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If we lose the bees we starve. Why is a ban incomprehensible? I don't know enough about this, but we haven't synthesised a replacement for the work bees do for us, so surely it's in our interests to do everything we can to protect them.
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Elise Palmer's profile photoBen Rogers's profile photoJoe Delgado's profile photoEloy Sanchez's profile photo
37 comments
 
You say you don't know but are sure we should impose a ban & then study the pesticide?

Oh, look there, a Werewolf ...
 
it's only a 200 000 000 000$ industry that's going down, mainly due to pesticides
so yes, you should ban those insecticides. Even if you can't measure them, they can kill off entire bee populations.
 
dont kill bees kill wasps because bees make honey
 
+Sandy Orenstein yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. I acknowledge that I am not an expert in this field, but those that are have found a very plausible link between these types of pesticides and drops in queen bee production. With the well documented and acknowledged bee Colony Collapse Disorder in the US already affecting crop yields it seems crazy to ignore this. Both the pesticide and agricultural industries go down the pan without the bees - and we starve.
 
i hate bees i wish they just hibernete like bears do
 
+Edward Cochran I don't have Netflix (cancelled that right away) but this is definitely going on my must watch list. Looks like a thoroughly depressing but absolutely fascinating documentary.
 
anyway do kill wasps but bees still need to hibernate
 
i wonder how come bees sting but not us humans
if we could sting then humans bees and wasps could have a sting fight
but if that happend to me then i would most likley win becaue im bigger an i proply wont need my stinger because i could justsit on it
by the way does anyone wanna be friends?
if you do thanks
 
we don't starve cause bees are dead we just have no honey and wax
 
+noah king Bees don't hate you unless you are stupid to them, like trying (or accidentally) to end their life.

The bee problem is two-fold. Systemic pesticides (including the ones that destroy the nervous system), which are pesticides that are produced as a part of the entire life cycle of the plant. That means genetic engineering. The other problem is the monoculture farms, where vast fields of one crop are planted. Bees need variety in order to make better honey.

Originally, the corporations that make these seeds, and provided the studies to the EPA which are the basis for the EPA, said the pesticides wouldn't harm bees. Then came all the colony collapse disorders as bees were traveled to locations for pollination. It was looked into by a few of the larger apiaries. They looked into travel (some of our bees come from Australia to pollinate!), and other things that were possible, but done before.

They then went to Europe to see how they handled it. It was believed at that time it was the pesticides, at which point Europe had already put a hold on the pesticides until further study was done. That's not how the EPA works, as the apiaries have to provide solid evidence and study that the pesticides are the problem in order for the EPA to revisit the corporation-provided studies.

The systemic pesticides don't really kill the bees, it just poisons them. The problem is the honey, which is basically the life blood for bees, as it provides for the new bees being born and cared for. The new worker bees grow up with this pesticide in their system, and becomes pervasive throughout the colony. It then manages its way to the queen, and if their is no heir apparent, then the colony is at major risk for collapse, as when the queen becomes poisoned, her signals become mixed up, and the efficient machine of the bee colony will start to fall apart.
 
+noah king No, we starve. Bees polinate plants, plants grow food. Take away bees and a majority of the crops we grow would die out in a season.
 
Bees do nothing but work their entire lives, and we take honey from them, enjoy the crops thew pollinate, why shouldn't we protect them?

I personally have 3 hives of honey bees at the moment, and would like more. Bees are a necessity.
 
Short sighted profit based thinking that tends to avoid thinking in the long term success of the biosphere while it concentrates on the money. That's why.
 
Actually +noah king, bees don't exactly hibernate. They huddle around their queen in a big mass and "shiver" to keep warm. They live on the honey they made earlier. Pretty awesome for such a tiny creature. Hibernating animals eat a bunch of food and live off the fat that they store in their bodies. +Nicholas Venditti that's really cool! We had a bee hive in the back garden, but sadly there was nothing in it. I think I'd like to learn more about apiculture - it seems so important and has been such an integral part of our history. Hopefully it's not too late and we haven't lost them yet. I had honey on my toast this morning and it was delicious - thank you bees of Western New York...not just for the honey but for the grain that made the bread, and the milk I had in my tea that I had with it that came from cows Wintered on grains.
 
