Bee in China

15 Oct

Made in China

Did you know copy 60 to 70% of honey found on Chinese supermarket shelves is fake! There are 2 major ways to produce fake honey. The first one is to mix adulterate the honey with chemical substance or liquids and the second is to blend honey with high-fructose corn syrup. Only 2 companies selling honey in China have been  declared safe as per national criteria. Unfortunately honey can also be sold as a bio-agricultural-product or medicinal-product, creating a loophole for these counterfeiters to cash in on.

Is this our future?

In the central province of Sichuan, men, women and children are taking up manual pollination by hand for their apple orchards of apple. But how exactly did they reach this point where bees are not visiting the flowers any more?

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In the 80’s, farmers saw an opportunity in orchard-farming. A few years later, the government introduced a new species of pear – the new variety did not bloom at the same time than the other pears varieties. To increase fruiting, farmers began experimenting with hand pollination and it was successful, the yield increased and the fruits looked better. The government started encouraging hand pollination. More and more of the species were grown (with some areas going up to 90%). Shortly after, this species became the target of pear lice. To resolve the problem, farmers began relying increasingly on pesticides. The regular and intensive spraying killed all insects, including honeybees. Chinese beekeepers saw bees as a honey making machine and not as a pollinator. Beekeepers have deserted this region due to prevalence of pesticides and the abundance of pear flowers (not necessarily great for honey).

In the US, in 2006, over 500,000 honey bee hives were needed to pollinate apple orchards, each hive having an average of 40,000 bees, you can imagine how many “NEWBEE” will be needed to hand pollinate them.

[Photo credit by yndra]

 

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