We have discovered a farm situated about 30 km from Reminiac, that cultivates 300ha of land totally organically. Within this farmland are hives where honey producing bees make the most delicious honey.

This weekend, we decided to make our annual pilgrimage (Pooh bear like!) in search of honey as our stocks are rapidly disappearing! This is a family occasion and everyone is more than happy to take the trip as it is always a fascinating experience.

We usually buy  12 jars of the stuff if possible, but this year the honey was rationed and we were only permitted to purchase 2 jars.

When questioned, the farmer’s wife explained that their hives had been suffering in the same way as most of the hives situated in Europe.

The bees are alive but are lacklustre and they just don’t seem to have the energy to work and to produce honey. When asked about this weird phenomenon, she went on to explain that there doesn’t seem to be any one explanation for the lethargic bees. She gave us a few possible reasons but didn’t know anything for sure.

The bees’ lethargic state could be a result of the increased use of pesticides and herbicides or possibly of the increased pollution. Surprisingly, a couple of factors that I hadn’t considered as relevant were the increased number of satellites and, most surprisingly, the increased use of mobile phones. As a matter of fact, electromagnetic fields from powerlines, mobile phones, cell towers and wireless networks impact not only bees but also birds, wildlife and the environment in general. Bees in particular are very sensitive to airwaves.

A final factor that the farmer’s wife thought might be responsible is that the soil is now ploughed at a different angle. Also, the intensive agricultural landscapes can be detrimental to bees as they cause a lack of floral resources. Ideally, farmers should grow nectar and pollen-rich plants in order to provide food for the bees, provide shelter and nesting sites across their land for wild bees and if possible avoid bee-harming pesticides.

Sensitive creatures the bees, but oh so important.

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