Monday, April 23, 2007

bad news for the bees

Big-size problems are brewing for agriculture in the United States: The honeybee population is dwindling dramatically. From the Star-Ledger:
Jean-Claude Tassot felt the sunshine spilling over his shoulders. It was unseasonably warm for January -- a good day, he decided, to check his honeybees. So Tassot jumped in his truck and rumbled over the back roads of Morris County to the first of the eight farms where he stores his boxes of hives.

"When you first take the cover off, usually you can see the bees," said Tassot. "But when I looked, there was nothing. I kept looking (but) the hives were all dead."

It's tough to say what the culprit is, whether it's pesticides, bioengineered corn, mites or some previously unknown disease, but what's bad for the honeybees is bad for the entire agricultural industry and everyone who eats food that requires pollination. (That would include the human race.)

Best thing to do? Stop using pesticides and messing with the DNA of our food, plant a vegetable garden, and give part of your lawn over to wildflowers, so that wild honeybees, if there are any near you, can start to make a comeback.

Who the heck needs grass? Most of us wouldn't have a clue how to eat it, it's dull to see if for acre after acre, and it doesn't do much for biodiversity if everyone's growing turf on their corner of suburbia. I'll never understand how it became our chief crop in the first place.

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