What are they doing to our bees?

Honey from local allotment bees

This pot of honey comes from bees in a hive on our nearby allotments.

I have never tasted honey like it.

It starts off honey-ish and sweet and ends with interesting tastes, almost floral.

Bees – like most of us – do not like pesticide-sprays that spoil their food. So they thrive in a chemical-free environment, such as organic farms.

As the largest British survey found, there is more wildlife on organic farms.

Yet this common-sense evidence is being ignored.

As you probably know, the honey bee is under threat from Colony Collapse Disorder, a mysterious disease which leaves hives deserted. Have the bees gone off to die? No one knows.

A lot of our food sources depend on insect/bee pollination so we mess with honey bees at our peril.

Research indicates that the industrial farming of bees is bad for bees: large-scale transportation of hives, pesticide-spraying and, possibly, genetic modification – at least in the US where GM plants are commercially-grown – is damaging the health of bees.

Now to make matters worse, I now hear, thanks to the Ecologist, that the very company, Syngenta, that manufactures the bee-killing pesticide is also breeding bees.

For some reason, this reminds me of pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca,which makes the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, ALSO produces pesticides, including organochlorine acetochlor, implicated in breast cancer. Astra Zeneca is a keen sponsor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Can you get your head round this? Answers in the comments box gratefully received.

5 responses to “What are they doing to our bees?

  1. http://andrewgough.co.uk/bee1_1.html

    See this link for picture of 5000 BCE Bee Goddess!

    I copied this from the website

    The Bee is the only insect that communicates through dance, yet this largely forgotten trait is one of the reasons why Bee imagery from antiquity is often lost on the untrained eye. In her authoritative and oft quoted book, The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, Marija Gimbutas examines imagery on artefacts from Old Europe, circa 8000 BC, and concludes that they portray the Bee as a manifestation of the Mother Goddess, as depicted below.


  2. Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?


  3. Thanks, Phil – that is terrific. I also read in Bee Wilson’s wonderful book The Hive that Aristotle defined the queen bee as male because his world view could not comprehend that leaders could be female. This view was not corrected for centuries, I believe.

    So it is good to hear about the bees as a manifestation of the Mother Goddess (not everyone was influenced by Aristotle then!).

    But also sad to think how Mother Goddess’s bees are being obliterated by uncaring and dominating systems.

    I think the bees are like canaries down mineshafts and frogs changing sex because of chemicals in the water – they are seriously signalling health risks.

    Another great book is A World Without Bees by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum.

    Both books can be bought here:


  4. For an interesting alternative look at beekeeping, using inexpensive top bar hives, have a look at the Biobees website:

    Top bar hives are claimed to be easy to manage; they maintain the integrity of the brood nest and allow the bees to build natural comb with cells the size they want. The use of foundation may be linked to the bees’ problems with Varroa destructor, the charmingly named mite that has been wreaking havoc around the world. Less disturbance for the bees, cheaper hives, independence from purveyors of excessive paraphernalia.

    Having kept bees many years ago, I am now seriously tempted to have another go using these more enlightened methods.


  5. Pingback: waynechecker.net » Blog Archive » Reg Morrison – A fresh perspective on life - green living at the grass roots

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