Many have debated if Albert Einstein really once said: "if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." Regardless of who coined the quote, the plight of our honey bees is clearly in a decline. Mites, colony disease and even cell phones have had the finger of suspicion pointed at them, but a new alarm raise may point the figure at us gardeners.
So what's all the fuss, after all its just a bee, right? Well, bee's are responsible for pollinating about a third of our dietary needs. One estimate puts their worth at around $224 billion for the crops they produce worldwide. If that little yellow and black buzzing machine disappeared the price of food would immediately go up. Similar to the price of oil, jeopardising food production threatens the domestic security of any country.
|Flickr.com - Antie Schulte|
So, can we blame these chemicals for Colony collapse? Its not the sole reason for honey bee decline, but the findings from the EFSA study shows enough of a smoking gun to make you thing otherwise. Some garden centers and retail chains in England have already began voluntarily pulling any products containing imidacloprid from it's shelves. Though, the amount removed is nothing more than a drop in the ocean, many feel its a small price to pay. As more publicity arises, many more green industry companies may be forced to reconsider carrying such products in the face of rising concern.
|Flickr - jypsygen|
So before you reach for that blue bottle of chemical, consider if your plant just needs an Aspirin instead. You'll be replacing one harmful chemical of another lesser one, but at least the flowers can't complain of having a headache when it comes time to fornicating with some help from the bees!