ROWAN JACOBSEN ~ FRUITLESS FALL ~ 2008

~ WHHTTB-TBHETFOANCB-DB-S-VB?-N-S-TMDSSATC-T-ATW ~ Whatever Had Happened To These Bees – They’d Been Healthy Enough To Fly Off And Not Come Back – Dead Bees – Sure – Vanished Bees? – No – Sir – The Mysterious Deaths Soon Spread Across The Country – Then – Around The World

~ MPOETCRWT ~ Most Plants On Earth Today Can’t Reproduce Without Them

~ OT-TT-SOB-OOHBATAON-DAWHCAI-TII-AM-T-HB-TOL-FWUS-MOTIFC-OITB ~ Of The – Twenty Thousand – Species Of Bees – Only One Has Become A True Artisan Of Nectar – Developing A Worldwide Human Culture Around Itself – That Insect Is – Apis Mellifera – The – Honey Bee – This One Life-Form Wound Up Shouldering – Much Of The Industrial Food Chain – On Its Tiny Back

~ IF-A-IA-HCTDWP-A-AECWGONC-IHBFTRMAMHO-B ~ In Fact – As – Industrial Agriculture – Has Come To Dominate World Production – And – As Exotic Crops Were Grown On New Continents – It Has Been Forced To Rely More And More Heavily On – Bees

~ BCDTNOCC ~ Bees Can Do Things No Other Creature Can

~ HBPHBCIEAA ~ Honey Bee Populations Have Been Crashing In Europe And America

~ STSHANAVAIC:CCD ~ Soon The Syndrome Had A Name As Vague As Its Cause: Colony Collapse Disorder

~ IASWTFG-BNALAI-WHBACACATROPRAACWTTSBNB-WAIJH-A-WGOH-ITCB-FWF-WCNLCOT-A-TANOOTB ~ It’s A System We’ve Taken For Granted – Because Nature Always Looked After It – We Have Been As Clueless And Complacent About The Realities Of Plant Reproduction As A Child Who Thinks That Storks Bring New Babies – We Assumed It Just Happened – And – Would Go On Happening – If The Crops Bloomed – Fruit Would Follow – We Can No Longer Count On That – And – There Are No Options Other Than Bees

~ 80%-OTFWPIOM-ROP-SDTL ~ 80 Percent – Of The Food We Put In Our Mouths – Relies On Pollination – Somewhere Down The Line

~ OT-250,000SOP-TSOW-TQ-ROWPTR ~ Of The – 250,000 Species Of Plants – That Share Our World – Three Quarters – Rely On Wild Pollinators To Reproduce

~ INAINOSTCC ~ It’s Not As If No One Saw This Crisis Coming

~ H-CSOTOPF-AWANOFBTBA ~ Honey – Carries Some Of The Original Plant Flavors – As Well As New Ones Formed By The Bees’ Alchemy

~ S-P-B-NOIESW-IMPBFDEOAP-MTVS ~ Smoke – Pacifies – Bees – No One Is Entirely Sure Why – It May Prevent Bees From Detecting Each Other’s Alarm Pheromones – Messages Transmitted Via Scent

~ FAB-NF-M-NF ~ For A Bee – No Flowers – Means – No Food

~ W-HB-MOTILI-TC-N-TI ~ With – Honey Bees – Most Of The Intelligence Lies In – The Colony – Not – The Individual

~ L-NAS-P-IFOCT-QN:MP-P-F/V/M-HIADFB:PIASAGO ~ Like – Nuts And Seeds – Pollen – Is Full Of Complex Top-Quality Nutrients: Mostly Protein – Plus – Fats / Vitamins / Minerals – Honey Is A Doughnut For Breakfast; Pollen Is A Spinach And Garlic Omelet

~ IA-SO-T-TQ-AC-A-DOW-T-S-ATA-TB-M/L/S/A/D/I-O-L-CBETTT-FL-OC-SEOT-A-TBMOTHBD

~ It’s A – SuperOrganism – That – Thinks Quickly – Adapts Constantly – And – Depends On Wisdom – To – Survive – Anything That Affects – The Bee’s – Memory / Learning / Senses / Appetite / Digestion / Instincts – Or – Lifespan – Can Be Enough To Throw Those – Feedback Loops – Off Course – Skew Enough Of Them – And – The Beautiful Mathematics Of The Hive Break Down

~ VM-KMOHBC-MV-IHCOTW ~ Varroa Mites – Killed Millions Of Honey Bee Colonies – Most Varroa-Infested Hives Collapse Over The Winter

~ HDYKOA(TM)-WKTO(TB)?-THITOTMAG-TBWR ~ How Do You Kill One Arthropod (The Mites) – Without Killing The Other (The Bees)? – The Hope Is That Once The Mites Are Gone – The Bees Will Recover

~ V-I-N-B-IA-TWFMITDTITHH-SDWSBEAWGU-BSOTSOLH-YCAYHACKA-PPB-P-PB-WBRI? ~ Varroa – Is – Nasty – But – If Anything – There Were Fewer Mites In The Deadouts Than In The Healthy Hives – Same Disaster Was Striking Beekeepers Everywhere And Was Going Unreported – Beekeepers Speak Of The Stigma Of Losing Hives – Your Colleagues Assume You Have A Condition Known As – PPB – Piss-Poor Beekeeping – Why Bother Reporting It?

