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The Collapse of Honey Bees

The Collapse of Honey Bees

 

Half of all the honey bees on the planet have died in recent years. A startling fact when you consider not only the impact that this has on the food chain and our food supply, but the even deeper metaphor that this represents for our culture. The disappearance of the bees has been named “Colony Collapse Disorder” and one well known bio-dynamic bee keeper featured in the new film by Taggart Siegel, Queen of the Sun, commented that actually the bees are showing us that this disorder is our own.

After watching the film at the recent Bioneers annual conference which offers the most progressive analysis and solution orientation to the global environmental crises we face, I decided to become a bee keeper. Honey bees are one of the few super-organisms on the planet, which is to say that a hive of tens of thousands of bees sacrifice their individual identities to create a bigger whole. The biology of creating beeswax and honey is nothing short of miraculous… Pollination is the tireless and miraculous process in which the natural world reproduces and evolves. The honey bees tireless efforts are literally the erotic glue that produces over 40% of our food supply. There is not a more sacred act of love that exists on this planet, nor one that we more take for granted.

Losing half of all these creatures should be of concern to everyone on the planet. Everyone should want to become a bee keeper, because the world that is left with out them is not sustainable. Not surprisingly, it is our unsustainable agricultural practices driven by corporate profits that has taken us to this precipice. Monoculture farming of tens of thousands of acres and increasingly poisonous insecticides that now act like a nerve gas on bees is responsible for this world wide collapse of the bee population. The chemicals destroy the natural homing instinct of the bees. They go out to forage and cannot find their way back to their hives. Millions of bees are perishing, and hives that are full of food and a queen are deserted.

Corporations are willingly and knowingly destroying the eco-system we live in. Mono culture farms of genetically modified seeds cannot support the eco-systems it needs to flourish, so companies truck in bees from all over the world to do their pollination work for a couple of weeks at a time.  Entire hives die, shrink wrapped in plastic in holding yards. They are given high fructose corn syrup to wake them up, filled with antibiotics that they ingest and pass into their honey. This is how we are becoming immune to many antibiotics. The same process which is creating super pests that adapt to our poisons.

Honey is a singular substance on this planet. It is the nectar of love, the product of capturing light and life that is transformed within the body of a hive. Honey that was discovered over two thousand years old in an Egyptian King’s tomb was still edible. So precious was this substance that for the majority of recorded human life it was never sold, only gifted with love. Honey is so replete with nutrients that it is a rare restorative to most every aspect of health.

The plight of the honeybees is our plight. There could not be a more direct natural metaphor for what we are doing with our love. In much the same way as the bees are lost on their way home, we have also lost our way. Our unwillingness to do the work, to show up and keep our promises to our family and our community is our form of colony collapse. Dedicate yourself to learning how to love more, yourself, your intimates, your enemies is the way home.   Also consider becoming a back yard bee keeper.

Related:
Food Justice and the Occupy Movement
Police Shoot Cows
4 Tips for Bee Keeping

Read more: Do Good, Eco-friendly tips, Environment, Food, Green, Lawns & Gardens, Make a Difference, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, , , ,

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

92 comments

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8:18AM PDT on Jun 14, 2012

Actually, it's not evolution in action. Evolution implies "natural selection". This would be an example of "artificial selection". I.e., we are helping to spur on the extinction of a species artificially. In fact, the extinction rate globally is something akin to 1000% the normal background rate of extinction.

Yup species come and go... and we are helping them go at a far FAR faster rate than is natural. Will the world survive if honey bees are gone? Yup, but it will suck... and since we are speaking selfishly in this "oh well, what's another species extinction?, thread", it will suck *a lot* for us in particular. Unselfishly, it is a huge warning reminder that we really need to evaluate why we are driving so many species to an early demise... eventually... it will be us.

12:04PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Evolution in action. Species come and go but only humanity is too selfish to let go.

12:03PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Evolution in action...species come and go, get over it.

3:16PM PDT on Mar 13, 2012

I live in England where, this year, there has been a TV programme which is encouraging all of us to plant 'bee-friendly' flowers in our gardens and asking our local governments to plant municipal beddings with similar plants. The idea is that if we all do just a little then it will make a big difference. This year I will aim my annual bedding plants toward bees (and butterflies).

1:47PM PST on Jan 26, 2012

Thank you, Wendy!

12:23PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

Thanks for the link to the film's web site. This is another good reason to buy food from local co-ops and farmers. I haven't mowed my yard for the past ten (15) years, having replaced it with
wildflowers and grasses. It is interesting that when sunflowers are grown some of the native honeybees, which are different in appearance from the common honeybee, will spend the night on the sunflower head next to the sepals at the edge of the sunflower head.

3:05PM PST on Dec 9, 2011

This is serious stuff. Tragic, and a sign of the end of our race as well. We need to treat the planet with care and definitive planning. But greed, and corporations that are only looking to cut costs to gain the greatest profits will rule in the end. It does not look good. Wildflowers now have the modified genetic markers in them too, so the birds that eat the seeds will for sure be affected. They have found that cattle and pigs that eat genetically modified corn have deformed offspring, or mucous sacs, etc. I say it is bye bye planet and green. Humans have little hope of learning and working for the good of the whole. So very sad. I grieve for the future.

2:47PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

if humans were so willing to do what is good for the whole world without thought of self reward the world would be a much better place in many ways....just one more reason to love bees...

plant flowers and your own fruit trees, give our natural buddies which sustain the world and increased chance of growth and survival.....

love bees, love trees, love the earth.....they're all tied together, save them and we save humanity, don't save them and we'll all go together at some point in time....

12:22PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Even if you have a tiny yard, you can still put in a few plants that appeal to honeybees. I know from experience. My husband and I transformed a barren, postage-stamp sized suburban lawn into a National Wildlife Federation certified backyard habitat. Anyone can do this and you'll be amazed at all the interesting critters that find their way to the oasis you've created for them. Check out NWF.org and click on "backyard habitat"

12:09PM PST on Nov 20, 2011

We all must try and save these little creatures, they play a huge part in all our lives. I love my garden, and I plant's flower's, etc for the Bee's and other insect's. Garden's seem to be disappearing due to patio's and block paved drives.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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