Bees have become popular little poster girls these days. We are increasingly aware of their decline and the critical role they play in pollinating all things food. In effect, they are life itself. We are enamored of them because they supply us with that sweetest elixir of all—honey. Perhaps you’ve heard of the new Kactus Brewery in Bernalillo. The owner, Dana Koller, believes in bee rescue, but he also loves beer. He has acquired a few beehives and soon he will be experimenting with a new honey wheat beer. Stop by for a cold bee brew this summer! You can see his interview at https://www.facebook.com/anitafamstutz1/?fref=nf
A beehive can make 50-200 lbs of honey a year. But it takes over 150 trips to a flower or tree to make just one teaspoon of honey. Bees are also master pollinators. They give us free service for a tireless, thankless task of moving pollen from flower to flower. Without them, our grocery stores would be devoid of 70-80% of our favorite foods such as avocados, peaches, cherries, almonds and dairy. Our food system would be bankrupt if we paid bees for their work. It would be impossible for us to humanly replicate the service that all pollinators do for us—including bats, birds, bees and bugs. Albert Einstein once said that if bees disappeared, humans would have about 4 years of life on planet earth.
It is high time we celebrate them! Did you know that Pollinator Week happens annually, June 20-25? Thanks to the UNM Wild Friends, a group of school children around the state whom I featured last week, Governor Martinez has now also designated a Bee Awareness Day on June 15. Another exciting development is the Bee City USA resolution (http://www.beecityusa.org/ )coming to our Albuquerque City Council this summer. A national movement, the groundwork has been laid this past year for the first Bee City here in the Southwest— thanks to Isaac Benton’s office. It has bi-partisan support, and will go a long way to bring protection for our hardworking bees at both a policy level and practical application.
We are finally beginning to understand ways we can support pollinator health, allowing them to thrive. Check out these bee-friendly websites that support the goals of a healthy pollinator world. As the bee goes, so go we humans.
Stay tuned this month and next, May – June as we work towards our Bee City USA goals of increasing habitat, decreasing pesticides, educating and advocating. We will give you a holler when we need standing room only at that City Council meeting to close the deal of a Bee City Resolution here in ABQ. Your support is valued—volunteer time, donations, or just passing the buzzzzz!