Two years ago a friend gave me a bee balm plant. Last year had quite a few blooms. This year it has taken off. At this point it is 64 inches tall and is full of blooms!
Bee balm is known to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. It is also considered edible and medicinal.
While I have been delighted by the number of blooms on my plant, I have also felt distressed by how few bees there are both in the bee balm and in my garden as a whole. I’m also concerned that essentially all the bees are bumblebees. There are almost no honey bees despite the fact that I have neighbors three houses down who have honey bee hives. It has never been this bad before.
As you probably know the bees are disappearing all over the world. They are getting sick and dying.
From BeesFree: A list of possible causes for bee Colony Collapse Disorder includes beekeeper management practices, new pesticides, pesticide use patterns, nutritional deficits associated with extensive monocultures, climate change, exotic parasites and pathogens, diminished immunity to pathogens or even interactions among two or more of these factors.
From Green Peace: Scientists know that bees are dying from a variety of factors – pesticides, drought, habitat destruction, nutrition deficit, air pollution, global heating, and so forth. The causes of collapse merge and synergise, but we know that humanity is the perpetrator, and that the two most prominent causes appear to be pesticides and habitat loss.
Last year, Whole Foods created a visual of what its produce department would look like if there were no pollinators. They removed 237 items from their shelves; 52% of the total. This year they did the same thing with their dairy counter. See the graphic pictures.
My rhododendron bushes were full of bumblebees when they blossomed this year. The buzzing was so loud that it sounded like a bee hive was nearby. Now there are usually only one or two bumblebees in the garden at a time; and they seem to have no interest in the bee balm. At least they visit these three plants:
May we find the solution to the problem and have the will to do whatever it takes to reverse this impending disaster.
Written for Traces of the Soul Prompt #9: A Flower is to Me