by Nicole Wines
If you have been paying attention to news about the natural world, you know that our pollinators are in trouble. From butterflies to bees to bats, our eco-systems are suffering due to the change of the eco-landscape and the all out destruction and devastation the human population has wreaked on the planet. However, as nature always evolves, the strains and stresses of climate change, human migration and all kinds of other stress factors from our anthropocentric modern society have forced many species of plants and animals to adapt and even evolve. Enter the Puerto Rican honeybee…a hybrid between a native bee, European bees and the Africanized bees (just like Puerto Ricans!), the Puerto Rican honeybee may hold some of the answers to fighting off issues like varroa mite and colony collapse disorder.
Read this recent article from inverse.com explaining how “Puerto Rico’s ‘Gentle Killer Bees’ Could Prevent the Bee Apocalypse”
In addition to studying how the Puerto Rican bee has developed resistance to problems such as varroa, we should also be supporting Puerto Rican beekeepers and caretakers as much as possible. The future of the honeybees may be at stake and helping beekeepers in Puerto Rico in any way we can (buying their honey, donating to their farms, sending them needed supplies, promoting their services and apiaries, and sending them pollinator seeds just to name a few) can help these eco-warriors maintain a strong healthy population of the Puerto Rican honeybee. Check out the Facebook pages for a few of the beekeepers and honeybee sanctuaries we collaborate with on the island, like, follow and share them, and reach out to find out what kind of support they need the most right now:
In addition, Raíces EcoCulture has an apiculture initiative which we will be expanding once we have established our forthcoming eco and cultural preservation center on the island of Puerto Rico. If you would like to support our efforts at helping the bees there, please make a donation to our Land Preservation Fund and leave a note that it is “for the bees”. This will be earmarked for supplies for creating our beebox building workshop, purchasing beekeeping supplies and ensuring a growing collection of pollinator seeds to be planted, saved and shared through our Seed Library program.