~ TWD-TYB-DAR-T-WC-WE-WAATH-TBDHOD-THTA-THSAT-B-AIDS-BWOEWR?-BWOEWR? ~ This Was Different – The Young Bees – Didn’t Act Right – They – Wouldn’t Cluster – Wouldn’t Eat – Wandered Aimlessly Around The Honeycomb – The Bees Didn’t Have One Disease – They Had Them All – They Had Something Akin To – Bee – AIDS – But What On Earth Was Responsible?

~ H-LCWLATABITW ~ Healthy-Looking Colonies Were Losing All Their Adult Bees In Two Weeks

~ ESA-RABTPI-N-IWAQOWTHEBTMTWA ~ Every Single Almond – Requires A Bee To Pollinate It – Now – It Was A Question Of Whether They Had Enough Bees To Make The World’s Almonds

~ HFIWHBITCHTOTB-CP-TT:ER-TBAOBAITNA-GM(GM)CGTSOT-B-ATAT-LW-TDPO ~ How Fitting It Would Have Been If The Culprit Had Turned Out To Be Cell Phones – The Theory: Electromagnetic Radiation – Tweaks Bees’ Antennae Or Brains And Impairs Their Navigation Abilities – Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Got Their Share Of The – Blame – As Tantalizing As The – Leads Were – They Didn’t Pan Out

~ TBHNJD;TD ~ The Bees Had Not Just Died; They’d Disappeared

~ MTGSA-AD-AA ~ Microwave Towers Got Some Attention – As Did – Alien Abduction

~ FAW-OB-BTWI ~ For A While – Organic Beekeepers – Believed They Were Immune

~ VM-DMBFOAD-PTMBUTFVWI-STCHBU-TLSOMQBHBCIH-YWTC-HDSAA ~ Varroa Mites – Didn’t Make Bees Fly Off And Disappear – Perhaps The Miticides Beekeepers Used To Fight Varroa Were Involved – Since The Chemicals Have Been Used – The Life Span Of Many Queen Bees Has Been Cut In Half – Yet Without The Chemicals – Hives Don’t Survive At All

~ EBGWTA-P-WI-B-CCD-STBT ~ Everyone’s Best Guess Was That A – Pathogen – Was Involved – Because – CCD – Seemed To Be Transmissible

~ TIPOI:AHBASEHDL ~ The Important Piece Of Information: All Honey Bees Are Suffering Extraordinarily High Disease Loads

~ ANGOPCT-N-CA-NP-AIOTP-O-ASN ~ A New Group Of Pesticides Called The – Neonicotinoids – Came Along – Nerve Poisons – An Improvement Over Traditional Pesticides – Organophsphates – Are So Noxious

~ TTOPTHBINN-ABPTTTOP-TWTFGAFP-MCGCITCC ~ The Threat Of Pesticides To Honey Bees Is Nothing New – As Bees Performed The Thankless Task Of Pollination – They Were Taken For Granted And Frequently Poisoned – Many Colonies Get Caught In The Chemical Crossfire

~ MBD ~ Mad Bee Disease

~ OA-CE-DCDEBC-MTBTCWTN? ~ Only After – Chronic Exposure – Do Cigarettes’ Deadly Effects Become Clear – Might That Be The Case With The Neonicotinoids?

~ TLIMSIPTWCHI-A-TDGAACAWTTD ~ The Land Is More Soaked In Pesticides Than We Could Have Imagined – And – They Don’t Go Away As Completely As We Thought They Did

~ CC-DTFIAA-NOD-TC-ABMEDITWFAS ~ Chemical Conglomerates – Don’t Test For Interactions At All – No One Does – Toxic Cocktails – Are Being Mixed Every Day In The World’s Fields And Streams

~ ETBTWE-CCD-SWRWV ~ Even The Bees That Weren’t Exhibiting – CCD – Symptoms Were Rife With Viruses

~ BALT-A-WBTHAT-GTH ~ Bees Are Living Things – And – When Beekeepers Think Holistically About Them – Good Things Happen

~ LAL-HB-R-GP-A-TWFAFBF ~ Like Any Livestock – Healthy Bees – Require – Good Pasture – And – That’s What Fewer And Fewer Bees Find

~ WPY-B-MAD-RB-WTCCHAT-M/F/A-ARN? ~ Why Spend Years – Breeding – Mite- And Disease-Resistant Bees – When The Chemical Conglomerates Have All These – Miticides / Fungicides / Antibiotics – Available Right Now?

~ MSF-R-IO-E-MBS-FW-A-‘ETU’-OATCOS-TG ~ Managing Systems For – Resilience – Instead Of – Efficiency – Maintaining Backup Systems – Fire Walls – And – “Expecting The Unexpected” – Often At The Cost Of Short-Term Gain

~ U-LA-R-GA-TWABAP ~ Until – Local Agriculture – Replaces – Global Agriculture – There Will Always Be Another Parasite

~ DIN ~ Diversity Is Needed

~ WBST-P-LT-PC-TA ~ We’d Better Start Treating – Pollinators – Like The – Precious Commodity – They Are

~ TINSTAUNL ~ There Is No Such Thing As Unproductive Natural Land

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