August 13, 2018

Thank You Bees

Bees working kabocha squash flowers in my early morning sun-drenched garden.
Bees have not been doing well over the past few years (along with many other insects and pollinators). Declines in wild pollinators may be a result of habitat loss and degradation, while decline in managed bees is linked to disease (introduced parasites and pathogens). Pesticides are also a problem.

We should all thank bees for the enormous ecological services they provide (they are also amazing creatures in their own right, regardless of what they can do for us). 

There are many, many important foods and crops that bees help pollinate. Winter  squash are one such food. Others include blueberries, almonds, chocolate and coffee. 

Thankfully, every morning I go out to my garden I hear the busy buzz of bees as they pollinate freshly opened buttercup/kabocha and butternut squash flowers. It is a happy sound that makes my stomach growl.

Bees are perfect for the job of flitting from flower to flower, and if they disappear it will impact our food sources significantly. Now might be a good time to learn how to hand pollinate garden vegetables. 

Gardeners in some parts of the world that have low bee numbers are finding that they need to pollinate plants like squash by hand. 

If we continue to lose bees, we risk losing many of the foods we eat. Or we will need to hand pollinate every flower by hand ourselves. 

Watch for the up and coming career of the future: Pollinator Technician. Steady hand, keen eyesight and attention to detail needed. Work starts at sunrise. Helps if you are really small and can fly. And work for free.

Thank you bees.

1 comment:

  1. I love bees. So thankful for them too. I hope that we don't actually have to have hand pollinators. Doing things that kill the bees should be criminal. Nice garden report.


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