May 23, 2007
Help us save the disappearing hives.
So many of you will have read in the news about the disappearing bees, otherwise known as Hive Collapse Disorder. Beekeepers in the States and in Europe have been opening their hives only to find them empty. Usually when a bee dies, the workers shove the corpse out the front door and onto the grass in front of the hive. In the case of HCD, there are no corpses to be found. The latest theory of the cause of this disorder is that cell phone technology is interfering with the bees' navigational ability. The news is constantly reporting stories of marine life that has become disoriented by underwater technology, so perhaps it shouldn't surprise us that the same kind of thing happens in the air. Whatever the cause of HCD, it leaves me deeply saddened and worried about the future of our food security. It is another example of why technology should be tested in the lab before it is put into the field. This lack of caution, with respect to technological progress is creating an ecological disaster.
It's easy to forget European honeybees are not native to Canada. Yesterday I walked around the grounds of The Royal Museum and saw a mosquito sucking nectar from a white tree blossom. Yes, these nasty critters are native pollinators, and an important part of the local ecosystem. However, mosquitoes would not be a substitute for honeybees in terms of pollinating our cultivated food crops, so it's time we all took time to help save the honeybees. So turn off your cell phone and go plant some heritage flowers and veggies in your garden for the bees!