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We're Better at Tracking the Deaths of Bees Than People Who Die in Police Custody


We're Better at Tracking the Deaths of Bees Than People Who Die in Police Custody

Shawn Musgrave

Every year, a certain number of bees die. And every year, a certain number of people die while in police custody. We have a solid figure for one of these death tolls.

At present, it’s not the human body count.


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Minimizing the deaths of bees to magnify the death of people in police custody is not a good strategy.

Find one that doesn’t help Monsanto.


While ii is terrible that anyone is injured or killed by the police of our country or while in their custody making a rock and horse comparison between the poorly kept statistics of how many humans are killed the statistics kept on commercial bee colonies is rather misleading even if it was an honest comparison. Unfortunately the bee studies quoted in Shawn’s article are not those studying individual bee deaths.

The studies that Shawn references are voluntary surveys of bee colony losses.

As you probably know a honey bee colony is what is known as a honey bee hive. A living organization of bees that can widely vary in number of individual worker bees and drones from tens of thousands of individual workers (the rule of thumb difference between the number of workers to drones is in the neighborhood of ten workers to one drone though that number can vary depending on the season and health of the colony.) while a weak hive or a recent swarm or for that matter a nuc (a hive artificially started by humans) can be as small as a few hundred mostly workers.

In other words, what is studied is not individual bees but something more on the scale of cities or for that matter police departments and then the statistics are voluntary. Bee keepers, whether they keep one or two colonies in their back yard or whether they are huge corporations keeping tens of thousands of colonies of various sizes are not required by law to file reports of colony deaths but instead of asked to submit statistics something like police departments they might or might not do.

Yes, homicides by law enforcement agencies is reprehensible. Yes we should have accurate and mandatory statistics that track deaths of individuals by police and those in state custody. We don’t, however need to make a faulty
rock and horse comparison between that and an voluntary system that attempts to track commercial and hobby insect colony deaths to show just how bad it is.