August 15, 2013

What’s the Buzz with Honey Bees? ~ Megan McWilliams

When one stands before a hive of bees, one should say quite solemnly to oneself, ‘By way of the hive the whole cosmos enters man
and makes him strong and able.’ ~ Rudolf Steiner

If Mr. Steiner was right about that, I ask quite solemnly to myself: If we destroy the way of the hive, will the cosmos enter man and make him weak and unable? It’s heady stuff, I know, but we rely on bees in our agricultural system much more than people realize.

If honey bees were to disappear, 100 varieties of common fruits and vegetables would disappear too.

Bees are vital to our agricultural system and farms rely on them to pollinate many of the fruits and vegetables that we enjoy every day. According to Zeke Freeman, who we interviewed last week on our show dedicated to honey bees, approximately 200 billion dollars of farmed food in this country relies on honey bees for pollination.

Mr. Freeman, for obvious reasons, is an expert on the plight of the bees. He explained how Colony Collapse Disorder is a combination of factors that weakens the bees’ immune systems. He also shared some easy things everyone can do to help save the honey bees. Listen to this great podcast of the interview with Zeke Freeman.

The latest research indicates that in addition to toxins found in pesticides, fungicides, which were originally thought to be benign to honey bees, are also a factor in weakening their resistance to disease. Here’s a great article about the latest research linking fungicides to Colony Collapse Disorder from Mother Jones this week.

Green Diva, Gina Gioldassis, started all of this with a post she wrote about her addiction to honey: “Save the Honey Bees, Save the Baklava.” She was surprised by what she learned through her research and one thing she shared that surprised all of us was that a honey bee will produce a total of 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey for its entire life’s work! Wow.

We talked too much about her Baklava during the show (we all got hungry) and insisted that she post the recipe, so she did share her authentic Greek recipe for Baklava (she’s our resident Greek Green Diva foodie).

There was a lot more information throughout the show, including a great Green Dude segment about planting bee–friendly and foodie–friendly gardens. Listen to the whole show and hear all about the honey bees and another great interview with Dr. Leah Mayor, founder of Taking Root, on agri-tourism and the importance of getting to know our farmers.

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Assist Ed: Julie Garcia/Ed: Sara Crolick

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