bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

CCD and bee industrialisation

Mark Winston, the head of bees at Simon Fraser University in BC, Canada has been letting off steam about the industrialisation of beekeeping.

He thinks that CCD crisis goes much deeper than a particular virus. He thinks that the industrialization of bee farming has made bees more susceptible to mass die-offs and abrupt disappearances.

By "separating bees from their keepers," Prof. Winston argues, modern farming has increasingly exposed bees to a host of debilitating parasites, pesticides, antibiotics and malnutrition.

"Our agricultural philosophy is all about overwhelming nature rather than collaborating with it," he says. "If we could hear bees talk, they would be crying right now and they would saying, Leave us alone."
According to the article, Mark has closed his apiary and has refocused his teaching, preaching "bee-like virtues of collaboration and congeniality to undergraduates in a unique interdisciplinary program at SFU that focuses on civic dialogue. "My experience with bees grew into a serious concern about how we teach students to engage with the world," he says."

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