Disappearing bees update and stuff

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I have been asked by a few people why in the world I give up my Saturdays to spend 6 to 8 hours writing a tip for my readers for free. "Why not charge for your info?" I get asked. "Make it a paid subscription service charging a buck a tip or something. I'd pay you for your tips.” Well, that’s very kind, and I admit I have considered it. But I believe that even if the fee were nominal, readership would decline drastically, and my goal is to get this information out to as many people as possible. (If you want to pay me something, buy a book from Amazon on my site, or go through the Amazon link at the bottom of the left sidebar of my home page when you are doing your Amazon purchases. I get a tiny percentage of the price.) I want to provide info that will help everyone see the link between our health and the health of the planet. If enough of us return to following the laws of nature, we can probably save our Earth. And I admit, I am quite worried about our Earth. I feel a strong sense of urgency that we need to change how we live on a massive scale now, or my nieces and nephews, and all kids of today will have it pretty tough by the time they hit their 40s and 50s. And I wonder what kind of a life their kids will have. There isn’t much time left for us to turn this all around, and I think it is the grass-roots, the masses that have to force the companies and the governments to change by choosing carefully what we buy.

What brought that rant on?? I saw a documentary on PBS this week about the bees that are disappearing all over the world. The scientists are figuring that if the current rate of disappearance continues, the bees will be completely gone by 2035! This means that all vegetables and fruit as well as the grasses that the cows and other ruminants eat will have to be pollinated another way or disappear. The only plants that won’t be affected will be those that are wind pollinated, the grains, leaving us only grains and seafood to eat. Unfortunately much of our seafood is becoming more and more toxic due to high mercury levels. And grains alone do not a healthy diet make!  Obviously, we will attempt to do the job of the bees and find another way to pollinate the plants, but needless to say, that endeavor will be extraordinarily expensive, so vegetable, fruit, meat, eggs and dairy prices will go through the roof. Many complain that organic food today is expensive, but compared to what food prices will be if we have to resort to hand pollination … Better to do what is necessary to resolve the problem with the unpaid labour force – the bees.

According to this PBS program, the scientists have dismissed the electomagnetic field theory, and have turned their attention to three main theories – pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, mono-nutrition, and viruses.  When looking through the book Basic Guide To Pesticides: Their Characteristics And Hazards, it seems that many pesticides fall under the category of medium to high toxicity for bees.  Bees bring the pesticides back to the colonies, contaminating the colonies and the honey, bee pollen, royal jelly etc.  Just scroll down and look at these lawn-care pesticides and you will see how it isn’t just the bees that are suffering, but also birds and fish due to our ridiculous desire for perfect lawns! If you want to know the effects of different pesticide classes on warm-blooded animals such as humans, click here. So, we can choose to avoid using such products and refuse to support their use by purchasing food that we know has not been sprayed, by choosing organic or supporting local smaller farms that don’t spray.  Support golf courses that use natural lawn care methods and shun those that don't.

Bees are trucked great distances in order to pollinate crops. They are often brought to big agri-farms that grow only one kind of crop. Another theory on the demise of the bees is that malnutrition occurs because the bees don’t have access to a variety of plants on these huge mono-crop farms. This would weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to sickness. Once again, we can play a role by supporting local, smaller farms that grow a variety of produce on their farms, and not purchasing from the large agri-business type farms whose farming practices are harmful on so many levels. Farmer’s markets, local organic delivery, coop programs etc. are all better places to get good quality food than the country-wide grocery chains that get their food from agri-business for the most part.

The US began importing bees from Australia to replace the bees lost through colony collapse disorder. It is now believed that part of the problem is an AIDs-like virus that came from Australia that is now infecting the North American bees and affecting their immune system. The scientists are working to resolve that issue, and hopefully they will. Most likely it is a combination of many things that have come together to create this catastrophe, and it will probably take a multi-pronged approach to reverse the trend. As individuals, we have a huge role to play through our collective purchasing power. Agri-business won’t get the message that we don’t want to eat their pesticide-laden food unless we stop buying it. So, save the bees by paying a little more for quality real food now from small farms that grow a variety of crops, enjoy the health benefits you and your family gain, and save our children from the possibility of not being able to afford nutritious food at all later should the bees die out.  If you have a back yard and your local laws allow it, becoming a beekeeper can be a fascinating and rewarding hobby that can play an important role in establishing healthy bees in your area.  The bees will compliment any backyard gardening efforts too!

Related Tips
Bee-population collapse, electric fields, and the implications for our health
Choose local and save the world!
Our toxic body burden
Bacteria, soil, the gut, and detoxification
Worm composting to eat your garbage and feed your garden

PBS Nature: Silence of the Bees
Briggs, Shirley, Rachel Carlson Council Basic Guide To Pesticides: Their Characteristics And HazardsTaylor and Francis, Washington D.C., 1992.

Copyright 2007 Vreni Gurd

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