It isn’t just about the bees. Over the last 25 years, flying insects have declined by 75%. It’s an easy thing for most of us to ignore. Fewer mosquitoes to swat. Fewer bugs on the windshield. Generally less buzzing going on. The decline is about 6% in weight of the population per year. Given enough years, the compounded interest significantly reduces the number of pollinators available, and dramatically reduces an intermediate step in the food chain. The cause in unknown. It could be climate change, reduction of habitat, or pollutants. The effect, however, is measurable and significant. Whether we can stop or reverse it is also unknown.
Thanks for calling our attention to the insect decline. Many years ago I edited a short book on the business of keeping bees, which served as a foundation for my working knowledge of bees. One of the earliest observers of the life of bees comes from Aristotle, who gathered his data by sitting by a bee hive and taking notes of their behavior. Not much has changed to the organization and health of colonies from the bees’ point of view.
But mankind has radically altered their natural behavior by the introduction of man, the interloper. And I’m talking here about the beekeeper who carefully (or not) tends the health and well being of his colonies. It helps insect health if we all tend to the health of our ecosystem. That means every human on earth must dwell mindfully with the insects and other earthly brethern.
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