The alarming decline of honeybee populations has been in the news a lot recently. The Isle of Wight Festival chose to support a bee project, Give Bees A Chance. as part of its Eco Action Partnership this year, and Jordan’s Cereals is running a Big Buzz campaign, giving away bee-friendly plants.
I first got interested in the global honeybee crisis when I was working on a feature for Australia and New Zealand magazine about honey in those two countries (click the thumbnail to read the full article).
Declining populations aren’t just bad news for honey production – the real concern is that without bees, plants and crops are not pollinated. It seems that there are several factors involved, but a parasitic virus is suspected as a major cause. The parasite has now spread to New Zealand but Australia is currently free of it.
There seems to be a growing awareness of the problem, and also a growth in people keeping their own bees (check out Urban Bees). And in April, the the UK government announced some good news – another £8 million for research. Let’s hope it’s not too little too late.