July 10, 2015 by wagnerfreeinstitute
Here at Honey Festival Headquarters, we love bees not only because they’re amazing creatures that produce valuable products like honey, but also because their role as pollinators makes them crucial in the lifecycle of all variety of flowering crops. Luckily, we recently found out that Philadelphia City Councilman Curtis Jones is showing his love for bees, too.
He recently put forth a proposal that would preserve our city’s honeybee colonies by providing specialized training to exterminators. As this article explains, city residents sometimes call exterminators to remove colonies of wild bees that have nested on their property. Unfortunately, not all exterminators are trained in removing and relocating colonies without killing the bees.
Untrained exterminators exacerbate an existing problem that is causing bee populations to decline: “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD). CCD is an epidemic that causes worker bees in a colony to die off, leaving behind only the queen and her attendants. The cause of this phenomenon is still not fully understood, though there seems to be strong evidence that a recently-developed form of pesticides, called neonicotinoids, plays a role. Other factors that may contribute include all variety of pathogens, environmental changes, malnutrition, and genetic factors.
Councilman Jones’ proposal would have been a good step toward restoring vibrant bee populations to our area, which have been affected by both CCD and untrained exterminators. He was following the example of president Obama who, in May, outlined a strategy to help conserve and boost bee populations. Unfortunately, Jones’ proposal has been tabled but he plans on revisiting it come fall, which would be wonderful.
Full article here:
For ways that you can help your local honeybees:
This post was written by Wagner Free Institute of Science Summer Museum Assistant Adam Knapp.