Did you know the honey bees are disappearing? Biologists are still unsure of the exact cause, but in recent years populations of bees have dropped as much as 70% due to this problem now called colony collapse disorder (CCD). If we lose the honey bee, we don’t just lose honey (although that in itself would be terrible!) we lose all the crops that rely on the bee for pollination. (About 1/3 of our food!)
What can you do to save the honey bee???
- Avoid leading a chemical-laden life. Chemicals are believed to be a major cause of CCD. During their daily pollination rounds, honeybees pick up the chemical pesticides and herbicides that are so widely used in modern industrial agriculture. Commercial bee-hives also directly spray the beehives to keep destructive mites away. Try and make your life as chemical-free as you can and encourage others to do the same. Consider what foods you are eating, what personal products you use and use compost or compost tea instead of chemical fertilizers for lawn/garden care.
- Eat good, real foods! Another leading suspect of CCD is genetically modified crops, which may generate pollen with compromised nutritional value. Organic bee colonies, where chemicals and genetically modified crops are avoided, are not experiencing the same kind of catastrophic collapses. So if you buy honey, buy organic or local (which can also help you ward off allergies) instead of honey from large corporations. The flavor alone is worth the extra cost!
- Take a break from your phone and play in nature without technology. Growing numbers of cell-phone users and wireless communication towers have led to an increase in atmospheric electromagnetic radiation which may interfere with bees’ ability to navigate. One German study found that bees would not return to their hives when mobile phones were placed nearby.
- Lower your overall environmental impact and encourage others to do the same. Global warming may amplify the growth rates of pathogens such as the mites, viruses and fungi that are known to hurt bee colonies. Turn off your lights, ride bikes, and question your consumption!
- Tell the EPA and USDA to ban Bayer’s insecticide imidacloprid! (Which could be a major cause of CCD) To write your senators go to: http://www.capwiz.com/grassrootsnetroots/mailapp/
- Learn more! Research the problem and watch: http://www.vanishingbees.com/trailer/
~ Kate Shavel
Honey At The Table
It fills you with the soft
essence of vanished flowers, it becomes
a trickle sharp as a hair that you follow
from the honey pot over the table
and out the door and over the ground,
and all the while it thickens,
grows deeper and wilder, edged
with pine boughs and wet boulders,
pawprints of bobcat and bear, until
deep in the forest you
shuffle up some tree, you rip the bark,
you float into and swallow the dripping combs,
bits of the tree, crushed bees – – – a taste
composed of everything lost, in which everything lost is found.