I thought that two current nuggets of happy bee news were worthy of discussion, and so they formed the basis for my most recent contribution to Tonic News.
With the movement to eat more fresh and locally grown foods taking root over recent years within a culture where industrial food production still remains dominant, it felt like a punch to the gut when in late 2006, news reports began trickling, and then streaming in, with tales of the disappearance of bees, of colonies that became decimated or which altogether disappeared. The phenomenon has been simultaneously observed in multiple locations around the world, and the cause for the disappearances has been as baffling as the potential ramifications are dire. The importance of pollinators to the viability and productivity of a stunning variety of crops upon which we depend cannot be understated.
With this as a backdrop, it seemed worthy to note fresh research out of Spain, whose findings are published in the journal Environmental Microbiology Reports, which reports that scientists have targeted a specific parasite detected in local bee populations that have demonstrated what is referred to as colony collapse disorder.
I actually muffed a technical detail in my submission–original should have included a link to the actual article that alerted me to the very encouraging study that suggests strongly at a potential collapse disorder cause and cure. That article may be found here.
Scientific consensus is not yet locked in, and our winged pollinator friends are not yet out of the woods, but I was delighted to learn both of the optimistic field research findings, as well as of the organized volunteer efforts designed to generate current baseline data on local bee population status.