^^ the fuck... sting fight...
 
I'm really glad I shared this article this morning. It's provided much food for thought (pun possibly intended). Thank you all for sharing your experiences and thoughts - I'm really enjoying reading your responses.
 
+Elise Palmer Yes, the documentary is a good watch. Just realize like all documentaries, there is bias. Although, the cause is just.

An no, we won't technically starve from a lack of honeybees, but massive amounts of crops will fail and there will be a technical famine. We will lose almost all fruits, though, and would probably, and stupidly, tap the seed reserve to try and revive the fruits. There will be a lot of scurvy. ;-)
 
+Joseph Delgado I know, so annoying. Do I delete or ignore? Hmm. I'm liking this thread of conversation and think that such irrelevant posts detract from it, so today I shall delete. I know nothing about textiles and am certainly no hiring manager anyway. +S.Jesu S.JESURAJ please stick to the topic, I'm happy to hear your opinion on bee colony collapses and pesticide use.
 
Mark as spam and delete would be the way to go, since well its spam.
 
+Edward Cochran of course, everything with a grain of salt. Yarrgh, we be scurvy dogs! A life without fruit sounds terrible to me, and famine even worse. Especially for something we can so clearly see is a problem with a possible solution. Long-term profits must be more sustainable if we save the bees, how can we be so short-sighted?
 
What would the world be like with out bees of any kind? :C
 
Here in Wisconsin there has been a buzz for several years. They suspected a new virus but could not identify any new pathogens, but the symptoms were disorientation of the bees. Thus an eventual collapse of any effected hive.

While people may pretend its not an issue. People may even say they hate or are allergic to bees. We really cannot live without them. Living with these insects is a very small price to pay to live better. To bad so few really understand that.
 
The problem at the base of the bee/pesticide problem is monocultures. The film "Queen of the Sun" describes the long-distance trucking involved with shipping bees around to pollinate various crops. This naturally stresses out bees, but there is no way to pollinate crops with local bees if millions of acres come into flower at exactly the same time. So small-scale agriculture is actually the solution, since it allows many crops in the same area that come into bloom at varied times, allowing the bees survival for the whole season. The same movie describes the massive importation of bees from Australia, meant to pollinate the California almond crop, which introduced new mites and diseases.

Oddly, the solution of small-scale agriculture that uses human labor instead of petroleum also contributes to the solution of the problems of peak-oil and unemployment due to shipping jobs to cheaper labor markets. If people need jobs and oil is too expensive, then having people grow their own food in small-scale situations is a problem-solver.
 
+Raymond Lulling Yeah, I recall the talk about a virus, or a parasite. The problems with those was the end result. If a virus or parasite takes over, there would be many dead bees, visible to check. With Colony Collapse Disorder, there is a disappearance of the colony. I remain curious as to why there is a disappearance, where they exactly go (die alone off in the forest like animals?), and ultimately, what happens when the end comes.
 
+Charley Underwood Here in Madison, Wisconsin, we just made it legal to keep hives in the city. This is in response to so many having large gardens, or participating ever expanding community gardens. many fear the bees. But then many also carry loaded weapons thanks to the NRA sponsored CC bill. So the bees are the least any one should be concerned over.
 
no sweat, food grade petroleum products (little deathies)
 
+Roland Gee that is amazing and terrifying (if you're a hornet). Here at the University of Rochester our mascot used to be a bee, and a couple of years ago some marketing gurus decided to replace him with a yellow jacket wasp (much to the upset of many), because it would be more intimidating to our sporting opponents - but honestly this display of teamwork is far more impressive. Bring back URBee!
 
