Our most hardworking employees are under threat. In some parts of the world entire colonies of honey bees have been dying. Experts believe it’s due to a combination of the following:
Diseases and pests: Honey bees are stalked by all different kinds of mites, viruses and other diseases. Australia is actually the only continent that remains free from the Varroa Destructor mite. These evil little mites are deemed the honey bee’s most dangerous enemy overseas. Unfortunately in New Zealand, Varroa is widely distributed throughout the entire North Island, including many offshore islands in the Hauraki Gulf and South island, as far as Canterbury and the West Coast.
Loss of Habitat: Habitat destruction from logging practices and urban encroachment has led to a loss of nesting sites and pollen resources for our bees.
Climate Change: Bees and plants rely on each other to reproduce. But as the temperatures have been rising as the result of climate change, they’ve started to become ‘out of sync’. This small change could lead to severe consequences.
Agricultural chemicals: Many commonly used agriculture and horticulture products, like insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and fertilisers are highly toxic for bees. Increase in demand: As the world’s population continues to grow, so will the demand for insect-pollinated food. Experts are concerned that honey bees won’t be able to keep up with the demand for pollination services. A decline in commercial beekeeping: Reduced access to resources, low honey prices and increased production costs are causing commercial beekeepers to shut down in all over the world.