Honey Bees are NOT natural so how naturally concerned are you?
The next time someone bemoans the fate of honey bees point out that they are not native to this hemisphere. So why are they so important to our environment? Industry propaganda misleads the conversation by using honey bees as a catch all for "pollinators" in the messages. It says we couldn't survive without them even though native Americans did since the dawn of time. The only thing that would suffer from less honey bees is industrial scale farming. This unnatural industrial production is what allows Americans the only unique freedom we have, to throw away 80 billion pounds of food a year.
As a beekeeper I know Industrial farming practices are what's threatening the bees...not just honey bees but all 20,000 types of bees. Did you even know Honey bees are not native to any of the Americas? Saying honey bees are a barometer for the health of pollinators is like saying chickens represents the health of all the birds in the world. So if you go around seeing "Popeye's" everywhere then all the other birds must be doing fine.
Native peoples called honey bees the "White mans flies" and when they saw the bees it signaled the settlers encroachment. So how can they be so crucial to our ecosystem? They're not. They're only important to the Almond industry and other industrialized crops. Honey bees are an obvious distraction from the effects of industrialized farming on the environment. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT A NATURAL PART OF THE ENVIRONMENT. This is the source of the dissonance for those of us who are sensitive to this sort of thing.
When I was actively keeping bees i asked the Amish community their opinions about what was referred to as "Colony Collapse"...industry was still struggling to affix blame. The Amish folks would look at each other and chuckle when i asked them. Every Amish I asked said from their experience "Colony Collapse" wasn't a real thing. Its just a generic label for something "unexplainable" that mostly affected industrial farmers. They knew what was up.
There's not one thing threatening bees and insects. Its everything. Industrial farming has made the world an unsavory place for them. Specifically with communal insects like bees this multitude of environmental stresses accumulates inside the hive to the point anything can overwhelm it. It's usually mites...so mites are blamed. Mites haven't changed for a thousand years but now with chemicals and climate the environment is changing from year to year.
One thing honey bees have in their "support" is a billion dollar industry propping them up. If any creature's continuing survival on earth is assured its honey bees. Do you think an industrial almond farmer gives a second thought to bees carrying deadly loads of chemicals back to the hive? The almond farmer doesn't worry because hive production is just the other side of the industrial cycle. But what about the feral pollinators carrying those same toxins home?
Monsanto is a big public supporter of honey bees while being the grim reaper to every other insect in the ecosystem. I guarantee no one in the industrial farming community considers honey bees for anything other than their utility. Because they well know that next year there will be a million new hives. Honey bees in this hemisphere, in this artificial setting are disposable.
Here's a perfect example of the dissonance crafted by industrial farming.
"Native honey bees are the most commonly known pollinator. They are 'volunteers' that work tirelessly pollinating a variety of crops. Recent problems with colony collapse and bee pests have put the wild honey bee population in danger, leading to many initiatives to aid honey bee health." ...Makes you kind of want to 'volunteer' too doesn't it? The problem is the quotes should've been around 'native' and this ignorance is significant and intentional in my eyes.
Alternatively a government website (and everyone else) says,
"Honey bees are not native to North America. They were originally imported from Europe in the 17th century. Honey bees now help pollinate many U.S. crops like fruits and nuts."
I strongly suspect this dissonance to the "honey bee scare" is a result of Monsanto propaganda to distract from the 20,000 species of bees going extinct. Whens the last time you thought about sweat bees? They are the most common native bee in this hemisphere. They pollinate native things like tomato, blueberry and cherry. Native bees are estimated to pollinate 80 percent of flowering plants around the world. Just like the moths of Madagascar, native bees have evolved alongside the native flowers.
Most bees are tiny and appear too insignificant next to a honey bee. Why doesn't the Monsanto backed "Honey Bee Scare" advocate for the other 20,000 species? I predict a point in the future where honey bees are the only pollinators left in the world and people will still obliviously "Do Your Part" for the world and keep a hive or two.