Marla Spivak on why we are in a honeybee crisis

Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota is one of the nation’s leading researchers on bee health and beekeeping.

She is articulate and eloquent spokesperson for honeybees, the reasons they are in danger, and sensible sustainable beekeeping.

In this 16-minute video, she outlines some of the reasons that we should all be paying attention to the health of our bees.


Spivak says there are two things that everyone can do to help out bees:

  • Plant more bee-friendly flowers.
  • Don’t use pesticides.

Here are some additional highlights of her talk:

• Spivak says she fell in love with bees as a teenager.

• The causes of bee decline begin with the way that we changed farming after World War II. Instead of using natural fertilizers and cover crops, we began using chemical fertilizers and stopped planting clover and alfalfa.

• Honeybees are one of 20,000 species of bees in the world, but they are one of the few that developed a highly sophisticated social system.

• This social system works with no central authority, but thousands of individuals work to contribute to it.

• Spivak’s research focuses on how bees keep themselves and their hives healthy.

• We should be particularly grateful to beekeepers for the work they do.


Key words: Marla Spivak, beekeeping, bee health, sustainable beekeeping, beehives, varroa, bee-friendly flowers, beekeepers, honeybee social system, natural fertilizer, cover crops, clover, alfalfa, bee health

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