January 23, 2008

The Death of Bees

Einstein didn't really say that when bees disappear, people will disappear four years later. According to Snopes.com, there's no evidence that Einstein had any interest in bees at all since he was not an entymologist.

That doesn't change the fact that the bees are disappearing, and it scares the holy bejeezus out of me, especially since every third bite of food we eat comes from the hard work of a bee, and I really love food. I really love my life, too, and I want to keep living it to a ripe old age-- like a peach that plummets from the tree when it's darned good and ready.

But there's this cabbageheaded colony collapse disorder (which sounds a lot like bee aids to me) that's killing off the bees by the thousands, and everybody's arguing about what's causing it. Now, I'm no scientist, or even a farmer, but I think it might be the new crops that are genetically engineered to be pest-resistant. Just seems to me that if you mess with nature, you get a whole unpredictable chain reaction . Huh. Then I have a whole cynical attitude about how there's a bunch of money swinging the argument this way and that-- because nobody wants to be responsible for the death of bees, but I always get bummed out when I start thinking like that, and here's what makes me feel better: R and I are going to keep bees in The Woods.

My friend Kate said, "But you can't just keep bee hives in your front yard."
"No, we'll keep them in the forest behind our house."
Then Kate started laughing uncontrollably. "You have a forest behind your house?"
We're such the city girls.

Then R said we can't keep bees because the bears will come and rip them apart for the honey, but as I was saying this to my friend Allyson, I had the good idea that we could keep the hives in the dog kennel because the chain link fence is really high. Allyson said, "Don't bears tear through cars, though? I don't think a fence is going to stop them."
Der.

R read that we might be able to keep the bears away with an electric fence (although my friend Pam says her horse ran right through its electrical fence). We didn't really like the idea of having an electric fence, but R realized we're going to need one anyway if we plan to have a garden, which we do, since Michael Pollan says everything we eat from a store is made of corn. So, now we're going to have bees and an electric fence-- or two.

Also, a big dog.

P.S. Burt's Bees has good suggestions for how to promote honeybees without getting stung.

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