TIME Magazine’s latest cover story, “A World Without Bees,” covers the crisis that we at Moving Art™ have been talking about for a long time now.
“It is commendable that TIME has chosen to put the plight of the disappearing bees on the cover of the magazine. This may be the most serious environmental threat facing humankind, and the public needs to be aware of the perils we face, which are influenced by the choices we make,” says Louie Schwartzberg.
“These cumulative factors, pesticides, loss of habitat, mono diets, stress, GMO crops, environmental degradation, not only affect the bees, but us as well.
“If the bees go, we go. But there are solutions: support your local organic farmers and plant your own pollinator-friendly garden.”
An excerpt, from the story by Bryan Walsh:
You can thank the Apis mellifera, better known as the Western honeybee, for 1 in every 3 mouthfuls you’ll eat today. Honeybees — which pollinate crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers — are the “glue that holds our agricultural system together,” as the journalist Hannah Nordhaus put it in her 2011 book The Beekeeper’s Lament. But that glue is failing. Bee hives are dying off or disappearing thanks to a still-unsolved malady called colony collapse disorder (CCD), so much so that commercial beekeepers are being pushed out of the business.
So what’s killing the honeybees? Pesticides — including a new class called neonicotinoids — seem to be harming bees even at what should be safe levels. Biological threats like the Varroa mite are killing off colonies directly and spreading deadly diseases. As our farms become monocultures of commodity crops like wheat and corn — plants that provide little pollen for foraging bees — honeybees are literally starving to death. If we don’t do something, there may not be enough honeybees to meet the pollination demands for valuable crops. But more than that, in a world where up to 100,000 species go extinct each year, the vanishing honeybee could be the herald of a permanently diminished planet.