Modern Beekeeping Considerations and Challenges

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The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has introduced their presentation to help modern beekeepers understand and overcome the challenges for beekeepers today. To make the presentation more accessible, they have created one in English and another in Spanish.

The presentation is geared towards those interested in beekeeping, particularly those who live in areas where agrochemicals are typically used. It is also intended more specifically for beginner or intermediate beekeepers. Covering the greatest challenges for modern beekeepers, NCAT hopes to help arm beekeepers with the necessary tools it takes to successfully maintain a healthy and flourishing bee colony, starting new beekeepers off on the right foot.

NCAT uses this presentation to also further educate people about the importance of bees, hoping to inspire more to take up beekeeping or to take the necessary actions and do their part in protecting the already declining bee population. The bee population has already decreased from 6 million hives nationally in 1947 to a staggeringly low 2.4 million hives in 2008, the most rapid decrease of bee populations in recorded history. In today’s environments and climates, with the growing use of pesticides and other agrochemicals, 30 to 50 percent of beehives die every winter, and NCAT hopes that inspiring more beekeepers can help fight these rising numbers.

Much of the declining population has to do with new levels of stress that agrochemical practices are placing on honeybees. As levels of toxicity rise, bees begin to delay showing signs of outward stress until it is too late to save them. Nowadays, beekeepers must understand how living near these types of chemicals can influence the health and safety of their home hives.

To help their presentation hit home, there is also a section showing the vast impact that bees have in our crops, showing the many different fruits, flowers, and nuts bees are responsible for pollinating each season. cross the country, honeybees are responsible for pollinating almonds, apples, sunflowers, and many more crops that we enjoy every day thanks to their work.

The NCAT presentation helps beekeepers to combat these threats to their hives by keeping them educated about signs of stress and chemical influences in their hives. Perfect especially for beginners, the presentation explains the life cycle and typical habitats of honeybees, so that when something goes amiss in the colony, the beekeeper will understand immediately these unusual behaviors and identify the causes.

By continuing to educate people about the importance of honeybees in our ecosystem, NCAT is protecting and, with any luck, raising the bee population after years of decline. Offering the same presentation in Spanish helps to reach even more potential beekeepers, and get everyone in on the fight to save the bees.

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