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|The Birds and the Bees|
Jun. 15th, 2007 at 3:03 pm
Update: the problem with honey bees may be a disease referred to as “Israeli acute paralysis virus.”
Some items in the news have given me reason to pause – perhaps they should be cause even for some alarm.
The first is a recent phenomenon now referred to as “Colony Collapse Disorder” or CCD.
What it boils down to is that billions of honey bees are disappearing or dying. As someone with a massive sweet tooth and a particular love of honey – the thought of this already raises some personal concern. But news articles I read on the subject point out that honey bees are the sole natural means for pollinating a long list of plants that contribute to the variety and wonder of the human diet. If bees aren’t around to pollinate these plants – it could be a very serious problem to all of our dinner tables.
I was further reminded of the problem with bees when I saw an article that says so called “common backyard birds” (in the United States) are not so commonly seen anymore.
One of the things that scares me about this is that scientists don’t seem to know the exact reasons that all of these things are happening. They can point at pesticides, the destruction of natural habitats (forests), the potential spread of certain sicknesses, etc. Yet there seems to be a recent observation of a very sudden and serious negative impact on these creatures that were common and numerous for so long. No one so far has been able to pinpoint and prove the main reason this is happening.
While I don’t know all the potential consequences of the scarcity of bees and birds – and don’t want to be accused of running around saying “the sky is falling! the sky is falling!” – I do worry that these are indicators of serious problems on the horizon.
*Note 1: As I was looking up information about the spread of CCD – I learned that part of the problem may have something to do with the practice of migratory beekeeping – which has traditionally been a great benefit to agriculture in the United States. If there is a disease that is killing off bees – it may be further spread by this practice. Incidentally, migratory beekeeping was started by a Mormon named Nephi Ephraim Miller – described by one online article as “the Henry Ford of the apiaries.”
**Note 2 – If all of this seems to grim and you just can’t handle it – well here’s a link to some free music for ya. I’m sure it will cheer you up.]