We face a future full of challenges about the health of our communities and the impacts of a warming climate. Of the many intersections between environmental justice, health and climate change, one that is often overlooked is pesticide use.
Getting down for bees with jazz music, wine and food has everything to do with being a bee protector! We are celebrating bees with a fantastically fun event, but we aren’t joking about the real peril for pollinators. Bees are not safe in Oregon, or anywhere else in America. Eight species of native bees have very recently been put on the US Endangered Species List and are at the mercy of the Trump Administration.
I’m writing this from the bedside of my childhood friend who grew up on the same street as I. Ten days ago she was fine. Today she is transitioning to her passing. Her breathing is ragged, her eyes are unfocused. Her doctors at Stanford University Medical Center told the family they have never seen such a rare and aggressive cancer. They can’t stop it, they can’t even slow it down.
Cancer. Linked to environmental pollution from toxic chemicals and poisonous pesticides.
By now, the whole world knows that seven documented bumble bee kill incidents happened in Oregon during 2013-2014. These bee slaughters were caused by applications of neonicotinoid insecticides.
It started eighteen months ago, when a group of passionate and dedicated bee keepers came to the Beyond Toxics office to talk with us about the bees. They were well informed and brought published studies revealing the role pesticides play in the demise of honey bee colonies.
Our freedoms come with responsibilities when our actions may affect, directly or indirectly, people’s welfare and the environment. The responsible person asks the question of what is at risk. We think that Oregonians want responsible legislation that helps prevent unintended harm and death to the hard working bees that make home gardens and bountiful harvests possible.
There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the rapid decline of many species of bees worldwide. Honey bees and bumble bees have played a crucial role in human cultures for thousands of years. Today, even with more industrialized modern agriculture, the humble bee (both native and domesticated bee species) still plays a remarkably important role in bringing food to the tables of people all around the world.
Smooth and succulent. Translucent colors, amber and smoke. Made me pause and sigh with delight. Like a wine tasting, but without the alcohol. I’m talking honey tasting!
Bees are really cool. I have two different bee families happily buzzing and sipping nectar in my backyard. One was a real surprise! I had put out a beautiful bird house that I bought from a vendor at Saturday Market. Instead of a family of finches, I attracted a batch of bumble bees. I see them going in and out of the opening into which they stuffed bits of fluff and string to give themselves privacy!