Thursday, March 08, 2007

Where have all the bees gone?

Last night while cleaning up the kitchen I listened to Living on Earth, a weekly environmental news program on NPR. I'd heard about the bees disappearing on multiple news programs, and I'd read this article about it in the NY Times. The NY Times article was in the Business section of all places, so it really didn't discuss the environmental impacts of the disappearance or the 'whys' and 'hows' of the whole thing. The Living On Earth segment seemed to get to the bottom of the problem that scientists are calling "Colony Collapse Disorder." I recommend that you read the transcript or listen to the segment, provided in both RealAudio and mp3 format.

One of the theories researches have is that a certain insecticide is causing the bees to become disoriented and forget their way home. This particular insecticide has already been banned in Europe because of its affect on bees and other pollinators, so I don't understand why the United States continues to allow it to be used.

The scientist interviewed in the Living On Earth segment mentions that Albert Einstein asserted that if the bee disappeared off the face of the globe, then man would cetainly follow within four years.

My dad kept honeybees, three or four hives. After he died my grandmother started taking care of them. I haven't had a chance to talk to my granny about the bees yet, but I wonder how they are doing. When I was married in 2004, our wedding favors were little honey pots, filled by my father with his tasty homemade honey.

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