Saturday, May 31, 2014
The future without bees is coming ever closer.
When I wrote When Bees Die, I decided to set it some fifteen years in the future. Far enough away that governments and people would have become smarter and wiser about the environment and the importance it exerts on our very existence. Or so I thought. This article on Salon, How to save the World's Bees Before it's Too Late, describes the situation as becoming worse, not better. At least a few suggestions are given for what individuals can do to make a difference.
It doesn't seem that industry and government takes the situation seriously. It's ironic that millions are spent producing and supply pesticides that end up destroying the small creatures that make the crops possible in the first place. The article describes how
. . . "the European Union . . . recently banned, for two years, three particular types of neonicotinoids, a type of insecticide that’s chemically related to nicotine. It’s a nerve toxin that affects the brain of the bee and any other insect. It’s really toxic to insects, much more than almost anything else we’ve invented before. To illustrate that, a fifth of a teaspoon is enough to kill 250 million bees. In the U.K., which is a pretty small area, we have to buy 80 tons of these chemicals every year — the U.S. figure is much, much higher. So we’re putting tons and tons of stuff into the land which is persistent, it’s systemic, it gets into plants, it gets into pollen and nectar."
I'm interested to regularly read articles about the importance of bees and the threats they are under, in addition to the benefits they provide humanity. Keeping this important issue at the forefront of our attention makes it more likely that something positive will be done. This article in the Huffington Post describes how bees are used to 'sniff out' landmines enabling them to be safely disabled. They are truly an amazing insect. Again, I must wonder why we are not doing more to protect this valuable creature.