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Almond orchards stung by a shortage of bees Save Our Bees Campaign
During the first weekend of bee population. Reporting in The Australian
(20 November, 2008) Asa National Science and This weekend marks the
Wahlquist writes that Engineering Week 2009 first planning event in
almonds may be (Saturday 7 – Sunday which those interested will
agriculture’s fastest growing 8 March) the British be able to express their
commodity but the industry Association for the
Advancement of Science ideas for how the eventfaces two hurdles: water
will be coordinating the (and other associatedshortages in the Murray–
United Kingdom (UK) 'Save events) might develop. TheDarling Basin and the lack
Our Bees Campaign'. aim is to get as many localof honey bees.
beekeepers involved asAlmond production has This will include a mass
$2.3 billion. Australia possible. tripled in the past eight participation activity to get
provides just 3 per cent ofyears and the industry as many people as possible Bee-friendly planting and
the world’s almonds. Globalpredicts it will triple again involved in helping save bee spas (if we can use
consumption of the nuts hasin the next eight years. honey bee populations. this idea) should be used
doubled in the past decade. Production is valued at within the event to tie it in
It is anticipated that this$180 million, including
Almonds are dependent on with the national masswill be a great mediaexports worth $80 million,
honey bees for pollination. participation activity.opportunity for thosebut it is expected to exceed
The industry estimates it will involved. The event will be$500 million by 2015. To complement the national
need 250,000 hives within topical, engaging, be effort there will be a series
The Australian industry is five years, but only 150,000 suitable for family of regional events across
now a net exporter, the third are available. The audiences, hands-on and the country.
biggest in the world, and is relationship of bees to nuts should be an opportunity
set to overtake Spain and is linear: if only half the for the general public to For more details see
become the second biggest number of bees is available, make a contribution to the http://savemidlandsbees.
exporter by 2012. California only half the potential nuts health and well-being of the
is the world’s biggest almond will be produced.
producer, supplying 80 per
cent of exports, with an (Photo: www. sella-
industry worth more than QUEENS that make beekeeping easier for you
BEESWAX FOUNDATION for the best combs
EARTHWATCH argument, explaining how AFFORDABLE beekeeping equipment
one quarter of a millionDEBATE VARROA strips at keen prices
species of flowering plants
CANDLE sheets & wickBees were declared the depend on bees. He added
most invaluable species on that many species are UK wide deliveries
the planet, at the crucial to world agriculture Quotes
Earthwatch debate on and without them we would
20 November at the Royal lose not only flowering
Geographical Society, plants but many fruit and
London. vegetables. Among the
major causes of beeDr George McGavin
decline are habitat loss and representing bees won the
fragmentation, increasingday with his persuasive
use of insecticides, and
diseases. If it’s for Bees,
Dr McGavin said, ‘Bee or if it’s made of beeswax, contact us at
populations are in freefall.
A world without bees would Brede Valley Bee Farm, Cottage Lane,
be totally catastrophic.’ Westfield, Hastings TN35 4RT
The debate will be
broadcast at 8pm on Tel: 01 424 870 737 Fax: 01 424 870 729
Radio 4 on Christmas Eve. email:
(Photo: Crispin Zeeman)
Bee Craft digital January 2009 Page 45
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