The Brews and the Bees
Bees are currently facing a host of environmental obstacles and are experiencing a failure to thrive. When we drink high quality beer made with organic and/or sustianble hops we're helping to preserve the health of one of the most important insect species on Earth.
Breweries that use organically/sustainably produced/non-gmo ingredients boast the tastiest beers. When crops are grown in nutrient dense soils and not contaminated with toxins, it boils down to (no pun intended), the purest flavors nature has to offer.
Breweries, like Coors, Budweiser, and others use dangerous gmo products - including corn, rice and other ingredients - known to cause health problems in both humans and pollinators.
Bee-friendly companies care about their customers' well being, support eco-system health, and provide consumers with extraordinary products.
The great Pollen Nation
Beer Hops Benefical to Honey Bees
A key ingredient in beer is proven to reduce parasitic mite populations in honey bee colonies.
Colony collapse disorder (CCD)* of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies reached all-time highs throughout the US between 2007 through 2009. Though several factors have been linked to CCD, varroa mites (Varroa destructor) remain as a major pest of honey bees throughout the world, often forcing commercial beekeepers to insert pesticide-impregnated plastic strips into bee hives to ward off the mites. These plastic strips are effective, but can contaminate the wax honeycomb where bees store food and keep the young, and the mites can develop resistance to the active ingredients used in conventional control strips.
In a recent article published in Experimental and Applied Acarology, researchers from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center with USDA-Agricultural Research Service teamed with BetaTec Hop Products to test the pesticidal properties of hop beta acids (HBA) against varroa mites. HBA, extracted from the cones of hop plants (Humulus lupulus) used in brewing beer, is known to repel plant-sucking pests and are non-toxic to humans. Honey bees were first exposed to different concentrations of HBA in order to establish a safe exposure baseline and prevent bee mortality. Cardboard strips were then impregnated with low concentrations of HBA (0.5% and 1.0%) and inserted into colony hives. The amounts of HBA tested on the strips were highly lethal to the varroa mites, but did not cause significant mortality to the bees. Though the effects lasted for only a week, HBA seems promising and multiple applications in sync with emerging residual mites may fully control outbreaks.
The use of HBA to combat varroa mites may aid in drastically improving the health, vitality, and robustness of honey bee populations, which provide invaluable ecosystem services as pollinators. The full behavioral changes of mites exposed to HBA are still to be examined, but this study is a great example of nature providing answers to seemingly complex problems, as long as we preserve biodiversity and willingly explore the possibilities… beer in hand.
By LYNETTE LEIGHTON - MARCH 18, 2013
* Colony Collapse/Failure to Thrive is a problem that was coined prior to the newer term Colony Collapse Disorder . The word "disorder" was added by agrochemical companies. "Disorder", relates more to: non-order or no intelligible pattern (Wikipedia); while it is well known that certain chemcials in agriculture are directly affecting Colony Collapse/Failure to Thrive.
See More: Article
Experimental and Applied Acarology
December 2012, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 407-421
Honey Bees at Rogue Farms
Rogue Farmstead Brewery
Bee Keeper: Josh Cronin
BREWS and BEES