Saturday, June 9, 2007

To Bee or not to Bee

Rocky here. Yesterday my human artist was taking me for my evening constitutional in our backyard, when we had an emergency! Our neighbors, who are painting their house, came running over for help with this BIG problem: Can you tell what that spot is? It's a colony of BEES, and it just showed up on their house overnight! Here's a closer look: Since my mom and the neighbors are very worried about the problem of all the bees in the world disappearing, they didn't want to kill the bees, so they called everywhere to find somebody to come move them to a better place - and nobody could help. So, they ended up moving those thousands and thousands of bees themselves! They swept them up into little aerated bags and drove them out to a farm in the country with fields of crops in bloom. It took all day!

Did you know that honeybee colonies are disappearing at rates up to 80% in the US and Europe? More than half of the colonies in the US are just ... gone ... and the wild bees you used to see in your yard are disappearing, too. Experts have named this Colony Collapse Disorder and many are calling it the beginning of an ecological apocalypse!

Why? Well, Albert Einstein reportedly said, If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more man. That's because one out of every three bites of food our humans eat comes from plants that wouldn't exist without bees pollinating them. USDA officials are worried that if this mystery epidemic isn't solved soon, humans could be reduced to a diet of grain and water (Unlike blossoming plants, grains are pollinated by wind.) Already many gardeners are having to hand-pollinate their vegetable plants.

Reports to Congress say the disappearance of bees is assuming catastrophic proportions and consequences for agriculture and the economy will be disastrous: honeybee pollination generates more than $15 billion a year in produce.

Scientists haven't figured out what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder but they're leaning toward a new kind of toxin or chemical used in agriculture and/or the widespread use of genetically-modified plants.

I've posted some links below so you can learn more about the frightening situation with our bees. In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to see one of these ....
.... be smarter than our humans and DO NOT put toxins on it, step on it, swat it, or put the bitey on it!! Make it your friend -- our future nip crops could depend on your actions!

Learn more:

Mysterious, Massive Death of Bees

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: Where is it heading?

Ecological Apocalypse

The Mysterious Death of the Honeybees

Our Vanishing Helpers

33 comments:

Skeezix the Cat said...

The disappeering beez is sumthing the Food Lady werries a lot abowt, but I still can't help myself: win I see one, I wunt to put the bitey on it beefore it puts the bitey on ME!

Phoebe said...

Oh, Rocky, I had no idea about how important bees are. I'm glad that I don't eat vegetables. My food comes out of that big bag in the kitchen. But when you mentioned the cat nip, well, that's when I understood the seriousness of it.

I think I have seen those guys buzzing around our pretty blue flowers. One of them bit me on my paw, and I was only trying to play with him. I'll be more careful next time.

Lux said...

Omigosh - how did they move them exactly?

Disappearing bees is a scary thing, for sure.

Kimo & Sabi said...

Wowy - this is happening in our town too! Mommakitty is gonna email you a photo of a bee colony near her office!

Forty Paws said...

Wowee kazowee! Your humans moved them theirselves???? We have bee "movers" here in the DFW area. There are always stories on the news about people having bee colonies in their houses and the bee movers come and vacuum them out and move their colonies. But they are wearing bee suits when they do it!!!!

Your humans are very brave, and very compassionate for moving the bees to a safe haven.

Luf, Us

jcfloresinc said...

Wow, that is scary. So glad you moved them to safety. I hope they find out soon what is wrong for all our sakes. So glad you are back and up and running. Silly blogger bots. That's what happens when you put bots in charge. Have a beeutiful Sunday. (Oh my gosh, Mom's try to be clever again.)
Samantha, Tigger and Mom

Daisy said...

What a dilemma! Your mom was very brave to relocate the bees. And nice too. I am glad they came up with a solution that saved the bees. Even though bees are one bug that I am a little scairt of.

Annelisa said...

Wow, good photographs, but so worrying about the disappearance of the bees...

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

Your neighbors are crazy brave to do that. We are very worried about the disappearing bees too.
Mommy planted lotsa nectar producing native plants in the yard this year trying to do our part. These will help the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies all which help pollinate.
Mommy wants to get our yard certified so she does everything organically. It is hard, time consuming (picking weeds by hand)and sometimes expensive, but she said she feels it is rewarding to do it this way.

What would I do without the glorious catnip plant??? *faints dead away*

Name: Mr. Hendrix said...

PS thanks for all the great links, we're learning lots.

Derby said...

I am surprised that you couldn't find a bee keeper to help you. But you were furry good not to kill them!

Ali & Fiona said...

This is very interesting indeed, and I am glad the lovely ladycats at artsy catsy like my picture.

Purrs & Love,

Ali

DaisyMae Maus said...

