Did you know :: One in every three mouthfuls of food is pollinated either directly or indirectly by bees, making them an important part of the health of our economy and ecology. Bee pollination accounts for $15 billion in increased crop value annually. However, it is estimated the number of managed honey beehives has decreased by 50%, from five million in the 1940s to only 2.5 million today. A recently named phenomenon called "Colony Collapse Disorder", or CCD has decimated millions of honey-producing hives in North America. CCD is when worker bees suddenly and mysteriously disappear, leaving the hive and never returning. According to the USDA, annual honey bee colony losses from 2006 to 2011 averaged 33 percent yearly, with a third of those losses attributed to CCD by beekeepers. In 2012-2013, CCD was blamed for the loss of half of the U.S. beehives. As of this writing, scientists are unsure what causes CCD, although a combination of factors are being analyzed. In the meantime, we can do our part by reducing the use of chemical pesticides and planting honey-bee friendly flowering plants, and encouraging our friends and neighbors to do the same. "Pleasant words are [a] honeycomb -- sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." (Proverbs 16:24, Tree of Life Version.) Photos in this gallery and throughout my portfolio copyright Â© Brian Tada. All rights reserved. To the glory of God.
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