BORN TO BEE WILD
When we think about pollinators, the first that come to mind are probably the honeybees. In the last decade, the existence of honeybees has been threatened by a condition known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), a symptom of human activity. It’s estimated that bees contribute a massive $15 million in revenue to the farm economy, and one beekeeper in Washington made it his mission to isolate a way to combat CCD naturally. He found that by interbreeding feral bees with the domestic bees of his hive, he was able to hybrid bees resistant to a common disease among bees. And this is only the peak to the beehive. Recent research has led researchers and farmers alike to realize that honeybees, domestic or feral, need variety — variety in flowers to pollinate and variety in mating partners. In fact, since 1922, only 2 types of honeybees have permitted for breeding in the US, where they were bred for easy handling and productivity. As a result, their lack of genetic diversity in conjunction with monocropping has weakened the honeybees ability to resist CCD. Genetic diversity is only one solution to the CCD equation.