The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Bumblee decline

Like honeybees, bumblebees have been declining in recent years.  We messed up pretty badly when we started raising bumblebees commercially to use in greenhouses.  These imported bees brought along a bunch of diseases and pests which have spilled out into the wild, harming native bees.

Pesticides and habitat loss also seem to be part of the problem.  Huge farms don't provide the protected, unplowed areas where bumblebees can nest, and conventional farmers also tend to spray chemicals which kill the bees.  Lack of plant diversity is another problem some some bumblebee species have long tongues and need tube-shaped flowers to feed on.

The video linked from the widget to the above gives an excellent rundown on the issues and the solution.  Basically, we're going to have to make our farms a little wilder if we want bumblebees to keep pollinating our crops.

This post is part of our Bumblebee lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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