Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bad News From the Bees

Yahoo posted this story yesterday:

The not so great highlights include:

  • One-third of those surveyed had trouble finding enough hives to pollinate California's blossoming nut trees, which grow the bulk of the world's almonds.

  • "There were a lot of beekeepers scrambling to fill their orders and that implies that mortality was high," said Penn State University bee researcher Dennis vanEngelsdorp, who worked on the USDA snapshot survey.

  • The losses were extreme, three times higher than the previous year.

  • EPA officials said they are aware of problems involving pesticides and bees and the agency is "very seriously concerned."

Among some of the interesting comments to this article:

Einstein said, that from the death of the bees, we had no more than 4 years, until we all died. Thanks Monsanto, for making this verification test possible....3 years, 250 days, and counting...Tick...Tick...Tick...

Interestingly, the following got mostly negative reviews. It's true, though; I don't know why it pissed people off:

European honey bees are an introduced, invasive species responsible for more human deaths every year than snake bites and lightening strikes. It's unfortunate that they have displaced so many North America's native pollinators. Perhaps this will allow those to re-populate and refill their niche.


The good news is that there are bee raising methods that seem to be working, if they are practiced on a small scale. I know of several keepers in NY whose colonies have remained intact through the crisis. it's too early to tell, but let's hope that is still the case. We've really, as a society, got to start rethinking our love affair with the perfect lawn. The pesticide use, runoff and loss of habitat is a major drive behind many ecological ills. If we lose the bees, folks, we are down to hiring people to do hand-pollination. Wonder what that will do to food prices and availability? Anyone with an interest in this topic should research the small-scale beekeeping methods that are working, and modify practices to help preserve them.


YD, sometimes with Samantha and June said...

It is very unfortunate to hear about the bees. It is going to be a problem if we don't have the bees.
I have thought about beekeeping but haven't really done my homework yet, so I will have to read up before getting into it.

Jody M said...

Last year, we bought two native bee habitats in the hopes that it would increase and invite native bees to our garden, but I don't think anyone visited....