My squash are shriveling on the vine! They start out so nice and yellow or green, with such promise. Then, they shrivel up and die on the vine. Let me tell you what I found out and share more about my personal story.
Where Are the Pollinators?
I know some readers may think we harp on GMOs, pesticides, and bee colony collapse disorder too much. You probably wonder why a wild-crafted honey company cares. Without bees and other pollinators, there will be no more honey. Without bees and other pollinators, the natural food chain collapses. If you don’t think we have a pollinator problem, worthy of your time to research and act, please see the latest article from Care2.com: http://www.care2.com/causes/heres-whats-killing-bees-and-why-were-all-screwed.html.
If you don’t think this problem is noticeable in your own life, I want you to take a stroll outside in a natural area and look for bees and other insect pollinators. Do you see the same number that you did in the past? Please leave me a comment and let me know what you find.
QueenBee’s Personal Story about Pollinators
Every year we grow organic veggies on our deck. We live in a wooded area, so sunlight is at a premium. We usually have bumper crops since we pay a lot of attention to soil conditions, watering, composting, etc. This year we have had a healthy squash or two. But, most of them look like this:
So, I did some research and found out that shriveled squash, cucumbers, melons, etc. are caused by lack of pollination. After that I started surveying the deck garden. During the morning, there was one bee up on the deck, valiantly visiting every single vegetable. I watched another day. Again, there were one or two bees up on the deck, when there used to be dozens. When I realized how decimated the pollinators were in my little patch of heaven, I felt chilled and sad. Fortunately, one can hand-pollinator a few squash plants fairly easily. But, what about organic farmers who have acres? Will they be able to hand pollinate? Will that drive the cost of food up? Or, some day will squash, melons, cucumbers, and other vining plants be a myth we tell our grandchildren? I can just hear it now:
Well, Child, in my day we had the most delicious fruit called a cantaloupe. It had honey flavored orange flesh…
If you think the pollinator problem is local, I went to the Smoky Mountains for a long weekend. I’m including a picture of the landscaped garden behind our cabin. When I went to the same area 25 years ago, the gardens were filled with bees and butterflies. Take a look. Do you see any bees or other pollinators in this garden?