Monday, April 8, 2013

If Bees are Few

Bees are becoming few.  That's a bigger problem for all of us than most might imagine.  Some of us don't even keep honey in our kitchens -- we have all those artificial sweeteners.  Honey is only the by-product of what bees do for us.  Last fall I saw a documentary film about hive collapse, including that almond tree growers in California were so desperate for bees to pollinate their trees they were having truck loads of hives of bees shipped from the East Coast!  Imagine that: 18-wheelers speeding down the thruways piled with softly buzing hives -- hundreds of them, thus millions of bees, all the way across the country.

In the past month I read a short article saying the shortage of bees remains a problem. Some scientists think they found a virus or bacteria that caused hive collapse but the article seemed to say that might not be the whole answer.  Possibly the answer rests in the general ecological collapse and bees (like the disappearing presence of frogs) is an indicator.  An enormous percent of our food - most fruit - needs bees to pollinate -- think about markets with no apples! Think, just think about bees. Practice your revery.

Today's poem is a little one by the wonderful Emily Dickenson who lived before this state of affairs was at all predictable.  How unthinkable that bees might be in short supply!

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
one clover, and a bee.
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
if bees are few.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- yes, bees are in trouble -- but not all bees. There are many pollinators, such as many insects, out there putting in a lot of work to pollinate. The native mason bee also is a great pollinator. The honey bee is not native but that doesn't mean we don't need them. Although, driving honey bees over miles of highway, from coast to coast is ludicrous. Pumping all that CO2 in the air! We seem to be addressing this bee problem in a hysterical fashion. I am glad you brought this issue up for comment. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thank you very much for pointing out all the other pollinators. The blankety-blank media is increasingly in hysteria-mode, fear mongering about little things while ignoring the bigger things like the fuel use and pollutants of trucking bees across the country.