Bees and frogs ... So important!

I have a contest! Stop by and make a guess!
DMM

Max said...

The Woman says those are EVIL...but they could kill her, so ya gotta understand why she'd be getting someone to wrap them in the sweet sweet tang of everlasting slumber.

(What? I can wax poetic once in a while...0

Really, I'd just like to hear her scream if she went outside and found that here...

Ryan said...

Crazy Picture! I can only imagine the sound those bees must have been making!

Thanks so much for spreading awareness on CCD! It has potential to be a huge problem, and we really need to get behind our bees!

I'm trying to raise money for research into CCD, by selling tshirts! I hope you'll check it out:

Save the Blank!

Thanks!

Karen Jo said...

I am really glad that you and the neighbors managed to move the bees without harming them. I hope the colony got back together after the move. I have been hearing about the disappearance of the bees for some time now. It is very worrying. Luckily, I have been seeing more bees lately than I have in a long time. I hope that some scientists come up with a reason for the die-off in time to save the bees.

Erroll said...

I buy honey by the 5-gallon bucket, so when I first heard about Colony Collapse Disorder it made me worry about honey prices. After some research, I'm much less concerned. I've written an article explaining why I think honey production will not suffer very much, but I'll just say quickly that last year's yield was cut by unfavorable weather and beekeepers will be trying to rebuild their colonies. So even though the US has lost 25% of it's colonies to CCD, I think honey production will not fall more than 15%.

Erroll

Marie the Defender said...

That's very brave of your mommy and neighbours to move the bees. We would be so scared!

We notice not too many bees around this year, even tho we have lots of blooming plants (unlike last year). It is very disturbing.

Parker said...

Very brave of your Mommy to move the bees! Thanks for the links, this is a very serious problem. I'll try to be nicer to the bees.

Dragonheart said...

Wow, it must have been scary to find that colony and I am impressed that they managed to move them!

The loss of the bees is worrying. My humans have read reports linking the disappearance of bees to cell phone towers - some scientists hypothesize that the signals confuse the bees and they can't find their way back to their hives.

HRH Yao-Lin said...

Cant believe that colony just appeared out of nowhere. My human would have gone NUTS. You are SO brave to move them all. Vey interesting post, didn't know that about the disappearing bees. Will try not to chase them so much anymore. xx

William said...

WOW! Can you imagine???

We're concerned about the bee thing, too, so we're glad to hear these guys got some good treatment! Plus, I bet it kept everybody every BZZZZZZY.

Tara said...

This is a very serious problem. Here where we live, bees are very important for polinating all the fruit orchards.

But I still love to chase them, even if I did get stung!

The harness: Mom has me on a 16 ft retractable lead, and Kavan on a short 3 ft leash. He is not too used to it yet, so she picked him up a lot. When he is bigger and more confident, I can imagine it will be a problem.

Tara

Kaze, Latte, or Chase said...

The Lap Lady is scared to death of bees so there is no way she could have helped move them. She does however recognize their importance so she just tends to run away when she sees a bee and hope it doesn't want to follow.

Kaze

Cheysuli said...

Wow! That's amazing that your neighbors and your humans were willingn to help the bees. I hope they find a nice place to live. I can't believe that no one would move them.

crazy meezers said...

Wow, your Mum is so very brave..our mum wouldn't have gone anywhere near them!

Thanks for all the great bee info, we have similar problems here with bees disappearing in Australia

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

This is a very interesting post.
Our Meowmie is worried about the bees, too.

That is a good picture!

karen said...

that pic was absolutely unreal! i'm glad that you & your friends saved the bees! i'd probably be too scared to do it! i've heard about the colony collapse disorder & some scientists are attributing it to the increased use of cell phones

Victor Tabbycat said...

Wait... wate... weight! No... future... nip?!?! No. No! NO!!!

That's just not rite. I gotta go fink bout this.

Eric and Flynn said...

We keep away furrom bees cuz they sting yoo. We haf bofe been stung cuz we yoosed to pounce them, but not any more. We're kwik learners.
About two years ago we had about ten squillion bees on our hedge, and they wuz all buzzing like mad. Mum made us go indoors, well she didn't haf to ask us twice. We all stayed in all day and she tried to git a bee keeper to git them but couldn't find anyone close enuff. It wuz ok though cuz next morning they wuz gone, fank goodness.

QuoterGal - (a random visitor) said...

I am totally impressed and grateful that you took the time and and had the compassion and intelligence to move the bee colony yourselves. When you couldn't find somebody else to move 'em, you did it yourselves.

It's terribly worrisome and alarming that the bees are disappearing. Nonetheless, people like you give me some hope that humans can do better.

Thanks again.

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive..." - Eleonora Duse

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