Poisoning our Pollinators

English: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) landing on ...
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I continue to have a gut-level sense that, when conclusions are finally drawn to explain honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder, that, yes, it will be attributed to many different stressors. But I predict that the lion’s share of blame will ultimately be fixed on pesticides.

Hers’s one more nail in that particular coffin.

Honeybee deaths linked to seed insecticide exposure 

I’m certain that, like so many other pending catastrophe’s, the average person does not have a clue about the seriousness of the threat of pollinator loss to the capacity of our agricultural land to actually supply enough food for seven billion hungry mouths.

And yet–in the US, though many European countries quickly banned the neonicitinoid insecticides–the use of these poisons goes on unabated, because the corporations who make them have bought the politicians who control agencies that would ostensibly monitor the use of any agent toxic to honeybees.

I mean, after all, isn’t this just another verse of the silly Spotted Owl or Snail Darter follies we heard about decades ago? Why should American profits and “progress” be impeded by a danged little bug, anyway? Humans own the planet, by gawd. They even named the current geological epoch after us!

I’m proud to be an Anthropocene American. (I’m hearing a my-country-right-or-wrong song here, and might just venture away from this amazingly lucrative writing career and slide into lyric writing to flesh out this prideful patriotic patois of pollination pathology. Stay tuned.)

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Yup. Another example of “winner take all” politics. Bill Moyer interivewed the two authors of a book by that name last Friday night on PBS for his new weekly show. It is the 0.1% against the 99.9%, and their control of our po0liticians is the reason all our policies are so inimical to the common good.

  2. Marauders we are. This is an epic song. I have two beekeeper friends who frantically try to keep their guys happy, healthy and busy, for fear of what’s to come.

    “Anthropocene American.” Wave the flag!