Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Very Busy Bees

Here's an interesting (and short) report on bees and their current peril, by Bill McKibben, a thoughtful writer on all things related to the environment and human exploitation thereof. Here's a taste: "A few notes about honeybees, for a lazy summer day with a low, humming buzz coming from the direction of the squash patch: Under ideal conditions, a single colony can produce two hundred pounds of surplus honey a year, the product of visits to as many as 500 million flowers. Honey is their fuel—a bee gets about 7 million flight miles to the gallon. Bees pollinate more than ninety fruit, vegetable, nut, and seed crops—a third of the human diet in many countries. [...] But honeybees live their lives next to ours, and have ever since they were first domesticated about seven thousand years ago. And so when things go askew with our society, those problems can cross, quite literally, into the hive."


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