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What is happening to bees?

The honey bee is in trouble. Worldwide, bee numbers are declining. The bee is being attacked by an increasing number of bee pests (e.g. varroa mite) and diseases. Featuring prominently in this equation is the severe decline in floral nutrition resources creating a shortage of quality pollen for the bees to eat. Malnutrition severely compromises the bees’ resistance to pests and diseases.

Why should farmers help?

The increasing importance of agricultural sustainability and food security for New Zealand is widely acknowledged. But not so the importance of the bee, they are the unspoken champion of agriculture and anchor farm viability in many instances.

Bees consume pollen as a protein and vitamin source and nectar for energy. While gathering these resources, they move pollen from one plant to another thus benefiting the farm by pollinating crops.

Availability of quality pollen resources is critical during spring when beekeepers are building up bee populations for pollination services. Any shortfall leads to weakened bees making them susceptible to pests and diseases. It also dramatically slows the queens breeding output and results in under performing pollination services.