The world is experiencing a global bee crisis, with Australia the only country not yet affected. With bees responsible for almost a third of the food on our plate, this is a crisis that could affect us all.
In the winter of 2013, Europe saw its bee populations fall by 53%. This year the US has seen populations fall by 42%. Astonishingly, Australia is the only country in the world where the bee population continues to thrive. As commercial beekeepers are pushed out of business elsewhere, Australian bees are exported to pollinate foreign farmlands. However, the fate of Australian bees hangs in the balance. It seems that the bee crisis is intricately tied to the way we have changed our planet. Preventing the migration of the varroa mite from Asia remains the biggest challenge: “Once that arrives here, we’ll have about three to five years before the massive collapse of potentially commercial beekeeping”, explains breeder Tiffane Bates. In an attempt to save the bees, scientists are now trying to breed resistant bee populations, and understand the complex genetics of the hives. This insightful report reveals the fascinating and secret lives of bees, and explores the ground-breaking methods being used to preserve them.