With the bad news on the bee front in Europe and North America things have not only been cataclysmic for the bees but also their keepers. Honey makes the world go around, the world go around, in the most delightful way (apologies to the lyricist from Cabaret). But if you are a beekeeper then honey and money are tied up with each other in all sorts of ways. Apiarists have been struggling to maintain their bee colonies and their finances, in many cases, and some are on the skids.
Colony collapse disorder spells doom for beekeepers may be a tad dramatic, but these sure are challenging times that we live in. What’s the buzz; tell me what’s a happening (with apologies to Tim Rice)? The buzz is bad folks for the humble beekeeper and his future prospects in the honey making business. Love and honey, love and honey; its currently a sticky business. I imagine that I will be seeing a lot of disused bee hives on the verges of the streets of America in the not too distant future. Plus a lot of people, bent over with permanently bad backs, shuffling their way down struggle street.
I know from personal experience that some apiarists have been forced to take on bad credit personal loans as they give up on producing honey and shift to new crops in order to survive financially. But once you have tasted honey how do you do anything else? It is a sweet business with a lot of rewards; most importantly the satisfaction of creating, with your bees, a special product. A gourmet food for human beings, which cannot only delight the senses, but heal and nourish as well. No other product does that in quite the same way.
I cannot see apiarists turning to growing crops or veggies or flowers. Or becoming peanut farmers and producing their own peanut butter. It is just not the same. Aquaculture is too smelly and prone to diseases. Growing hops for boutique beer brewers just doesn’t have the same cache. Honey bees are at the pinnacle of nature and beekeeping has such a long and rich history. The ancient Greeks and the Romans were very partial to a drop of honey on their bread and goat’s cheese. Someone must save the honey bees and turn this disaster around before it is too late. The government should be investing in solutions for humanity’s sake.