Friday, May 11, 2012

Another side to CCD in bees

Colony collapse disorder as we all know is the condition where whole hives of commercial bees just disappear quickly, not escape but die off.  It is a quickly growing threat to food production worldwide.  Without bees,  growing many  foods  becomes difficult at best. This is one reason we put in bee hives at little sprouts last year. Since bees are a vital part of our food system,  they should also be part of a sustainable farm ecosystem.

I have written several blog posts about CCD and the many ways modern agriculture is at the root cause.  This article brings  a new twist,  still related to conventional farming practices and thought.

Born to bee wild: How feral pollinators may help prevent colony collapse disorder | Grist

What stood out to me in this article is this. ...  the beekeeper went in search of healthy bees among the feral bees that escaped from commercial gives.  Now think about this.  Bees that were destined to suffer death if the remained in the care of commercial beekeepers have escaped and found a way in nature to avoid death from this mysterious disease. In my min that points a finger of blame squarely back at commercial beekeeping.  Once again,  the notion of science over nature,  profits over quality of life,  shortsightedness over long rang benefit, all these foundations of conventional agriculture are at the root.  Once escaped from the grips of modern thought and control,  the bees have conquered the disease and restored their own health. 

Commercial agricultural thoughts , unfortunately,  instead of changing their practices to make beekeeping match nature  is to capture the now healthy bees and steal their secret.  To what end I ask?  If it is the practices of beekeepers that created the problem,  and escape to nature the answer,  won't recapture just repeat history?

No,  the answer in my mind is to search beekeeping to find all the ways it is different from nature and change beekeeping to match nature.  Sure production per hive  and profits  will initially go down,  but in doing so it becomes sustainable. Think of a race.. . You can only sprint for so long.  The distance runner paces his progress to a sustainable pace.  Agriculture is like this.  We can sprint for a while and destroy ourselves in the process,  or set the sustainable pace of natural methods and run forever.

The bees are in danger,  and so is man's food system.  The answer is to release these bees permanently from big agriculture's  grasp and let nature heal itself.

At little sprouts we practice natural beekeeping . Our goal is like everything else we do,  mimic nature and recognize that our creator designed it right.  We accept lower quantity to gain higher quality and lower profits to gain sustainability.  This season we may have honey produced the way nature intended available for sale :)

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