Be grateful for bees! Eating fresh raspberries this morning I got to wondering about bees. Birds and bees jokes aside, in the past I rarely stopped and thought just how essential bees are to the food chain. I have always loved honey and use it in smoothies and recipes that do not require heating the honey. I love honey on freshly made sourdough bread with butter, it is just heaven!
I see honey as a very precious, sacred food which has many health benefits, not only for us but the bees, the essential little producers of honey, have benefits for our planet and without them we would be most hungry.
Honey produced in New Zealand, from bees that have pollinated the Manuka bushes, is world renown for being particularly healing and has been used to treat MRSA.
We need bees!
Bees are vital, as you may well know, to pollinate fruits and vegetables- your food depends on bees. Yet a plastic packet in a supermarket does tend to divide consumer from farmer and thus our awareness, of how essential bees are, has waned. You can change that, you are reading this article, which is awesome as you can now think about bees, maybe planting some flowers and asking where your vegetables are grown.
Where are the bees going?
Bees are disappearing at an alarming rate in the USA and Canada, it has been said that it is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) which causes the bees to just abandon their hives and die. It almost feels like the bees have given up, got so despondent that they go away and die. It is actually not something that you can ignore, your diet would be very dull without fruits and vegetables.
Imagine never being able to buy an apple or a blueberry, or broccoli? Yes, many of us may not eat enough vegetables and fruit but I can guarantee you would want to eat an apple when you can’t buy one, if bees die out!
A warning signal?
I feel bees are rather like a warning signal, guiding us to take note. The world is giving us many warning signals, sadly those who are listening are still in the minority. Agriculture in North America is increasingly in favour of agribusiness, which can lead to a disconnect between grower and consumer. You can however reconnect to where your food comes from, it is hugely rewarding and caring for your body is so important- it’s the only home you have!
A film well worth seeing about Colony Collapse Disorder and the decline of the honey bee in the United States of America is Vanishing of the Bees. It is a movie that highlights the state of the world in relation to bees, just how fragile our ‘next-day delivery’ world is and how you can take positive steps in your life to help protect the vital honey bee. You can vote with your fork, what you choose to eat on a daily basis matters!
What you can do
Plant some flowers, grow some herbs, maybe even branch out and grow some vegetables- without using synthetic chemicals- it is satisfying seeing radishes (nice and easy to grow) or parsley growing on your balcony or in the garden knowing that YOU grew them! If you can’t plant your own consider shopping at the local farmers’ market or buying organic fruits and vegetables.
Opt for genuinely safe household cleaners and products. The whole ecosystem is dependent on the different parts working together, what you do does matter! What you use in your home to clean the sink gets washed down the drain and has an effect on others. There is no ‘away’ when you wash or throw things away, what are you using and what is the impact on those living downstream? Bees can be affected by synthetic chemicals, just as we can.