To Bees or Not To Bees

I am the type of human who secretly wishes my race would go extinct. When I watch a movie about the slaughter of dolphins or drive by an unsightly bald spot on the side of a mountain that once shimmered green with old growth trees, I pray for bubonic plagues to happen sooner than later. It’s not that I’m a misanthrope; on the contrary, I tend to like people. The problem is that I loathe having to witness and contribute to the widespread destruction we routinely wreak on our planet and all of its inhabitants.

I’ve often heard my fellows equate our species to a virus, but I think that’s far too generous an estimation. Viruses don’t usually kill their hosts, their own kind, or themselves- but we kill all three, gleefully. And in the rare instance a virus does behave like a human, it’s considered maladapted.

The Famous Mr. Ed!

Adaptation is the evolutionary process whereby a population becomes better suited to its habitat. This change happens very slowly over thousands of years, and increases an organism’s chance of survival. The long, slender neck of a giraffe and the big, square chompers of a horse are both delightful examples.

But what happens when the habitat changes too fast, or too much, for a species to adapt?
 In 2007, the avian census reported that over 25% of the U.S. songbird populations are in deep decline. The reason for the birds’ dwindling numbers is widespread loss of natural habitat coupled with a deafening increase in noise pollution. Interestingly, songbirds have always been a great indicator of an environment suitable for human prosperity: where they thrive, we thrive. Yet, despite their best efforts to adapt, the artificial environment we’ve created is killing them.  
Likewise, we’re in the middle of a bee crisis akin to a mass suicide in the Apis mellifera world. A mysterious ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder is causing agricultural honeybees to abandon their hives and disappear. The frightening thing is that 80% of crop pollination is accomplished by honeybees. Without them, we starve. Albert Einstein said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live.” (Oh, if only the planet could be so lucky.)
Why the exodus en masse? Well, everything from intensive pesticide use, genetically modified crops, and climate change has been recently linked to the increase in collapse of bee colonies around the world, but the most compelling reason is that factory farmed honeybees (and that’s virtually all that’s left) are much more susceptible to stress from environmental sources, such as viruses and fungus, than organic or feral bees. In other words, the bees- like the songbirds- cannot adapt to the travesty of progress.
Forty percent of the earth’s organisms are endangered. If our way of living is making them sick, how do we feel? Are we adapting or maladapting?
To bees, or not to bees- is that not still the question?

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to maladapt to
The slings and arrows of progress,
Or do we take arms against overpopulation, coal burning, plastics, pesticides, 
Honking horns, Xanax, Zoloft, suicide,
Military testing, industrial farming, deforestation,
Dupont, BP, Walmart, and Monsanto-
And by opposing end them?

Well, you know my vote. -Stevie

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  1. Stevie, please don't slip kiki or tree any purple kool-aid. You guys have too much to live for.

  2. I'd drink your kool-aid anytime baby. xoxox TREE

  3. Alexis Schulman says:

    Lol. It's true though, all those chemicals cannot be go for us either. Go organic whenever possible.

  4. I wanna be with your vote Stevie. I feel so overwhelmed. Where to begin? Organic? check (most of the time). Local? hardly ever. Walmart? never. Xanax? yes please and often. Overpopulation? just say no.

    Seriously though, your prose is provoking and mindful……. where to begin?

  5. Lava's Mama! says:

    Loved your post today. I feel you and the loathing for our apathy as a species. We may be so lucky to see the end sooner than later. Corby and I watched Nostradamus 2012 the other night and it discusses what I'm sure you 've heard about: the cataclysmic shift that is predicted by the mayans, nostradamus, and maybe even the Egyptians of the end of the age that begins in 2012.

    What was new to me is that in the year 2012, the sun will align with the center of the Milky way creating a major eclipse that apparently only happens every 26,000 years. It's what may have caused the ice age since apparently the alignment and something about the timing could cause the poles of the earth to invert!!??? Causing electonic ( Internet and all things web) melt down (yeaaaa!!!!)

    You need to watch that video. It also mentions Hopi drwaings that reference a great divide and the shift of the planet but the path is unfinished or rather undetermined – man has a chance to turn around. One can only pray.

    Lava's mama

  6. Stevie,
    PROFOUND. Damn. Your posts are so thought-provoking. Calls to ACTION! And I seem to be getting poked by calls like yours frequently these days. Thank you. I need the poke, the call. I intend to respond by DOING something. I dont know what yet, but something MORE.
    I wish everyone could read this information. Its like we just dont GET it, dont think it applies to us or something. We go on about our own selfish little adventures (me too!) and leave saving the planet to "someone else." Damn!
    Anyway, thanks again. For caring. For your insights. For pointing out what needs to be noticed. I love you,

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