First we’ll kill off the bees

While we’re still convinced that building more highways and developing housing on prime farmland, we’re sort of forgetting about the smallest things that make a big difference: Bees.

Reading the comments on the Dayton Daily News site (I really have to stop doing that) makes me wonder if anyone who uses that site paid attention in junior high biology. Bees are critical to our survival- here is a quick take from the USDA Agricultural Research Service:

Why should the public care about honey bees?Bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. About one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination. While there are native pollinators honey bees came from the Old World with European colonists, honey bees are more prolific and the easiest to manage for the large scale pollination that U.S. agriculture requires. In California, the almond crop alone uses 1.3 million colonies of bees, approximately one half of all honey bees in the United States, and this need is projected to grow to 1.5 million colonies by 2010.

via ARS : Questions and Answers: Colony Collapse Disorder.

In the same way that the stock market is connected to the financial health of our country- even though it only represents a tiny fraction of the businesses in this country- bees are critical to our entire ecosystem.

Here is the Dayton Grassroots Daily Shows discussion on the future of humankind- if we forget about the bees:

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