Sunday, July 14, 2013

What's the Buzz ?

With the arrival of summer it's time to enjoy the bounty of our New England harvest. It's also time to celebrate one of the champions of local food across the globe - the honeybee.

Honeybees are essential to our gardens and our diets, pollinating many of the foods grown in Brookline and beyond. Local favorites including apples, peaches, pears, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, beans, onions carrots, melons, squash, eggplant, cucumbers, broccoli, greens and sunflowers owe their fruit to the honeybee!

Unfortunately, there are growing challenges facing the honeybee resulting in an alarming increase in the number of honeybee colonies dying and disappearing.  Known as "Colony Collapse Disorder", this condition, has been attributed to several key factors - disease, insects and pesticides . Locally, as well as further afield increased attention has brought light to the honeybees plight. In response to concerns for our future food supply some scientists are even preparing for a world without the buzzing of bees!

So when you are savoring local bounty, acknowledge this oft maligned and misunderstood critical link in our food chain.  And consider what you can do to insure that your garden and future growers can buzz from the miraculous work of
Apis mellifera , the honeybee.