New Study Shows Sharp Decline in Bee Health – 3 Ways You Can Help

I spent much of this morning with renowned entomologist and bee expert, Dr. Dennis van Engelsdorp. Dr. van Engelsdorp and his colleagues at the Bee Informed Partnership released their annual survey yesterday showing some disturbing declines in honeybee health over the past year. As Dr. van Engelsdorp notes in the New York Times, a range of factors contribute to these declines and it will take cooperation across the food chain to tackle it. 

Dr. Dennis van Engelsdorp and Richard J. Crespin. Image credit: Emily Olsen-Harbich

The Bee Understanding Project, an incubated project of the Honey Bee Health Coalition in cooperation with the Pollinator Stewardship Council is tackling this complex problem by directly engaging the people with the most data and the most at stake: beekeepers, farmers, crop advisors, and entomologists. Through Bee Understanding these major players swap jobs for a day and walk a mile in the other guys boots so they can come up with their own solutions…and we’re capturing it all on film so you can watch and learn right along with them. One of Dr. van Engelsdorp’s colleagues and fellow entomologists, Katie Lee, is one of our first job swappers. You can see her in our documentary film trailer by clicking here.

Bee Informed Partnership Bee Loss Samples. Image Credit: Richard J. Crespin

DIY Garden also has a great guide on bees and practical ideas for what everyone can do to help them survive. Check it out here

3 Ways You Can Help

Here’s how you can help us help the bees:

  1. Plant. Bees and other native pollinators need access to a multivariate diet. You can help in your own backyard by planting bee-friendly forage. Click here for a list of native flowers and plants for your region.
  2. Donate. Support Bee Understanding by donating to our crowdfunding campaign here.
  3. Share. Spread the word about this multi-factorial problem by forwarding this blog, sharing a link to the DIY Garden Ultimate Guide, and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

A third of our food supply (and all of our coffee!) needs pollination, and honeybees support $15 billion in agriculture each year. Help us help the bees!

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