The virtues of bee products no longer need to be demonstrated. Who has never taken a spoon of honey in an herbal tea to relieve a nasty cough, taken royal jelly to fight temporary fatigue, or in cosmetics, to fight the signs of aging as we propose this month? the Belle au Naturel Organic Box...
On the other hand, what is less known is that in the more or less long term, these same products will turn into rare commodities, both the 865 species of he bees present on French territory are threatened today.
Indeed, since the end of the 1990s, beekeepers around the world have noticed an unusual decline in the number of colonies. Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in our ecosystems; a third of our food depends on their pollination, it goes without saying that a world without bees would be a disaster for food production.
Various causes of bee mortality have been targeted by ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) and by the Ministry of Ecology.
The main causes of decline are twofold:exposure to chemicals and loss of food resources.
Indeed, insecticides represent the most direct threat to pollinators. Used in large quantities in agricultural regions, it is clear that these products, applied regularly in intensive agricultural systems, generate devastating effects both on bee colonies and on each individual specimen.
What are these effects? Primarily physiological; the bees develop less quickly and present malformations. Then, the foraging behavior is disturbed; bees have a confusing navigation system and a deceived learning process (recognition of nests and flowers, spatial orientation) Interferences with feeding behavior have also been noted; neurotoxins (weedkillers for example) confuse the bees, modify their behavior and weaken their immune system.
In addition, the development of monocultures linked to the decrease in biodiversity in agricultural areas (resulting in a reduction in the number of plant species and a shortening of the flowering time) leads to a decrease in resources food for our bees, which need quality pollen from a diversified flora and nectar to ensure their life cycle.
To the lack of pollen is therefore added a lack of diversity due to the modification of the landscape, the extreme regression of fodder crops (clover, alfalfa, etc.) and the use of herbicides.
If we do not want to go straight to the loss of our dear planet, we must put in place solutions to preserve our bees, in particular by developing ecological agriculture which would make the use of pesticides and herbicides unnecessary. of synthesis.
Let's preserve and restore natural and semi-natural habitats in and around cultivated plots in order to preserve wild biodiversity.
Encourage the sowing of various plants and legumes to promote the production of pollen and nectar (meadowsweet, daisy, daisy, wallflower, nepeta, fennel, marjoram, lavender, thyme, etc.), planting place of piles of wood, the creation of ecological gardens, the installation of nesting boxes for insects.
This global awareness, still too marginal however, has even prompted some individuals to help save this endangered species by installing a beehive in their garden. From there was born the Flow Hive; tap hives that make beekeeping accessible to the uninitiated wishing to set up colonies in their garden and thereby produce their own honey (10 to 40kg of honey per hive/year) while fighting against population decline of bees.
The State has also reacted by drafting a National Action Plan (PNA) for sustainable beekeeping and the Ministry of Ecology is currently working on drafting a NAP in favor of wild pollinators.
In the end, there are solutions, everyone can and must contribute to the building of environmental awareness. Let's not let our bees die, let's preserve them, it is about the future of our planet, your future, my future, their future, OUR future to all.
Nobody really pays attention to it, but bees also need to drink water. Of course, we don't talk about it enough. With all the miles these bugs travel every day, they need strength and proper hydration. To help them, we must therefore provide them with water. It is not a question of making large constructions or special infrastructures. It is enough to make simple but effective gestures in the garden.
You can then place water tubs or containers filled with water in your garden. They serve as a drinking trough for insects, including bees that come to look for pollen in your property. The containers should not be too big and too deep because otherwise they risk drowning in them.
If you already had bird troughs, you can see that the bees also come to drink there. You should remember to change the water regularly to ensure its cleanliness and not harm the health of insects and other animals that come there. The ideal is to put these drinkers near the hives. Water is indeed necessary to dilute the honey that will feed the larvae. It is also essential to ensure the cooling of the hive.
Hives are often vulnerable to attack by other wildlife if they are in the open. It is therefore important to protect them. You can put up fences. They should also be sheltered from rain and heat. Certainly, they must be placed in very sunny places. But they must not receive too much heat stroke either, as this risks burning the larvae. In the event of rain, the bees may lose their wings and the honey may leak if it is not sufficiently protected. You must then place special shelters for the hives.
Take care of yourself