Wise Words on Bee Decline
I hope a lot of people pay attention to the opinion piece by Mark Winston in today’s New York Times.
Winston, a biologist at Simon Fraser University, argues that we should be looking at the destructive synergy created by all the factors contributing to bee decline – pesticides, intensive agriculture, disease, etc.
He warns that what’s true for bees may also become true for people – that we could be at risk not from a single environmental factor, but from all of them interacting cumulatively. We need to evaluate the impact of pesticides and other chemicals in combination, which is disturbing because most chemicals introduced into the environment are not tested at all.
There is some hopeful information in this piece: Winston’s research indicates that leaving some land fallow helps the wild bee population which in turn leads to greater yield and profit than would be achieved by planting every inch.
Go read it yourself: Bees and Colony Collapse. Update: I’m not sure what the problem is with the link, but if you scroll down on the page you will see a second link to the article itself under “Our Bees, Ourselves”.