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