Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats

OpEdNews Op Eds

Please Lord, not the bees

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 4 of 4 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

Bumblebees are, however, doing well in one region, Neath Port Talbot, which was declared the bumblebee capital of Wales in 2004 after experts found 15 different species thriving there. This is almost certainly because the local council allows roadside verges to become overgrown with “weeds” and wildflowers. (20)

Surprise — it’s an ecosystem thing. As with honeybees and CCD, the root of the bumblebee problem lies in our modern rationalist drive toward endlessly ordering the world around us. The long-term solution is a return to a more natural ecological order. This interpretation needs to be conveyed when mainstream media tell the CCD story.

Of course, with all the parasites, pathogens, pesticides and transit to stress out our hardworking honey bees, they are in peril. Even if some silver bullet saves us from CCD, it is more than obvious that we need to pay more respect to bees, and to nature. This truth may be generalized to most facets of our agricultural existence; the bees are just a warning. Wherever you look, pests are getting stronger as the life forms we depend on get weaker. Adding more chemicals isn’t going to help for much longer.

Beekeepers are a busy and underpaid lot, and we should pay more heed to their services. Even now, with the vanishing bee story headlining on major networks, government players appear to have their eyes elsewhere. “There used to be a lot more regulation than there is today,” says Arizona beekeeper Victor Kaur. “People import bees and bring new diseases into the country. One might be colony collapse disorder.” (30)

“The bees are dying, and I think people are to blame,” is how Kaur puts it simply. “Bee keeping is much more labor intensive now than it was 15 years ago. It’s a dying profession,” he eulogizes. “The average age of a beekeeper is 62, and there are only a couple of thousand of us left. There are only about 2.5 million hives left. …It’s too much work.” (30)

If CCD proves to be more than a one-time seasonal fluke, the job of beekeeping just got a lot harder. Pollination can’t be outsourced, although it isn’t too difficult to imagine fields full of exploited underclass laborers pollinating crops by Q-tip. Let’s hope we never have to go there.

Perhaps a sensible reaction to the information summarized in this short article would be to write a letter to your government leaders. Insist that they immediately allocate significant funding to combat CCD using a variety of approaches. This must include ecological approaches such as wildflower renewal. Furthermore, insist that our few remaining beekeepers be given the support they deserve and desperately need at this important juncture. Humanity cannot afford to ignore this battle. It’s not science; it’s common sense.


FAQ’s Colony Collapse Disorder (PDF), Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium, CCD Working Group
See also:
Alarm sounded over US honey bee die-off
Wikinews, February 10, 2007
Vanishing bees threaten US crops
By Matt Wells, March 11, 2007
Mystery Ailment Strikes Honeybees
By Genaro C. Armas, Associated Press, February 11, 2007
Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross, April 15, 2007
Thread on dubious Einstein quote.
Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists
Reuters, April 22, 2007
Enemies of Bees
by Michael Bush
Scientists Identify Pathogens That May Be Causing Global Honey-Bee Deaths
Source: Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, April 26, 2007
Bees Wiped Out by Cascade of Deadly Events
By Robert Roy Britt, May 17, 2005
Bee Mites Suppress Bee Immunity, Open Door For Viruses And Bacteria
Source: Penn State, May 18, 2005
Labchuk’s email is reproduced in comments section; authorship was confirmed by this writer
Bush Bees Website
Regional Farm Bill field hearing: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, July 21, 2006
Honey bee die-off alarms beekeepers, crop growers and researchers
Penn State press release Jan 29, 2007
Colony collapse disorder is reducing U.S. bee population
By Zena McFadden, Medill News Service, April 26, 2007
Honey Bees and Bee Products as Monitors of the Environmental Contamination (PDF)
Porrini et al., University of Bologna,
In Apiacta, the journal of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations
( )
Taiwan Is Latest Country Stung by Vanishing Honey Bees
By Jessica Berman, VOA News, April 27, 2007
Secret of bumblebee capital
BBC, 25 May, 2004
Research Upsetting Some Notions About Honey Bees
Source: Texas A&M University – Agricultural Communications, December 29, 2006
Bid to halt bumblebee decline
BBC, April 16, 2007
UK’s bumblebees face extinction
By Lester Haines
In Depth Insects: The plight of the honeybee
CBC News Online, Updated April 12, 2007
Why are Niagara’s bees dying?
By Dana Flavelle, Toronto Star, April 17, 2007
Bee mite found on Oahu
Apr 12, 2007 by Katherine Fisher, Hawaii Health
Experts may have found what’s bugging the bees
By Jia-Rui Chong and Thomas H. Maugh II, LA Times, April 26, 2007
Senator Clinton Calls on USDA to Respond
All American Patriots, April 20, 2007
Taiwan mislays millions of honeybees
By Lester Haines, The Register, April 26, 2007
Collapsing colonies
By Joanne C. Twaddell, The Daily Courier, April 23, 2007
A Comparison of Russian and Italian Honey Bees (PDF)
By David R. Tarpy, NC State University, and Jeffrey Lee, Beekeeper, Mebane NC
Tiers bees avoid deadly disease
By Salle E. Richards, Elmira Star-Gazette, April 3, 2007

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4


Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Allocate emergency funding for honey bee crisis

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Peter Dearman is a Canadian teaching English and living in Taiwan. He is concerned about the generally high level of bad things happening in the world today, especially on the matters of depleted uranium, repression in Burma, stolen elections, organ (more...)
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Please Lord, not the bees

Why isn't sepak takraw an Olympic event?

This Revolution Has Not Been Televised -- " Not Yet

Burma coverage teaches us Goebbels' Corollary

Harvesting the Olympics

Icelandic woman chained on arrival at JFK for 1995 overstay


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
7 people are discussing this page, with 10 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I read on the net that "organic colonies"... by joed on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 8:57:39 AM
To begin, here is a link to an essay by Sharon Lab... by Peter Dearman on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 10:42:05 AM
Here is something about previous similar cases. Th... by Peter Dearman on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 2:24:11 PM
What is happening to bees is also happening to the... by billmanning on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 11:50:30 AM
beealert... by Blue Pilgrim on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 3:05:37 PM
1. Has anyone thought of importing mite-resistant ... by JackN on Friday, May 4, 2007 at 8:27:53 PM
Peter one of my graduate degrees is in Cultural an... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 5:53:20 AM
IT TOOK ME SEVERAL TRIES BUT THE HTML KEPT VEXING ... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 6:31:49 AM
hi peter, just wanted to let you know, your articl... by k kelly on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 8:26:51 AM
Thanks for telling me that. I also managed to land... by Peter Dearman on Saturday, May 5, 2007 at 8:34:37 AM