Over the past several years there's been a steadily growing awareness that a problem exists with our honeybee populations. Although not quite a household term, what has been called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has evoked enough concern that a chorus of observers have suggested in various ways that if honeybees go the way of the dodo bird, so do humans.
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Thanks Allan. Going to pass this along to someone I know who's interested. Excellent exposure of the necessity of bio diversity; Naturally adapted wildflowers blooming at different times of the season sustaining the bee populations. And I have always wondered how bee colonies can survive if their stores of sustenance are continually harvested by humans. Is this what turns bees into killers? Been raided one too many times; now it's jihad. Just kidding - couldn't help myself.
The moral aspects of our treatment of bees aside, everything suggested here about the portable pollinating industry indicates the whole process has become shoddy. Consider everything that would have to change before there was a significant departure from monoculture farming, and it is apparent it would take a truly enlightened civilization to create a healthier ecology. A completely for profit globe is not sustainable. In what direction is there hope? It's hard to see. Perhaps we have to leave the profit game in place (until some utopian future) and let "those" boys be boys and get their jollies by "winning" then take most of it back in taxes to do those things necessary for sustainability for the good of the whole. That means not just us humans, because our health depends on a healthy and diverse global ecology. We treat bees not much different than we do milk cows.
I'm not vegan, but I do understand the moral position they defend. I have not seen any living thing, no matter how small, not struggle to continue, to survive. Life is amazing, all of it, and should not be treated with arrogance by those higher up on the food chain. If the whole modern construct is inherently unhealthy, abusive, and ultimately unsustainable, then it must change or much life will hit a dry patch here on planet earth.
Sadly, in the most recent edition of The Skeptical Inquirer there was an article about "pesticide hysteria" which focused only on the direct toxicology on humans of herbicides (focused on glyphosate), not mentioning anything about bees. Yes, the recognized concern there is about pesticides (mainly neonicotinoids,) but poison is poison, and no doubt herbicides are affecting bees and birds in ways we don't even understand yet. Forget amphibians, their legs are already cooked.
On a slightly different note. I had inadvertently over the last several years provided a perfect nesting place for a community of barn swallows in my uncompleted home rebuild. Last fall, when they had departed for the season I installed windows and a door in the basement blocking their access to the home they'd established the last few years. Had I the time I would have built them an alternate structure within 50ft of the one they lost, but didn't get that done. Now I'm anxiously waiting to see if they'll still come harvest their usual feed from around my home. Some cultures considered it bad luck to disturb swallow nests. Don't believe much in bad luck, but do understand the reason for the belief.
Hello Justaman, glad you liked it and found it useful. Yes, it does seem to me as if our overall approach is the problem here. I do sometimes wonder that if we got rid of CCD, how long would it be until its next incarnation (or the next neonicotinoid)? If we had healthy bees and holistic practices, CCD probably wouldn't be much of a problem, if it even existed at all.