2019-08-23 Bees

When people talk about the bees dying they usually mean honey bees. Those are the animals we have tamed, bred, optimized, industrialized, and on it depends the US food business (almonds, all sorts of fruit and berries). Is it pesticides? The mites? Who cares because nobody is talking about all the other bees, wasps, and bumblebees disappearing because they’re not worth any money. 20 years ago our prof at the uni said that we had a 25-fold overpopulation of honey bees.

And what’s also weird: the colonizers brought the honey to the US. It’s probably an important proxy for the health of our environment. It’s cute. But in a bigger sense, honey bees are part of the agro industrial complex just like farting cows. We need them, our life style depends on them, but I feel very little for honey bees. I’m a bumblebee person.

These thoughts brought to you by a recent episode of 99% Invisible.

Every winter, beekeepers from every corner of the United States descend on California to pollinate almonds. Almonds have a window of about two weeks for pollination to occur. Otherwise, the blossoms won’t turn into fruit. The demand is so high it takes upwards of two million hives, almost every commercial beehive in the country to do the job. “This is the largest managed pollination event on earth,” explains John Miller … .

Full transcript available.

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Comments

@wion posted a link to Europe warming faster than expected due to climate chanfe:

“In the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the model trends are about two times lower than the observed trends . . . [i.e.] We’re reaching new records faster than you’d expect . . . We expected results based on modeling studies but it’s the first time we see [a much worse situation].”

– Alex Schroeder 2019-08-30 09:02 UTC


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