come back, bees!

LI hasn’t had a report from the bee front, recently.

So, here’s some catching up.

A story in the National Journal has everything you want from the mainstream media – smug entitlement, gross stupidity, and the idea that the environment – the planet in general – is a peanut compared to the awe-inspiring seriousness that goes on in D.C. If Richard Cohen’s heartfelt plea for Scooter Libby, today, has become an instant classic of the King Bush era – the lickspittle mentality etched in the illiterate-attacked-by-rabid-dog prose that the Washington Post editorial page is so proud of - the jokey National Journal story (“Summer's nearly here, and in the media that means science news, lots and lots of it. When the weather gets hot, the sources of "normal" news -- politics, government, business -- go on vacation. And into the void steps science, with its bottomless bag of discoveries about our bodies, the Earth, and the cosmos. Goodbye, Scooter Libby. Hello, stunning new findings about the moons of Jupiter.” Ha ha) is all about the clueless folks who think they rock our world.

After running through the terribly funny issue of the bee rapture, ticking off the points one two three, the article ends like this:

“4. Laugh. Jeff Pettis, a scientist at the federal Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., likes to make fun of people's wild explanations. He told Garreau that his "favorite theory" is, "The bees are out there creating their own crop circles, working very hard, physically pushing the crops down with their little legs." He told the same story to the AP in May. The joke's getting a little old, but its lighthearted spirit seems just right. Why panic? It's summertime, and the science is easy.”

To which, of course, we can only summon up a heartfelt and sincere fuck you. So much for one Monsanto-head tool.

The Philadelphia inquirer has a better article:
Farmers survive the lost colonies; With hives decimated, sun and trucked-in bees save pollination by Sandy Bauers

Bauers reports on the use of bees in blueberry farming. The blueberry farmers have found hives, and are paying a bigger price. But there is, as always, the problem of stress. If stress is making bees more vulnerable to colony collapse, then the healthy bees that are being used, if possible, even more this summer are going to naturally be vulnerable.
“It's possible the bees are too busy. Many hives are now headed for Maine's blueberries; others will pollinate New Jersey's cranberries and cucumbers and Pennsylvania pumpkins.
"What I'm holding my breath for," vanEngelsdorp [Pennsylvania's acting state apiarist] said, "is when the bees come out of blueberries in Maine and what they look like next November. I think this sickness and collapse manifests itself after stress."

Poor bees. I suggest, to those colonies about to rapture, that you first surround the national journal and sting all the guys there. They deserve it.