Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Bee or Not to Bee...

For years now, honeybees have been getting hammered by a mysterious plague that has a name — colony collapse disorder — but no proven cause. New studies are now indicating that pesticides are the probable culprit;  “unprecedented levels” have been found in hives across the U.S. and parts of Canada.

And, in a scandal to rival Wikileaks, leaked documents show that the EPA allowed the continued use of these pesticides, despite warnings by their own scientists.  A sticky situation, indeed.

The loss of the world's honeybee population would be a devastating blow to the viability of our food supply.

A Cornell University study has estimated that honeybees annually pollinate more than $15 - 20 billion worth of seeds and crops in the U.S. “Every third bite we consume in our diet is dependent on a honeybee to pollinate that food,” said Zac Browning, vice president of the American Beekeeping Federation. 

Check out this beautifully done infographic for a visual representation of the issue.

So, what can you do? Well, you can start by getting educated. 

This Sunday, join your fellow bee-concerned citizens at the Haven for a screening of "Queen of the Sun," an in-depth investigation to discover causes and solutions behind the honeybee collapse, featuring such notables as Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva.  Stay for a panel discussion and a honey tasting following the film.

What: Screening of "Queen of the Sun" and panel discussion
When: Sunday, January 23 | 4 - 6:30pm
Where: The Haven at First & Market
How Much: $5 suggested donation; parking validated at the Water Street garage

From the website: Queen of The Sun follows the voices and visions of underrepresented beekeepers, philosophers, and scientists around the world, all struggling for the survival of the bees. While other bee films focus exclusively on commercial beekeepers, this film emphasizes the biodynamic and organic communities who have differing opinions from many commercial beekeepers and are overlooked in other films.

1 comment:

  1. This summer I didn't get many raspberries for lack of bees (and some racoons that got into my raspberry patch!), so we didn't get to enjoy our usual summer fare of red raspberries.

    As I sit here sipping on a cup of coffee I just made on my keurig b70 platinum brewer I wonder if the bees will be back this year?