Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Honey Bees & CCD - Colony Collapse Disorder

There has been a lot of press around this issue but not many answers. To us faithful Organics the reasons are intuitive, but incredibly difficult to prove. Find a (leftist) summary here:

I was at a talk by Malcolm Beck (one of the founders of Organics in Texas) a few weeks ago and he put up a slide (he always uses the old-fashioned slides) of something that looked like a cross between a bee and a fly. He had a name for it too, but I forget. He acknowledges that everyone is worried about the honey bee and what colony collapse was going to do to our agriculture...then he goes "But where did these bees come from?" He reminded us that honey bees were imported from Europe less than 200 years ago. Who pollinated the flowers before they came along? Well, these fly/bee things and other insects. How profound!

While I share the world's concern for our cute and friendly pollinators, I find it somewhat comforting that even if they disappeared, the NATIVE pollinators would then have a fighting chance at their own proliferation. Because it's all based on nectar. They pollinate, yes, but what they're really after is food for their hive. And so are thousands of other species of insects.


On a related note - eating local honey helps reduce or eliminate allergies (in case you didn't already know). For Austin, the best honey is Round Rock honey, which has the most diverse pollen profile of any of the local honeys.

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