Paul Cleaver believes that the decimation of the honey bee population is a complex three dimensional problem, and as well as mites the bees have to deal with pesticides, herbicides, and all sorts of farming practices, as well as environmental changes, which are taking place increasingly quickly in the 21st century. He says: “Beekeeping is all about supporting the environment. With wild honey bee populations almost non-existent, beekeepers’ role in preserving the species is now vital. Bees find it very difficult to survive in the wild. The more beekeepers there are, the more wild ones there will be because keepers are very good at losing their bees.”
Paul Cleaver is the chair of the Reigate Beekeepers Association, and has kept his own bees for decades.
His talk is a response to a TED Talk by Anand Varma called ‘The first 21 days of a bee’s life’ http://www.ted.com/talks/anand_varma_…
in which Anand films the first 21 days of a bees life, and captures the destruction to the hive wrought by the Varroa Destructor mite.