Oh Honeybees, We Hardly Knew Ye

saving bees, bee losses 78%,

Over six thousand beekeepers, together managing nearly 600,000 colonies, responded to a recent survey. This represents about 23 percent of the country’s bee colonies.

Preliminary results show that 31 percent of honey bee colonies were lost in the US last winter (2012/13). This is a huge increase over the already devastating losses from the winter before, 42 percent more.

Overall, US beekeepers lost 45 percent of their colonies over the winter. That’s a 78 percent increase compared to the previous winter. Why such different numbers? Most of the survey respondents were backyard beekeepers, whose losses, while devastating, were not as bad as the losses by the six percent of respondents who are commercial beekeepers. Migratory beekeeping practices and standard agricultural practices harm honeybees.

It’s like a battle, with bees and our other earthly allies on one side. The other side? Those who wish to profit no matter the consequences. There are ways to help bees. If we don’t stand up against genetically modified crops, intensive monoculture farming, and pesticides like neonicotinoids we won’t have bees left to save us.

Monsanto’s rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
Bayer is rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They’re rolling out the guns again
But they never will take our earth again
No they’ll never take our bees again
That I’m swearing to ye.

About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is the author of four books and served as 2019 Ohio Poet of the Year. She's the editor of Braided Way: Faces & Voices of Spiritual Practice. She works as a book editor, teaches writing workshops, and maxes out her library card each week.
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2 Responses to Oh Honeybees, We Hardly Knew Ye

  1. maria says:

    This is sad and scary. I watched a documentary recently about the crisis with wild salmon and a comment stuck with me in a revolutionary and very disconcerting way. That it seems the point of the powers that be of the salmon farming industry may be to wipe out wild salmon all together so they have a monopoly on the salmon market. Not that this is their goal per say, but that they certainly do not mind if it happens as they will gain mightily from it. And are even fighting to make sure it happens, just as Monsanto wants to control all seed crops. So what is to gain from wiping out the bees? No honey means greater sales of processed sweeteners. Cha-ching!$
    It is disgustingly deplorable. And that is putting it very mildly.
    Thank you for this blog entry. There can not be enough or too much awareness about this topic.

  2. Bill says:

    No one asked us, but only one of our two hives survived through the winter. The previous year we lost two.
    We started with one feral hive that had been living on this farm for decades. It still exists somewhere, although it swarmed due to wax moths. Since then we’ve lost three our of four hives. Pesticides and industrial beekeeping are problems contributing to this, but I have to believe the industrial practices of the sellers of queens and nucs are as well. Just my 2 cents worth.

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