+Charley Underwood I absolutely agree with you that small-scale, sustainable, agriculture is the solution to so many of the problems we face. Sadly I think economics and large corporations will never allow that to happen, no matter how loudly we shout. It's terrifying and demoralising. It's the same reason +Sandy Orenstein originally questioned my desire to ban these pesticides, and +Tyrr Vangeel pointed out the size of the industry it will affect. I don't think we should give up. I do think education is key. We should all be raising this issue with our political representatives, whoever and wherever they may be. We all have so much to lose and we owe so much to the humble, not-just-bumble bee.
 
+Roland Gee That is one of the most beautiful survival strategies I have ever seen. Cooking the enemy. Well the enemy would eat them, so why not cook the enemy instead! Then like all good pirates you throw the limy barnacle overboard!

+Elise Palmer It works, but not as well as they might hope. Cities like Madison are embracing a natural curve. Always have. But few do. Even Madison, cannot sustain a full gardening community, but this doesn't stop us from trying. Perhaps something new will evolve out of this? Immigrants have already started the practice of buying small plots of farmland and personally tending them. Heading out of town there are micro plots all over. These plots are used to by the immigrants to grow crops that are sold at the local farmers markets and some of the local grocers as organic, locally grown. The real trouble we have, is simply space, as with any growing city, you can only cram in so much.
 
+Juanita Blau What? Did you just pass gas? Whats your fault? Or are you talking Americas fault? If that's the case then yes, it very well might be. The problem here in Wisconsin is not new, and its had biologists & bee people worried for some time now. But if its pesticides behind it all... That answers a lot of questions.

+Jennifer Isaacs Keeping bees in a city isn't the problem, mind you some cities it is still illegal. What is the problem is the gardens, having enough room so that every one can have a garden. In Capitalist society such luxuries are impossible. The space used by a garden, could be sold or rented for something else. Thus the dirt is a waste of space. This is the way it is in a city. Most of our gardens are along the train tracks, and bike paths.
 
I think +Juanita Blau meant "our fault" as in "us" - the human race. Not some mystery virus or something that's decimating the bees. +Jennifer Isaacs, +Raymond Lulling I love the idea of urban beekeeping. Cities can change and adapt their law if necessary - and they do. I know of several people here in the city of Rochester who now keep urban chickens - which requires permits but can be done. I think the idea that having the room for a garden is a luxury is questionable. I think it's probably true in dense urban areas (NYC, Chicago and the like) but even then there's always rooftops. Here in Rochester many community gardens are situated on vacant plots, and all the local public schools have gardens thanks to the amazing Rochester Roots project. Great care has to be taken in urban areas because of lead paint chips and other contaminants in the soil. We have to redefine what we consider a garden to be. There must be room for the bees in there somewhere too! But even with all the urban warriors fighting for small scale agriculture, it doesn't stop the big guys. Indeed, as much as we lament the existence of the giant agribusiness and the petrochemical fertilisers and pesticides they use, they are a huge component of the economy and they're not going away. They must be educated too or the bees will be gone no matter what we do in our homes and gardens.
 
+Elise Palmer Chicken keeping is a far bigger problem than bees. People fear the bees but they are small, quiet and largely go about their buisness unnoticed. Plus honey bees are small and not aggressive. However chickens can not only raise a stink but also crow at all hours. Neighbors really hate this. I have seen several programs dealing with urban chickens. The trouble with any roof top operation is that you need consent of the landlord and in some places you also need a permit from the city and approval of the fire martial & Zoning commission. Additionally the roof may need to be reenforced to support additional weight and activities it was not previously rated for. Dirt is not light, and if improperly installed a rooftop garden can also rot away the roof itself.

I think the best measure is to make balconies larger and construct roof top spaces specifically for gardening environments. Some one with real entrepenurial sprit could also craft a garden space over the buildings themselves litteraly reclaiming air space for a massive feild or urban garden. I have never seen a city do this yet, but I can easily imagine such a structure around our capital as a massive airborne ring encompassing the entire isthmus area. What a sight that would be.
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