Some of the bees are back, although not in the numbers as they were before the June 24th malathion spraying. Our neighbourhood was sprayed 3 more times after that. Although our property is in the buffer zone this organophosphate managed to be effective in killing off the bees and dragonflies as well as the mosquitos that were in my yard. I say this with confidence because the yard was completely still the morning after the spraying whereas the yard was buzzing with life up to the evening of spraying. It has not been the same since. The B man has a connection with a prof at U of M and next year I would like to see if one of his students would come out and do a study to see if the effects of malathion spraying matches my observations. 2 or 3 bees have recently come back to the yard and I have only spotted the odd dragonfly since. The good news in this is that the Monarchs came back rather quickly and my neighbour said she saw a handful of them in her backyard 2 weeks after the spraying. Oh yes, but this post is about bees.
There is a good book for those of us who know not much about them. It is called A World without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum. It discusses the role of bees in a colony ( very cool) as well as the troubles that are facing them. Basically honeybees are disappearing across the globe and the book has many theories as to the reason why. We are dependent on the honey bee. Apparently one on three mouthfuls that the average person eats has been pollinated by them. whoa! Even cotton is dependent on the honeybee! As Albert Einstein is reported to have said "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left". I'm not about to start my own honeybee colony in the backyard (ok so I did think about it for awhile) or anything but next year I will add a few more bee promoting plants to the ones that we already have in hope that the bees will come again.