Beeware!

Beeware! - © Matt Lemon Photography. All Right Reserved.

Bee on a thistle blossom. Tegel Forest, Berlin-Heiligensee, Germany
© Matt Lemon Photography© Matt Lemon Photography. All Rights Reserved.

While taking a close-up shot of these thistle blossoms at Tegel Forest near my former family home, this bee suddenly stopped by, just long enough to take this photo. Below are three videos about bees: the first one, to ease you in, is a beautiful song about a lonely bee; the second is a documentary about why bees are dying; and finally, if you prefer a shorter summary of the subject, there’s a TED talk about the disappearance of bees by Marla Spivak, an American entomologist and recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship grant for her work with honey bees.

Shunned off from the colony

‘Honey Bee’ is a song about a lonely bee, shunned off from the colony, written and performed by Zee Avi, a Malaysian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player. Click here to read the lyrics of her beautiful song.

Colony collapse disorder

“Bees are dying in their millions, causing an ecological crisis that threatens to bring global agriculture to a standstill. This documentary explores the reasons behind the decline of bee colonies across the globe, investigating what might be at the root of this devastation.

Honey bees are the number one insect pollinator on the planet, responsible for the production of over 90 crops. Apples, berries, cucumbers, nuts, cabbages and even cotton will struggle to be produced if bee colonies continue to decline at the current rate. Empty hives have been reported from as far afield as Taipei and Tennessee. In England, the matter has caused beekeepers to march on Parliament to call on the government to fund research into what they say is potentially a bigger threat to humanity than the current financial crisis.

Investigating the problem from a global perspective, the programme makers travel from the farm belt of California to the flatlands of East Anglia to the outback of Australia. They talk to the beekeepers whose livelihoods are threatened by colony collapse disorder, the scientists entrusted with solving the problem, and the Australian beekeepers who are making a fortune replacing the planet’s dying bees.” [Source: BBC]

“Let the small act be the driver of large-scale change” – Marla Spivak

“Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?” [Source: TED]

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