Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Honey, Where Have All Bees Gone?

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Honey, Where Have All Bees Gone?

Article excerpt

Byline: IN THE GARDEN Paul Worland

DURING the past few months, a lot of people have been asking why they are not getting abundant fruit and vegetables on their trees and vines.

Sometimes the answer is simple - there might not be many flowers to start with so there won't be much fruit forming from them.

This often happens when high nitrogen fertilisers are used, causing rapid growth of foliage and few flowers.

That's why it's a good idea to use a balanced fertiliser or add a high potassium fertiliser such as potash. Potassium encourages strong root development as well as flower production.

However, many gardeners are now finding that even though their plants may flower prolifically, they are still not getting fruit coming through.

This also happened around this time last year in our area and many put it down to the extended periods of wet weather stopping bees from getting out and about to do their thing - pollinating flowers.

But we've just had one of the driest Januarys on record and still have the same problem.

There just doesn't seem to be enough bees around to pollinate all the flowers.

Is this problem confined to our area or is it more widespread?

Who knows? Perhaps an apiarist could tell us, but declining bee numbers are a huge problem in Europe and the US and have been so for a number of years.

What has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has seen billions of bees just disappear.

They are flying off to gather pollen but aren't returning to their hive.

There are only a few dead bees being found in hives. There just aren't any bees there.

One theory is that the ability of bees to navigate is being affected in some way and they can't find their way back to the hive.

What is causing this disorientation is the big question and quite a number of culprits have been suggested: disease, fungi, mites, pesticides, mobile phones and even imported bees are just some of them. …

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