Decimation Of The Honey Bees

Is the Apis mellifera the canary in the coal mine that is our environment?

Scientists are not certain what has been wiping out entire colonies of honey bees, it may be something biological or it may be something environmental, as laid out in a story titled Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing in the Los Angeles Times.  This is serious business for agriculture, not because there may be a shortage of honey, but because many crops will not get pollinated.  So something as seemingly as minor and insignificant as an insect going extinct, could have a consequential domino effect.

A lot of people in power with a vested interest in an industrial/economic agenda would like us to bury our heads in the sand in terms of the global warming phenomenon, but maybe they ought to “listen for the canary”, Mother Nature may be trying to give us an important message.

Here are some places you can link to for more information:

Environmental Defense

The Earth Institute

Stop Global Warming

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5 Responses to Decimation Of The Honey Bees

  1. T says:

    Lots of hyperbole, little substance. The media, as usual, has taken a story and run with it in every which direction possible.
    http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mvanishingbees.htm

  2. ms. place says:

    Yes, I covered this topic in my blog as well, including the fungus that is killing off amphibians. 2,000 species are dying off in a mass extinction and no one seems to care. It’s only a frog or salamandar, right? But then, who will be left to eat the insects and keep our world relatively pesticide free?

    I disagree with T. I’ve seen no honeybees in my area this spring, and I live near a river where wild flowers abound. Many bee keepers are alarmed. Yes, we still have honeybees, but entire hives are vanishing in a matter of weeks. This isn’t just a story with little substance. This development COULD lead to dire consequences. I say COULD, because if scientists find out what is killing the bees, we could actually halt the disease or combination of factors that is killing them off.

    I personally think the press isn’t giving these environmental concerns enough coverage.

  3. ms. place says:

    Just curiously, is Straight Dope the only place that validates scientific news stories? It seems to me that Columbia University’s opinions must carry some weight.

    Most of the scientists that are interviewed and quoted say that the situation hasn’t reached a crisis point yet, which is what Straight Dope says. But some warn that this die off could, among all the other indicators in this world, head towards disaster precipitously fast. Yes, bee die offs have happened before. But that was in a kinder, gentler world, when the world’s population wasn’t at 6 billion and poised to reach 9 billion in another 50 years.

    The honey bee is a prolific, indiscriminate pollinator. One honey bee services many variety of plants. And, regarding the safety of humans, a honey bee has a nice even temper as far as bee tempers go. I would hate to see this species die off, which is something that even the folks at Straight Dope admit might happen.

    Any species that dies off and becomes extinct is a tremendous loss to this world. And yes, I find that dire.

  4. Big Fella says:

    We are with you, all the way, ms place.

  5. lynette says:

    i’m with ms. place, this situation is dire. i’ve just read this morning that a new theory is a certain kind of insecticide that uses nicotine. i have long avoided the typical pesticides in my garden, using organics when necessary and generally just allowing nature to take its course, hosing off aphids, picking off squash bugs, mashing slugs. i realize this may be impractical on a grand scale, but perhaps that, too, is a message: small, local, slow food is probably better for us and for humanity than mass scale agriculture.

    the last 5-6 years, i have had to hand-pollinate my squash crops, as there aren’t enough active bees to do the job. my cucumbers are irregularly pollinated and have been for a number of years. it sounds like nothing, but in the cucumber it results in a misshapen, improperly filled-out fruit. i suspect the loss of honeybees would have results we can’t even imagine.

    bees matter and even if they did not do such an important job, why would anyone think it’s acceptable to lose them? and it’s so strange to me that many of the folks who view the environment, the creatures who share this earth with us, are devout christians. i can’t understand the connection between extreme religious beliefs and disregard for the environment. of late, i’ve been hearing of some ministers coming around to the view that we should be good stewards of god’s creation, but that has been a long time coming and may be too little, too late.

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