse syndrom (or whatever it’s called).

    I agree with Dan that monoculture farming is one part of the cause, as well as all of the chemicals farmers use now.

    I wonder what’s different in Pasasdena compared to other areas in SoCal?

  8. Kate says:

    I have three thriving bee hives in my back yard. Although I don’t like honey that much, I love keeping bees.

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