Change Alley

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Honey Bees

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Flowering currant with camera-shy beesThe flowering currant in our front garden is in full bloom, and is covered with bees, although you’d never know it from the photograph. Sadly, they seem to be desperately camera-shy, after a dozen attempts I gave up trying to get a shot with even a single bee in it. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

The way things are going, it may not be long before bees are just a memory in our garden. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) continues to be an unsolved mystery in the United States (‘The Vanishing Bee‘), and growing concerns are being expressed that within ten years the honey bee may have all but disappeared in Britain (‘Mystery virus killing bees‘). At a conservative estimate, one third of the UK’s agricultural and horticultural output depends upon wild pollinators, chief of which is the honey bee.

You can always tell that an idea has captured the public’s imagination when somebody makes a movie about it. ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ made a lot of money on the back of climate change fears. ‘Flood’ deservedly sank like several stones in spite of its release coinciding with a North Sea storm surge and fears of flooding. Now, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest blockbuster ‘The Happening‘ postulates that CCD may just be the first phase in an ecological shift that will destroy the human race.  Gaia meets ’28 Days Later’.

Whether this entertaining hypothesis is true or not, we’re all probably going to be up a gum tree without a paddle before long. I foresee a new career as a fruit tree pollinator.


Written by Pete Smith

April 21, 2008 at 12:33 pm

One Response

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  1. The movie industry seems to be expecting an apocalypse some time soon. The film trailer makes me think of what Albert Einstein said about only having four year of human life left if bees disappeared of the face of the earth.


    April 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm

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