Apart from the potential of being stung, how much thought do you ever give to the humble bee? I’ve been reading about the recent outbreak of deadly varroa mite in Townsville. This is really scary stuff! Did you know that bees pollinate a third of everything we eat? 84% of crops grown for human consumption, that’s approximately 400 different plants need bees to pollinate them. Bees are central to the welfare of our ecosystems. Without them, we’d really be in trouble. I don’t think I’m being overly dramatic in suggesting that we might even starve!
So back to the Townsville outbreak. Biosecurity Queensland has reassured Queensland beekeepers that the outbreak which arose from a biosecurity breach, is both isolated and under control, with the current 10km movement zone relating to hives, bees, bee products and related equipment. Interestingly, Australia is the only continent free of the varroa mite and this is obviously due to our incredibly strict national biosecurity measures – something Johnny Depp might want to reflect on!
With such an enormous percentage of the world’s food supply directly or indirectly affected by honey bee pollination we need to do everything to ensure their wild habitats continue and their commercial environs remain clean so that bees not only survive, but flourish. I’ll certainly be more aware of their importance every time I spread honey on my toast, or dip a spoonful in my tea. I’ll savour my fruit and vegetables and admire the flowers in my garden even more knowing what these little miracle workers do every day, the world over. I can’t imagine a world without bees. Can you?