Bee decline threatens our dinner and the countryside It will mean the end of the human race.
What will you do to help recover the present situation?
Plant more flowers, ban pesticides, hope it doesn't happen or live it up and spend up on a lavish tomb (remember there will be no visitors)or live as normal.
Of course, I was forgetting the good old faith industry, they will have a field day, tickets to heaven will be at a premium.
There are so many things one could do to in that last four years. Tell me what will you do, remember murdering someone would be a waste of time.
COME ON TELL ME, Vest.
BEES are disappearing at an unprecedented rate. This could not only have a devastating impact on our food supplies, but could also turn our brightly-coloured meadows into grey hinterlands.
Threatened: More and more bees are disappearing
"This year, right now, it feels very bleak," said a conservation researcher at the University of Stirling and co-founder of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. He was talking about the serious decline in bees over recent years, which is now coming to a head, what with large and unprecedented losses of bees in Europe, the US and other parts of the world.
"It's urgent and we need to do something about it now," he continued. "But all too often people notice the importance of something when it's not there - when it's too late."
I'd been sitting outside on my homemade garden bench having an early lunch, bees buzzing merrily all around me. What with its long grasses and wildflowers my garden is something of a haven for bees and other insects.
If I'm honest they benefit from my laziness. I rarely mow the lawns and allow weeds and whatever seeds the birds and breeze bring in to grow as nature intended - with wild abandon.
But as he told me about the plight of our bees I realised with a shudder that many of the things we take for granted - the colourful blazes of wildflowers in our meadows, even much of the food on our plates - would not be around if it wasn't for them.
It's easy to forget that bees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the flowering crops we rely on for food. Among them: apples, nuts, pears, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, tomatoes, sunflowers and cucumbers. Along with citrus fruit, peaches, kiwis, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and melons.
Crops like oilseed rape (increasingly used in biofuels), alfalfa, peas, runner beans and broadbeans also rely on visits by bees and other pollinating insects to improve the quality and quantity of fruits and seeds produced.
It's hard to believe that one small creature can be so important to our food supply. But as Brian Latham, chair of the Leeds Beekeepers Association, points out: we've become almost terminally disconnected from the natural world we live in and how it feeds us.
"We get our food from supermarkets and think little more about it," he says. "Very few of us are as aware as our grandparents were of the connection between what's on our dinner plates and the intricate workings of nature."
Albert Einstein was well aware of this connection. When it came to bees, he put it in no uncertain terms: "If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."
Chillingly, more and more bees are disappearing off the face of the Earth. In some areas of the UK honeybee numbers have dropped by as much as 80 per cent, while bumblebees across the country have declined by 60 per cent since 1970.
In both cases this is largely due to loss of wild habitats, intensive farming and overuse of pesticides and herbicides. The simple truth is that bees need flowers, and there are very few flowers to be found in the farmed countryside these days.
In the USA, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) - where whole colonies disappear or die - has caused a devastating loss of honeybees. Since it broke out last autumn, declines of between 30 per cent and 90 per cent of honeybee populations in at least 27 states have been recorded. There have also been reports of CCD in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
One beekeeper in London found over half of his hives mysteriously abandoned, leading many to speculate that CCD has broken out here. But the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is adamant it is not occurring in Britain.
Echoing the concerns of beekeepers across the country, Tim Lovett, chairman of the British Beekeepers Association, warns that it would be "foolhardy in the extreme" for the government to ignore the possible emergence of CCD in Britain.
I dun wanna die, well do something practical to resolve this problem or you certainly will. Vest Daily Gaggle.
Saturday, 4 August 2007
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