That is what I call a smashing success!!! Hmm, I wonder, it must have been an international campaign or either a lot of people in the USA got several packages. Including everybody from newborns to the centenarians, from the healthy to the comotose, the USA has 319 million people in it. That would be four to five packets per individual at those numbers.
That will hopefully help the bees. Seriously, honey bees need acres and acres to support a normal sized colony, but this will definitely help them. If people wouldn't be so antiseptic about their yards and farms it would help the bees greatly. Old fence rows, overgrown with "weeds" were called "hedge rows" years ago in some regions from the use of osage/mock orange trees/bushes to create natural fences (*very* thorny). Other areas simply used wire to contain livestock. Before the arrival of Round-Up the wire fences would become overgrown with different weeds. Sure that posed a problem for electric fences, etc., but those overgrown fence rows were the sanctuary of many, many, many creatures...from small lady bugs to deer and smaller wildlife....they produced food and cover for the creatures. For the honey bees the blooming blackberries, mustards, wild plum, tar weeds, butterworts, etc., are just a few of the readily available blooms they had for forage. But, having a 40 acres field surrounds by such a diverse ring of plants helped support all kinds of insects.
Now, the norm is to round up the fence rows leaving a dead, brown streak beneath the strung wire. Over a period of a couple of years all indication of the once nourishing wild flower/bush ring will have disappeared.
People say that the pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and other poisons) are benign and do no harm to honey bees *if* applied properly. The greatest problem isn't a direct contact with honey bees by the poisons but something more stealthy/insidious. Though the sprays don't outright kill the honey bees (and many other beneficial insects) they do bring minute amounts of it by into the hive. This very low amount of chemicals gets into the honey, the pollen, the wax...basically everywhere in the hive....at low amounts. But, that would be like us drinking a 1/10 of a thimble of Round-Up, or Picloram, or some other chemical with everything that we eat or drink...for the rest of our lives. It won't kill us when we ingest it, but over a period of time the small amount would begin to affect our health. For honey bees, this manifests itself into causing the queen to become less fertile and egg-laying (the life of a hive) to become more sporadic. Drones become less "virile". It weakens the entire population of bees making them more suspect to disease and less able to resist parasites and to be less productive in foraging. And remember, that during the summer the life expectancy of a worker bee is about six weeks....short, eh? That is why the queen's fertility and egg-laying ability is so important....and it takes 21 days from egg being laying for a new bees to emerge from a cell.
No, a lot of the poisons used "correctly" don't "kill" the honey bees....not instantly, anyhow.
Sorry to have rattled on... (not really)
Thanks again for the seed link, Frank.