Sunday, May 13, 2007

Where have all the bumbles gone?

In case you haven't noticed, the honey bee population is way down. There is a 30-90% decrease in wild honey bees this year, something that has been years in the making. I've read a bit about it, the causes could be pesticides, bio-engineered crops, development, and even cell phones (the cell phone signals supposedly interfere with the bee's 'navigation' system, making it impossible for them to find their way back to their hives).

Bears everywhere are distraught, as am I!

I wrote a poem about bees. Here it is:

Bees buzz
Buzz those bees
They build their hives in bumble bee trees
They shop from flower to flower, so pretty
Then, fly home to their honeycomb city
Bees buzz
Buzz those bees

I hope the best for these guys, and I will keep up with the research. If it turns out cell phones are killing them, I am getting rid of mine (oh don't take the crack from me!). A cell phone isn't a necessity, but food is, and without bees to pollinate our crops, food might actually become scarce...very scary.

If you want to read more about this, here are a few links to different publications that have written about this. Different opinions on the subject, but they all agree, the bees are dwindling...





Tomorrow sometime, I'll have to pollinate my strawberries by hand (a feather and some patience will do it). Boy, do I miss them bees!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the most likely causes are naturally occuring micro-organisms that parasitically host on bees. The numbers of these are up significantly, largely due to a recent major decrease in pesticide applications to commercial crops due to innovations in IPM and because of the decreased need to use them on bioengineered crops.

The parasites are readily dispersed among bee colonies because of their social nature, lack of well-structured immune systems, and the fact that the breeding of domestic bees for crop production purposes relies solely on a few inbred lines. These lines are inherently more stable, but also more susceptible to the phenomena of colony-collapse when introduced to foreign organsisms.

The good news is that the current decline pales in comparison with other major historic bee colony declines. Short-term, yes your "organically grown" strawberries are probably going to cost you a few cents more per pound. Long-term, the bees will be back as the ones that are chosen by natural selection survive and prosper, and the resulting rebound will produce a succession of many healthy generations of bees.

The point in short is, before we blame the crops themselves, pesticides...or insanely enough even cellphones (which I recommend you keep btw), we should examine this current bee decline in the aspect of uneducated mass-consumerism masquerading as being "environmentally friendly"...it's the most likely culprit.


ps: A tip; use a q-tip to pollinate your strawberries.