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A World Without Bees
7 years ago
| Being Green

Book review: A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian MCCallum (Published by Guardian Books)

From London to Los Angeles, from Slovenia to Taiwan, honeybees are dying. In America, one in three hives was left lifeless at the beginning of 2008; in France, the death rate might be 60%. In Britain, a government minister warns that honeybees could be extinct within a decade.

If or when the world loses its black-and-yellow workers, agriculture will collapse. Civilization itself might be the next victim. A third of all we eat, and much of what we wear, relies on pollination by honeybees.

What is behind this catastrophe? Viruses, parasites, pesticides and climate change have all been blamed. Some accuse beekeepers themselves of working their charges to death by shipping their hives thousands of miles every year to different monoculture sites, all in the name of agribusiness profits. In this fascinating book, two keen amateur apiarists investigate the claims and counterclaims with the help of scientists and beekeepers in Europe, America and beyond. And they ask the question that will soon be on everyone's lips: is there any possible way of saving the honeybees - and with them, the world as we know it?

7 years ago

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left" - Albert Einstein 

7 years ago

Thank you John for this very good information which I have been aware of for a long time.

We do need to take action; follow the links above as they are very informative.

The main thing we can do is eat organic and not use pesticides.

7 years ago

I just wonder how much the massive number of bee deaths is going to possibly spur on / sanction the further integration of GMF onto our grocers' shelves..?? =/

7 years ago

In the UK alone, a fifth of bees died last winter - Re:act magazine  (April 2010)

I love bees
7 years ago
Thanks for the informative postings.  I try to educate people when they see bees and panic because they think they're all Africanized bees.
I live in an HOA and I have asked them when they see hives to call a beekeeper, not an exterminator. 
I am going to the next HOA meeting as we have a new board and ask them to please do the same.
7 years ago

Thanks for this article. I am involved in a community project in Morocco and they are trying to start beekeeping projects there. WIll convince my parents to get a bee house, I live in a rented apartment with no garden

Disaster looms as US bees take another massive hit
7 years ago

The world faces a future with little meat and no cotton because of a catastrophic collapse in bee colonies, experts warned yesterday.

Many vital crops are dependent on pollination by honeybees, but latest figures show a third failed to survive the winter in the US.

More than three million colonies in America and billions of bees worldwide have died since 2006...

Bees are a critical part of the food chain, pollinating most fruit and vegetables, alfalfa for cattle feed, nuts and cotton.

Now some scientists fear bees are heading for extinction.

Bernard Vallet, of the World Organisation for Animal Health, said: "Bees contribute to global food security and their extinction would represent biological disaster" - Daily Mail  3/5/2010

7 years ago

Keep up withe the news from the BBCT

7 years ago

Thank you Polly; good site.

Here is a quote on it:

"Bumblebees are key factors in our wildlife. If they disappear many of our plants will not bear fruit. I am proud to be associated with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust"

~ Sir David Attenborough OM CH FRS. April 2009

6 years ago

This is such an important subject and was in the archives. I just pinned it.

A world without bees is a complete disastor.

Another bad year for honeybees in the US

May 4th, 2010

So now we know. This year’s honeybee losses in the US are 33.8% - up from 29% last year and slightly down on the 36% reported in 2007/08. But it means the fourth year of unsustainable losses. The figures are from the latest Apiary Inspectors of America survey in conjuction with the Uunited States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)’s Agricultural Research Service

For more:

6 years ago

I am encouraging a friend in the country to get some behives next summer or even better to get a bee keeper to put some on his land.

6 years ago

There has been an alarming 96% decline in the numbers of some bumblebee species

5 years ago

In case you forgot this is still happening.

I thought the bees
5 years ago

were getting better, no bees, no pollination, no flowers, vegies, and fruits= no life. the state of Israel was working on this, three years ago. So sad to hear that things are no better. THIS IS OUR FAULT

5 years ago

Sad and could end up being disastorous for all that are living. 

I am encouraging friends with homes in the country to get bee farmers to use their place for hives.

5 years ago

the human race gets exactly its due.Unfortunately,the innocent ones are caught in the maelstrom...

5 years ago

It is amazing how few bees I see these days, I remember as a child there were so many.

5 years ago

Study links pestcide use with dramatic decline in queen bee numbers...

5 years ago

so pleased I found this topic. I live in australia and here too there seems to be a decline in bee numbers. I grow borders of plants such as rosemary and dwarf catmint around garden beds to attract bees and this seems to work well.

5 years ago

Great topic. 
I was very inspired by the bee quote attributed to Einstein but I learn (from wiki) that this was not accurate.?
Diana will be posting an article this week on saving the bees.

10 Ways to Save the Bees
5 years ago

10 Ways to Save the Bees

Around the world the bees are dying. Discover why, how you can help, and a bit of bee trivia.

If this trend continues 1/3 of our food crops will be in danger of disappearing, including powerfoods many of us love…

  • apples, peaches, pears
  • blueberry, raspberry, blackberry
  • almonds, Brazil nuts
  • pumpkins – all squashes
  • avocado
  • mango, star fruit
  • cocoa…yes chocolate!

These foods are dependent upon bees to pollinate and so, while bees are making delicious honey with all its health benefits, they are also helping the whole world.

10 Ways to Save the Bees Read more:

4 years ago

Just the other day I saw my neighbour of 3 so afraid of bees. I told him as long as he did not disturb them he had nothing to fear; they would not sting him. I told him how good they were cause they make honey. When his mother came out I said to her: "bees are good aren't they?" She replied: "NO they are very bad!!!" At which point my friend started to tell her that we would not have any fruits and vegetables if we had no bees.

4 years ago

Where I live I am seeing lots of bees on my flowers. I wonder if they are increasing at all. Has anyone have an update on this?

2 years ago

Since this subject was first published there has been much more research how we are destroying the bees.

This is one post I recently came  across but there will be hundreds.

Thanks to a four-year review of 800 studies, the science is now clear. Neonicotinoid pesticides kill bees. And butterflies, birds and worms. They may even harm humans. Help us ban neonics in Canada. Take two minutes to send a note to federal and provincial politicians. Together we can #SAVEtheBEES. TAKE ACTION NOW:

2 years ago

I am happy every time I see a bee. They seem to like the wild clovers that grow in my yard. Sadly I see way less bees than I did during my childhood. Be thankful to the bees for honey and a lot of foods we eat. There is a link on how to create a bee friendly garden

Hail the bees and Blessed Bee

2 years ago

Randy, signed and very glad to do so.  I hope attention is paid to the petition and action taken.

This year our drought continues so deeply that I have no flowers in the yard, we didn't plant a garden (our stored water is used up for the first time in 29 years), and the natural desert bloom was scant this Spring.  We do seem to have fewer bees, and fewer wasps, too, but I'm hoping they've merely moved to another area, maybe into Tucson, where I still see lots of yards with lots of flowers, blooming shrubs and trees.


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