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Your Board

Hi, I'm Your Board

Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. Outpost's Board of Directors. From left...
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Your Board

Can You Help the Honeybee?

Sounding Board
Outpost's Board of Directors will use this blog to discuss issues the board is exploring as it envisions Outpost's future. Can't make it to a meeting? Check here frequently to read what the Board is up to. By Your Board on July 31, 2013
Saving the bees: 
 
What does pollination have to do with the board of directors at Outpost Natural Foods?  Well, our role is to envision our cooperative, the way it relates with and provides for its owners under a variety of circumstances.  
 
Honeybee populations are on the decline. Here are a few interesting facts to consider:
 
1. Over 100 fruit and vegetable plants, flowers, fruit and nut trees…..and all their varieties require pollination to bear fruit (cotton, too) --the majority of those plants require the efforts of honeybees
2. In 1947 there were 5.9 million domesticated commercial hives in the U.S.; by 1980, there were 4.5 million; By 2008, there were only 2.44 million
3. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which worker honey bees abruptly disappear, is to blame for the decreasing population of honeybees
4. Studies point to a variety of causes of CCD in the order of varroa mites, genetics, habitat loss and poor nutrition
5. Bee rental has increased 20% (it takes 800 commercial bee keepers and 1.6 million honey bee colonies to pollinate California almonds)
6. Hand pollination has increased in China
 
Consider the economic viability of the bee pollination industry.  Honey bees are not likely to disappear entirely, but consider the cost of honeybee pollination services and those costs that would ultimately be passed on to consumers through higher food costs.  
 
These actions, among others, are worth taking:
 
• Support local beekeepers by buying locally-produced honey and other beehive products (we have a number of them at Outpost!)
• Plant a bee-friendly garden and purchase wildflower seeds to support honeybees, native pollinators, and the environment. More information at dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2009/06/bees.htm
• Join or contribute to the one of the campaigns designed to help the honeybees such as the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees at honeybeepreservation.org
• Watch the documentary Vanishing of the Bees at  vanishingbees.com
• Consider becoming a beekeeper yourself:  milwaukee.uwex.edu/agriculture/beekeeping 
 
For more information on this topic:
 
What are YOU doing to support the health of our honeybees?
 
– Kathy Osowski, director

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