With all of the immediate problems facing people these days, it is difficult to be concerned and proactive about the looming environmental crises that will affect us in big ways in the not-too-distant future. After all, who has time to do anything about radiation in the Pacific Ocean when there is still fish in the markets and you can’t find a job to pay the bills?
One of the greatest coming ecological catastrophes for the human race is the global collapse of many bee species which are largely responsible for pollinating our food crops as well as wild plants.
Without bees, human kind will suffer a terrible famine, and in some areas bees have already lost up to 90% of their colonies. Many scientists have linked the collapse of bee colonies to the overuse of a cocktail of varied herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides used in modern agriculture and modern landscaping, and specifically the overused class of poisons, neonicotinoids.
This is a disaster of Biblical proportions in the making, but at present there is still food on the shelves at the local grocery store, so it doesn’t feel like an emergency to most. Furthermore, the institutions we should be able to rely on for global leadership in managing a crisis like this are simply not available to direct their full attention and resources to ecological problems like bugs and radiation, for they seem to have become full-time agents of the banks and the warmongers.
There are things we all can do to contribute to the well-being and our bee populations. Here are a few simple guidelines for making your home, garden and place of work more friendly to bees:
1. Go organic. Stop using chemical sprays, detergents, perfumes, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.
2. Plant bee-friendly plants and flowers in your yard and garden. There are abundant resources online for finding the best plants for your area and climate.
3. Give bees a home by building a bee-hive for them. There are many designs and ideas online, so it should be easy to find the best design for your space and for your climate. Doing so will assist your garden’s overall production greatly as well. You can buy colonized hives of many species of honeybees, and finding the right one for your home and garden is easy to do with some local Internet searches.
4. If you absolutely cannot co-exist with a bee colony on your property, do not have it terminated. Instead find an experienced bee-removal company that can safely and ecologically relocate the hive to a more hospitable place for bees.
5. Demand that local government and businesses adopt bee-friendly policies by contacting them and organizing concerned members of your community. Demand that they stop contracting with pest-control companies that use the toxic poisons that are causing colony collapse disorder.
6. If you are fully inspired to participate in this movement, you might form a co-op of concerned people and set up a bee conservatory to save bees, learn more about them and share the joys of apiculture with your community.
7. Become active in the growing global movement to stop genetically engineered seed companies from monopolizing all agriculture on planet earth and making us completely dependent on their chemical applications, which are killing off bees.
As an inspiring example of how a community can come together in support of this most important link in our global food-chain, take a look at the work of group Co’Oleel Caab on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.
In this video, group founder and president Anselma Chale Euan explains how a group of 20 local women has come to be a global example of how ordinary people can contribute to the monumental task of stewarding a future for the honeybee. Their co-op works primarily with the stingless bee, Melipona Beechi, a species that was traditionally cultivated by men during the ancient times of the Mayan empire. Their work has been a learning process but they have developed their hives and have come to care for over 20,000 bees, producing over 48 liters of honey a year.
Not wanting to give in so easily to our ecological demise, good people the world over are taking matters into their own hands and working to protect bees within their own communities. And really, this is how it should be. Ordinary people should have the willingness to get involved in serious communal issues to create the types of futures that we all would like to see.
Working with bees is an inspirational way to learn more about nature, create a future for our children and to participate in the solution to one of the most serious looming crises that confronts the human race.