This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fruits, Nuts, Seeds: An Earth Day Ode To The Honeybee

This morning I set out to make a smoothie. One of the good things about California is that there's always an excellent supply of fresh, seasonal produce to choose from--unlike my native Nebraska where the produce aisles leave something to be desired.

Yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, mango, banana, and ice--into the blender it all went. Then voila...NOTHING.
A busted blender and a mish-mosh of soggy fruit was all I had. It was a sign.

Later that afternoon, I flipped open a magazine to see an ad from Haagen-Dazs. [As a former advertising major, I sometimes actually read ad copy.] This one got my attention:

Imagine A World Without Honeybees.

I thought about the little critters in all their yellow and black fuzziness. I thought about all the fruits and vegetables I like that depend on those busy-bodied bees. I thought about that day in fifth grade when I got stung by a bee on my neck during recess. Now, I cannot recall the last time I heard of anyone being stung by a bee. Where have all the bees gone?

Yes, I've heard there's something serious happening with honeybees these days...something they call Colony Collapse Disorder. Yet, I didn't know how serious it was, nor had I given much thought to how integral bees are to our food supply.

About one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. [Agricultural Research Service]

No one knows the cause of the honeybee decline, but climate change, pollution, genetically altered food crops, and other environmental stressors are a good bet. Sure, I can buy a new blender, but if the bee-dependent food supply runs out we won't have the ability to create a honeybee to pollinate things like blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, pears, broccoli, carrots...

What can you and I do? Support local farmers. Purchase natural honey and bee products. Plant some wildflowers. Don't use pesticides. Purchase from companies like Haagen-Dazs and Burt's Bees and help fund research to unlock the mystery of the disappearing honeybee population and save the bees while we still can.

[Every Day Is Earth Day]

Photo credit: Freeman69/flickr
Copyright © 2008 KLiedle

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