RESEARCH
FOR PROPOLIS

Bees are facing a life-threatening decline due to industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens, and climate change. I spent time talking to local beekeepers, scientists, museum curators, and freelance exhibition designers for my research. Therefore some scientific protocols might not have been addressed. The creative horizons of this researcher might not have reached an intended standard.

THE HONEY BEE .

Honey bees are fascinating creatures because they are social insects. There is a high complexity of the hive where honey bees can communicate and create complex construction of  their colonies. They can additionally defend, and have environmental control, and divide the labor that is needed to have a healthy and thriving hive. A honey bee colony typically consists of three kinds of adult bees: workers, drones, and a queen. Several thousand worker bees cooperate in nest building, food collection, and brood rearing. Each member has a specific task to perform, related to its adult age.

Bees have been around longer than some civilizations and have always been a vital part of the ecosystem. Beekeeping has evolved in many ways thanks to modern inventions in the 19th century. Today there are many beekeepers, worldwide, similar to scientists and big corporations trying to save honey bees and other pollinators from extinction.

In the United States alone, there are an estimated 115,000 – 125,000 beekeepers. In the state of Virginia, there are around 5,000 individual documented beekeepers. When talking to a couple of local Virginian beekeepers, they expressed many concerns about how to keep their colonies alive. One of the beekeepers, Dan Chase, mentioned in a conversation that "the commonality among all the pests we fight now seems to be people. People brought Varroa mites from Asia to this country in the 80s - not intentionally - but the mites would not have spread to the US without people. People brought small hive beetles to this country from Africa in the 1990s. People are the ones who use pesticides – including herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides – all of which impact bees.”

CHALLENGES FOR THE HONEY BEES.

BOTTOM LINE.

To survive, honey bees and other pollinators need clean food for good health. When they have proper nutrition, the hive is healthy. The adult bees are better able to fight off diseases.

JOIN THE MOVEMENT!

Learn How You Can Save Our Pollinators

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For more information about this project, please email Renee Alarid.