Our backyard bees must have missed the memo about massive bee collapse. This week we harvested 90 pounds of honey from just two hives. It’s lovely!
The honey is a blend from dozens of floral sources, but based on the light tangy flavor I’d say linden, tulip tree, and clover predominate.
The internet is full of claims on the demise of honey bees, but be skeptical when listening to these stories. Most of the scary numbers (example: 31% of hives died this year!) reflect winter losses, not long term declines. Honey bees are insects, after all. They reproduce quickly enough to recoup cold season losses. A healthy colony can quintuple in a season, and overall colony numbers have remained steady year to year.
This isn’t to say bees aren’t faced with various stresses, and that the winter losses don’t pose a problem for early season pollination needs like almonds. But honey bees are still very abundant animals, enough so that talk of their imminent extinction is just bizarre.