Saturday, May 19, 2007

World Without Bees? Amen

Don't know if folks are aware (I wasn't, until recently) that there's a whole industry built around transporting colonies of bees thousands of miles to pollinate cherries, pears, apples, almonds and more. Seeing as life as we know it depends on bees, as I've heard about the massive die-offs, I've wondered: is this true around the world? What about in non-commercial hives? Well, here's part of the answer.

As previously reported in Organic Bytes (Issue #104), beekeepers in 24 states are experiencing record losses of honeybees. Some states have reported up to 70% disappearances of commercial bee populations. Researchers are struggling to find the causes of this mysterious collapse. A crucial element of this story, missing from reports in the mainstream media, is the fact that organic beekeepers across North America are not experiencing colony collapses. The millions of dying bees are hyper-bred varieties whose hives are regularly fumigated with toxic pesticides by conventional beekeepers attempting to ward off mites. In contrast, organic beekeepers avoid pesticides and toxic chemicals and strive to use techniques that closely emulate the ecology of bees in the wild. Researchers are beginning to link the mass deaths of non-organic bees to pesticide exposure, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the common practice of moving conventional bee hives over long distances.
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Kristin Brennan said...

Glad to hear this part of the bee story. As a Springfield beekeeper and one that does so organically, I am happy to know that small scale, natural beekeeping may be safer for bees.

Anonymous said...

You should be ashamed to write such falsities and present them as facts or even theories. None of the claims you have made have any proof, and "organic" (maybe you should research some basics, especially what "organic " means in terms of bees, before you give your uneducated opinion) bee hives are suffering from CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) just as the normal bee hives are. You have contributed to another store of falseness that degrades the internet.

Michaelann Bewsee said...

Hey, I quoted my sources; whether you find them reputable or not is another question. What are YOUR sources that organic bees are also experiencing collapse?