Thursday, May 10, 2007

Your Arm, My Waterbed Press

My head is filled with pollen. If a bee landed on my forehead, it would blossom into a strange orchid, beetles would shimmy up my shins and rest on my petal-ears.
What I'm trying to say is this weather is giving me asthma and allergies galore. Not cool, Spring, not cool.

However, let's not stop worrying about all of the honeybees that are dying. Have you been reading about this? I keep getting different numbers depending on where I look, but approx 25% of North American honeybees have died off this year and scientists are struggling to figure out why. It's not just America, though:

The Economist says:

Colony collapse disorder, as the phenomenon has become known as, was first reported in America in mid-November 2006. It spread rapidly, with beekeepers reporting heavy losses of between 30% and 90% of bees. Some 24 American states have now reported cases of colony collapse disorder. It has also been seen in Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

The interviewers were able to eliminate some suspects from their inquiries. It makes no difference what the bees eat, what chemicals apiarists use to prevent disease in the hives, whether the bees are for pollinating or for making honey, or where the queens came from. A recent suggestion that mobile phones may play a part has also been dismissed.

The genome of the honeybee is yielding some clues. Researchers have compared it with that of other insects, including the fruit fly and the mosquito. They have found that bees cannot make an enzyme that other insects use to help eliminate toxins from the body. This could leave bees at risk of poisoning.

This article talks about the financial ramifications for this rapid mortality rate (bees pollinate $15 billion-worth of fruit, vegetables and nuts), but many other articles focus more on, obviously, the larger issues of how to sustain an ecosystem where pollination is essential. Anyways, I'm clearly uneducated on this topic but am reading more as I go.

I'm going to remind you of one amazing Spicer stanza:

My sorrow
Self of my sorrow

He so beautifully distinguishes the sorrow from the body containing and being changed by its sadness.

"Civilized" by Google Image

"Civilized II" by Google Image

Terrifying, is it not?

1 comment:

Maximum Etc said...

If James Marsters isn't the apex of civilization, I don't want to know what is.