Missing the Bees

I live in Hawaii in a relatively rural place so we are used to seeing things like wild turkeys wandering around our neighborhood.  Yesterday a wild goat scampered across the street in front of my car to join its family on the other side.  The Big Island has wild pigs, cattle, goats, horses, mongoose, parrots and even donkeys.  (Not to digress, but Hawaii even has its own Bigfoot myths – two of my family members have personal stories about that.)  In suburban neighborhoods it’s not unusual for people to keep chickens or goats; the best eggs I ever had were from a friend’s backyard.  In fact the people across the street from us keep a goat as a lawnmower and have a beehive. 

They’ve given us some honey before; it’s wonderful.  I used to have a patch of mint that flowered and the bees just took over my garden.  One time a few months ago they swarmed, coming right up our driveway next to our porch.  We all ran inside, including the dogs, at a loss as to what might have upset them.

In the evenings lately I’ve noticed there is always one lone and angry bee buzzing around our porch light rather frantically, as if it’s bound and determined to go somewhere.  With all the talk about the bees disappearing lately, I always hope it will find its way home.

The bee apocalypse is hot news right now – truly a sign of the times.  So far no one is sure what’s going on – a virus, genetically modified crops, insecticides or maybe the effect of an increase in UV radiation which bees use to navigate.  People are quoting Einstein as having said, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

 

Next time I see my neighbor I will ask about the bees.  It’s important to know if they are still around, and we would miss them very much indeed if they weren’t.

 

 

Genetically Modified World

“When rich speculators prosper while farmer lose their land; when government officials spend money on weapons instead of cures; when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible, while the poor have nowhere to turn – all this is robbery and chaos. It is not in keeping with the Tao.” -Tao Te Ching, #53

Ministers are trying to scrap an international agreement banning the world’s most controversial genetic modification of crops, grimly nicknamed “terminator technology”, a move which threatens to increase hunger in the Third World. The Government is to push for terminator crops to be considered for approval on a “case-by-case basis” at two meetings this month; its position closely mirrors the stance of the United States and other GM [genetically modified organisms]-promoting countries. Terminator technology…would stop hundreds of millions of poor farmers from saving seeds from their crops for resowing for the following harvest, forcing them to buy new ones from biotech companies every year. The technique is officially known as genetic use restriction technology (Gurt), making crops produce sterile seeds. It could be applied to any crop, including maize and rice, widely grown in developing countries. The UK working group on teminator technology…says: “It could destroy traditional farming methods, damage farmers’ livelihoods and threaten food security, particularly in developing countries.” [Former UK Minister of Environment Michael] Meacher said: “For the first time in the history of the world, farmers would be stopped from using their own seeds.”

Note: For more on this alarming development: http://www.WantToKnow.info/deception10pg