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March 01, 2007

Mystery of the Missing Bees

An article in the New York Times highlights the mysterious disappearance in 22 states of honeybees, which are vital for the pollination of many flowering plants, almost certainly including many aromatic species.

The modern world of beekeeping, with migratory beekeepers moving their hives in semi trucks to where the plants are flowering, to support our modern agricultural system, seems a long way from the way it was when I had two hives for a 4-H project 50 years ago. Over the years there have been other threats to bees, including various diseases. According to the Times, scientists are working to determine the cause of the disappearances.

According to Earthfiles, the disappearances have also been noted in Spain, which has a centralized agriculture system like ours, and Poland, which still has a decentralized system. The Earthfiles article includes speculation that the disappearances have been caused by pesticides, and has several links at the bottom for more information.

Posted by Rob on March 1, 2007 in Ecological/Cultural Sustainability | Permalink

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