Sunday 22 June 2014

So Long and Thanks For All the Pollen!

The Bees are dying and the causes are still in debate.  As if it matters at this point.  We’re doing the same thing with Climate Change and pollution, still discussing or denying while action of any kind is imminently imperative.  But unlike Climate Change, there is no argument who is to blame for this loss of a crucial spoke in the food source wheel.  Do we understand completely just how wobbly and unsteady that wheel will be without that spoke … that group of species we call pollinators?  No clue at all.  And it’s already happening right here at home.  Paintbrushes are being purchased and used for pollinating apple orchards; instead of being used to paint them.

From what I have read, Bee keepers were noticing bees coming back to the hives in early spring carrying pollen.  Yet the season was too early for that to naturally happen.  Upon further inspection, it’s been confirmed that what was sticking to their furry legs and baskets wasn’t pollen at all, but pesticide residue.  Like a modern-day Trojan horse, the pollinators are unknowingly bringing the enemy into their hives and nests.  The experts and the bee-keepers are in some agreement that a common pesticide ingredient called Neonicotinoids is the culprit.  And then there is a subsequent viral infection.  Or is it the infection that makes them more susceptible to the pesticide?  I don’t care.  I really don’t.  What I care about is that there are actions we can take now that would benefit all of the pollinators and yet we’re allowing Capitalism to stop us. 

Profitability, the sacred economy, and our obsession with ‘weed-free’ landscapes lets us justify the sale of pesticides and fertilizers that are most definitely infecting the water table, sterilizing soils, and off-setting millions of balancing ecosystems every single day.  Whatever will Capitalism do when there is nothing naturally-grown for it to sell us?  It’s like they don’t realize that the soil AND the sun--two of the three components for growth—are free!  I can’t wait until they realize how much more expensive a shipment of Apples will be when they have to grow them hydroponically and pay for the photosynthesis!  I mean, when the soil is officially sterilized of all living organisms, nothing will grow in it.  And there is no spray Mons@nto can create that will give it that spark known as the “God-particle” that instigates germination.  Like Austin Powers’ mojo … it’s an unexplainable force that allows a seed to sprout.  We humans believe we can control that.  So easy to say while it’s happening.  But when it’s gone, what will we do?  It is then that we will see how little gold truly means in the scope of life?

In so many ways we've abused this creature, myself most definitely included.  I've always been a tree-hugging nature-lover, but I've allowed others to influence my actions at times where it concerns our insects.  We demonize them.  We swat at them.  We share recipes of natural bee killers.  That seems like such an oxymoron to me now.

 Tell me, if you could speak "Bee", what would you say to they who remain hanging by a thread?  Are you with me at the point where you too will gladly implore them to stay? I would sing Van Morrison’s “Baby please don’t go … baby please don’t go-o” over and over to them.

If it were you running the show, would you beg them to stay living?  I would, and it would go something like this: 

“Dear Pollinators:  I hereby promise to invite you to all of the picnics this summer.  I’ll bring you homemade jelly too!  No longer will you be ostracized simply because people misunderstand you.  I’ll start telling them about you more.  I’ll make them see in you what I see in you.  We’ll make that buzzing sound comforting and good!  They won’t get so nervous when you come around.  I know you can smell their fear- I know those pheromones freak you out.  We can do this!  I know we can.  Bees … please don’t go!

I’ll leave room for you in the shed and in any abandoned buildings, feel free to set up camp.  I‘ll speak with my municipal leaders about controlling harmful pesticide use.  Grassroots all the way!  I know I’m not alone, we can change pesticide laws.  Just hold on guys, give us a chance, bees … please don’t go!

I’ll even talk to the Bee-keepers about the supplemental feed packs they give you.  You deserve Organic all the way!  What good is supplemental Bee feeding, if we’re feeding you GMO crap?  I will implore our Government to subsidize Bee-keeping and all of the products they use.  There are things we can do to help you.  We can do this.  I love you so … Bees … please don’t go.

I’m going to make Pure Raw Honey the newest new black.  I’ll pull out all of the info, all of the recipes, all of the anecdotal cures.  I’ll take selfies of me doing honey facials … facials all around!  I’ll tell virtual strangers about the Honey you make from the Tea Tree flower … I hear that honey kills MRSA!  Bees … I’ll do more I will … just please bees … please don’t go!

I’ll plant flowers on my balcony so you can stop by.  Basil flowers just for you!  I’ll tell my friends to make bee boxes and bee baths too!  We can co-exist.  We just need time.  I know we can adapt.  Bees … please don’t go!”

I’d tell them all of this and more.  Whatever more I could find.  I’d broadcast it in every country.  No Pollinator left behind.  No worker Bee forgotten.  No Queen without a team.

 Yet I know that some will survive and many will most definitely adapt.  Their sting will likely kill us and their honey will be like battery acid.  It’s a crazy thing what happens to nature when it’s pushed to the edge of existence.  Adaptation is not always pretty.  I fear this one will be no different.

You see, who done it … doesn’t matter.  We just need to act on it now.  Please stop using harmful pesticides on your lawns.  Get to know bee-friendly flowering weeds and plant them wherever you can.  

Canada’s own David Suzuki has some suggestions here in this link.

We can do this people.  I know we can.  Look him in the eye ... can the Pollinators count on you?

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