Thursday, October 7, 2010

Interesting discovery about bee collapse

I'm sharing this link because the decline of honeybees has been something that greatly troubled me. It appears that scientists and the military have jointly discovered a pair of factors - a virus and a fungus - involved in cases of catastrophic hive collapse.

And just to add to the language/culture content of the day, I'll point out that bees have a systematic form of dance communication that allows them to tell where a food source is and how good a source it is. They dance on the honeycomb in figure-eight or split-circle patterns, waggling their little abdomens. I studied it in my linguistic anthropology course, when we were looking at language-like behaviors in animals.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly hope they can save the honeybees.

    One thing that is never mentioned is that honeybees aren't native to America. They were brought over by the colonists. We have enough native bees and other insects to more than adequately pollinate in the natural world.

    The loss of the honeybee, beyond the honey, is bad for the giant factory farms and petrochemical farming (non-organic) because these farms' tactics are to kill every insect, good or bad, grow thousands of acres of one product with no attempt at biodiversity or attracting native insects, then haul in a bunch of honey bee hives to do the pollination.

    If the honey bee disappears, we won't starve, the native plants will do just fine, and the giant farms may actually have to start working with Mother Nature rather than against her.