By David Dorf-Oracle on Jul 03, 2014
This posting is decidedly un-tech, which is unusual for me. But its an important topic that is worthy of our attention. Preliminary survey results from the Bee Informed Partnership indicate that 31.1% of managed honey bee colonies in the United States were lost during the 2012/2013 winter, and this is actually better than the previous season. So what? Its not just about the honey. Pollinators like bees are crucial for food production. $15B of economic activity is attributable to crops that require bee pollination. Without bees, crops will suffer and that will lead to fewer food choices. In fact, the impacts trickle to cows and thus reduce dairy options as depicted in the pictures below (from Whole Foods):
There isn't a smoking gun we can point to, so the White House has earmarked $50M for crucial research to find the culprit, or at least stave off the rapid decline. Its likely some combination of pesticides and parasites, but it may also have to do with their changing habitats.
Serial do-gooder Whole Foods has launched a Share the Buzz campaign to draw attention to this issue. Did you know (from their site)?
- 1 out of 3 bites of food is pollinated by honey bees and other pollinators.
- Bees and other pollinators are needed for more than two-thirds of the world’s crop species.
- Bees pollinate more than 100 types of crops in the US, including some of our summer favorites: berries, watermelons, peppers and avocados.
Low-tech is still an important part of our lives.