Posted by: jackslife | October 22, 2009

What have we done to the Honeybees?

Great post by Rod about the weakened version of the honeybee that has been produced by our husbandry of the bee.

This article makes a lot of sense to me.  It really makes me think about some things that Wendell Berry said.  Even in areas that seem so benign, human exploitation of nature is shown to yield sad consequences.  I don’t think that the original farmers who used bees to pollinate their crops had ill intentions or were even especially avaricious, but somewhere during this process we have ripped a lot of bees from their natural environments and are now surprised when it causes problems.

That leads into my second Wendell Berry thought.  Berry talks a lot about “health” in agriculture, and in other areas of life.  It seems to me that an important part of health is balance.  Everything works in a certain equilibrium with a number of other elements.  When we offset that balance, things (whether land, our bodies, our social life, etc.) become unhealthy.  That’s what makes our modern system of mono-cultural agriculture so damaging.  We grow thousands of acres of the same crop year after year and it naturally causes a wide array of problems.  The bee situation may just be the most recent example of this.

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