Friday, September 28, 2012

Vanishing of the Bees

     The movie "Vanishing of the Bees" was made in 2007, a year after commercial beekeepers Dave Hackenberg and Dave Mendes reported a phenomena that was later to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder.  Little has changed in the five years since the making of this movie.  Last winter losses were down by 5% in North America but short term statistics reveal little.  Better results from a single winter could simply be weather related.  There has been no single identification of the problem or a solution.  Since 2007 Scientists have discovered that Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus is present in most hives that have succumbed to Colony Collapse Disorder but that it is not the only problem.  Also, prior to the onset of CCD neonicotinoid pesticides became the popular choice for farmers and since have been identified as one of the possible causes of CCD.  Most believe it is a combination of problems such as viruses, pests (Varroa), reduced genetic diversification and systemic neonicotinoid pesticides.  I believe that bees are the "Canary in the Coal Mine" for planet earth and that their weak immune system makes them the prime indicator species for major problems such as industrial agriculture (artificial chemical dependant monoculture) and human biological interference (Increasing the size of honey bees 100 years ago for greater honey yield and the worldwide spread of the varroa mite).  A step in the right direction would be a change in our agricultural system that would reduce our dependencies on chemicals and monoculture agriculture and return us to a more natural, healthy state.  Please support your local, organic farmer and beekeeper.  To purchase the movie go to Vanishing of the Bees .

*Vanishing of the Bees Study Guide for teachers here.


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