The Bee Report

Plenty of bees on these poppies.
(You weren’t expecting hard science, I hope. )


But this is a subject too serious for flippancy. The short version is that bees are still in serious trouble (and by symbiotic association, so then are we), their numbers drastically reduced since Colony Collapse Disorder was first identified in 2006. Neonicotinoids seem to be generally implicated, along with mites:

Beekeepers are treating chemically for varroa mites, but when bees leave the hive and encounter agricultural insecticides, we see lethal synergies between the bee hive chemicals and the agricultural chemicals.”

Neonicotinoids have yet to be banned in the U.S. but are presently banned in France, Germany, and Italy.

Workable theories are still evolving, as illustrated by another quote from the article quoted from above: “One of our biggest frustrations has been defusing the expectation for ‘a cure’ for CCD. The answer, when it comes, will be a knowledge-based enterprise, not a product-based enterprise. The answer will be messy.”

(A messy situation that could inspire a dark sci-fi film treatment in the 1950’s Ed Wood style, directed by Tim Burton:

Pollinators are disappearing, including the heavy hitters, bees and bats. Human population soaring. Jobless and soaring. Humans sign up to be trucked around to agricultural sites to pinch hit as pollinators for meager wages, wearing specialized proboscis masks, work now considered coveted employment, with riots breaking out to fill vacant pollinator positions. The poor diet and working conditions of the “drone” humans, along with chronic exposure to agricultural pesticides, exacerbates paranoid violent tendencies. These “drone” humans begin to feel their meager subsistence as pollinators is threatened by local, organic market gardeners. Much conflict and sci-fi violence ensues, until The One (The Beeity), made part bee/part human by synergistic effects of pesticide cocktails, is able to communicate between bees and humans and unite both species. Vested interests, of course, seek to destroy the truth-telling Beeity, played by Tilda Swinton, hovering on lovely gossamer wings, etc, etc.)

What do you think? Pass the popcorn? So eerie when life imitates a plot from cheesy ’50’s science fiction movies.


The early morning hours around this 4-foot stretch of poppies sound like a saw mill. Zzzzzzz, zzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzz.
I find that sound very comforting.


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3 Responses to The Bee Report

  1. Grace says:

    Me too. Plenty of bees in my neck of the woods too. I’ll take some of that popcorn…

  2. Wow. You are awesome. Quit with the modesty already.

  3. Denise says:

    Grace, I notice some gardeners report seeing very little of bees. Other pollinators, yes, but not bees.
    Dustin, no wonder I like you!

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