A Buzzing Concern
I've been up this morning, reading the news.
(Gasp! Choke! She's been doing what??)
Calm down folks. Yes, it's true that normally I avoid the news like the plague; the bits I get from my Yahoo! home page are generally enough to depress me the whole day. But this morning I clicked on my IE icon and a little blurb had me clicking, and clicking, and clicking some more.
The news? That the honeybees are dying. By the millions. And as yet, there are no answers.
I grew up on an apple farm. My dad also kept bees--it made sense. If you wanted a good crop, you kept a steady source of pollination nearby. I grew up with a healthy respect for the critters. I knew to steer clear of the hives when it was boiling hot and the bees were agitated, I helped my dad harvest the honeycombs and even placed a new queen in a hive once. I learned to make honey, learned to operate an extractor, learned to use a hot knife without burning my hands or wrecking the comb. I learned enough about bees in my childhood to truly appreciate what they give to the world, just by doing what they do day in and day out.
And this morning, reading about how in the US alone we've lost about 1/4 of our bee population due to what they're calling Colony Collapse, reading about the possible reasons (everything from infection to genetically altered crops to cell phone radiation), reading about the dire predictions of rising food prices--again--this year, I'm filled with a real sense of dread and loss.
I mean, think about it a minute. Because of honeybees, we enjoy fresh fruit, flowers, nuts, etc... Honeybees are responsible for at least 1/3 of the world's food supply. They aren't doing anything spectacular, just buzzing around from plant to plant, flower to flower, drinking here, leaving pollen there, trying to figure out why that two-legged creature is jumping and flailing in its presence. But their 'nothing spectacular' is guaranteeing life and productivity for us. If science can't get an answer, if the bees continue to die, it could turn catastrophic. Life as we know it could do a serious one-eighty.
I don't have any great pearls of wisdom to end this blog with. I don't have any answers. But I know this year I'll be watching my garden grow a little more closely. And I'll be counting the bees.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
A Buzzing Concern
Posted by StarvingWriteNow at 4/18/2007 06:22:00 AM