The Blueberries & The Bees
We don’t always realise how important bees are to our livelihood, but one great example is the necessity for bees to pollinate blueberries in the fields.
In British Columbia, Canada, blueberry farmers import approximately 20 000 beehives per year (that’s 800 million bees) from Alberta for the pollination of blueberries. And according to recent reports, some beekeepers have refused to rent out their colonies for this purpose. The main reason given for this is being there is a shortage of bees as the blueberry industry has expanded far too quickly for the beekeepers to keep up with. Plus the fact that 2017 was a tough year for them weather wise too.
On the other hand, other reports say that the beekeepers have expressed concern that the fungicide sprayed on the crops could affect the bee’s health. This result of this concern has prompted a study to see whether the bees that forage on the farms have different health issues to other bees, and if so, what may contribute to it.
Whatever the reasons, the fact remains that there are just not enough bees to pollinate the crops and this could potentially cost the blueberry industry millions – with the farmers suffering major financial losses due to a fruit shortfall.