Robert K. Watrous

landscape architecture

Milford, New Jersey

908.479.1199

rkw@robertwatrous.com


Honeybees and your garden

What are you using in your garden?

I've been watching the news about New Jersey's state insect, the honeybee. According to Sandy Bauers, staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, farmers are feeling the impact of the disappearance of these creatures from our landscape. The article Farmers survive the lost colonies posted May 31, 2007, points out that 75% of our crops used for food, fiber, and medicine, is pollinated by animals and that the honeybee is a significant contributor.

The cause for colony collapse disorder, or CCD, is unknown but likely reasons include some unknown pathogen, stressed bees due to overworking, or pesticides. It could also be due to a combination of the three. One group of pesticides, neonicotinoids, has shown to cause bees to "forget where the hive is". According to the article, this group of pesticides is commonly used in "treating seeds, crops, and lawns."

Currently no one knows why the bee population is declining but according to an article posted on the Organic Consumers Association's website (www.organicconsumers.org) on February 27, 2007, the problem has impacted 24 states and shows no signs of letting up.