Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine? Why Massive Bee Dieoffs May Be a Warning About Our Own Health | | AlterNet

17 Feb

A few years ago bees starting dieing in large numbers, large enough that there are serious doubts about agriculture, as many food plants (and others) are pollinated by bees. We don’t know what’s going on, but we keep messing with the environment anyway.

Hackenberg isn’t doing as poorly as he was several years ago, but he attributes that to feeding the bees protein and supplements like brewers yeast and eggs and “kicking them in the pants with all kinds of nutrition because what they are gathering out there in nature is not what it’s supposed to be.” Hackenberg says, “We — America or the world — has messed up the bees’ diet. Not only the bees’ diet but everyone else’s diet. We just don’t have the nutrition that’s out there in the food and bees are telling us this because what they are bringing home — they can’t make it anymore. We’re supplementing them… and the bees are eating it… But go back 10-15 years ago, we didn’t need this stuff.”

A key question is whether the problem is simply a laundry list of unrelated factors (i.e. pesticides, disease, parasites, etc.) or whether those factors interact synergistically to kill bees.

Are we as vulnerable as our bees?

Beekeepers see their bees as the canaries in the coal mine. All living beings are exposed to the cocktail of pesticides and other chemicals in our midst, each in sub-lethal doses but all mixing together and interacting in our bodies. Many Americans, like bees used to pollinate monocultures, do not eat very healthy or nutritious diets, and our stressful and sedentary lifestyles put us at even more risk of succumbing to illness. Are the bees giving us a message we should be heeding?

via Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine? Why Massive Bee Dieoffs May Be a Warning About Our Own Health | | AlterNet.

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