Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Honey Bees

First, we destroy native biodiversity in order to create mono-crop plantations. Then we massively apply pesticides and herbicides to defend the plantations against insect and weed attack. Next, we genetically engineer crops to handle the chemicals. Now we need roundup-resistant super bees. Reductionist science still thinks that you can work on the pieces without producing a negative effect on the whole. Or, perhaps it is well-understood and they are in the self-fulfilling profit-making process of "solving" (endlessly) the problems that they have created.

[UPDATE May 6, 2010: Making things even more challenging, there's an attack of superweeds that are roundup-resistant. What to do about them is debated in the NY Times here. Driving the concerns about chemical-based agriculture home, there are New Alarm Bells about Chemicals and Cancer ]

There's an important series of articles in the Guardian triggered by the possibility the world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third of US bee colonies did not survive the winter... AGAIN!

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

Last flight of the honeybee?

Why the decline in bees matters (in 10 photos)

The bees are yet another reason why we must understand that an agricultural revolution is necessary to protect the biodiversity that is nature's insurance policy against catastrophe. Mongabay has an interview with Dr. Ivette Perfecto exploring a new paradigm for combining agroecology farming practices with food sovereignty politics to create a better, more sustainable world.

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