About Whale of a Time

Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.

Whale of a Time Tweats

Monday, 29 March 2010

To Bee Or Not To Bee

Can you imagine a life without bees? Bees amongst other insects including bumble bees, beetles, butterflies, some bird and bat species contribute to our life as we know it. The honey bee account for such an important part in our life that is often invisible to the eye.

Without bees, no pollination, no fruits and vegetables!

The economic significance of the pollinators has been estimated to 30-times of the economic value. 80% of all crop plants are pollinated by bees. The pollination value is a tenfold of the average honey production. The economic significance of the honey bee has been ranked at number 3 after cows and pigs.

The bee breaks the law of nature of eating and being eaten. When bees collect nectar they pollinate and enrich biodiversity. Bees produce without destruction of other life forms. She gives when she takes.

Life question: To bee or not to bee. Einstein said in his famous quote about bees that once the bees are gone the human race would follow within four years. Today we’re facing an environmental crisis that threatens the existence of our buzzing little friends!

Neonicotinoid systemic insecticides used for seed coating of agricultural crops in e.g. sweet corn and sunflowers, are harming our honey bees while they are busy pollinating. The death is difficult to estimate since the bees die out in the fields when they drink guttation drops from these contaminated plants. The question rises what effect these pesticides have on humans. These farming methods are not allowed in organic farming.

Many pesticides are labeled as bio-degradable or harmless like the so-called “Round-up” by Monsanto, which in reality can be extremely harmful and contaminate the soil with long-term effects.

In the book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carlson, the duke of Edinbuourgh wrote, “Miners used dead canaries in their mines as a warning sign, and so should we be alarmed by the number of dead birds in our fields.” I’d like to add, “Today we should take the number of bees dying as a warning sign and wake up and change our behaviour and stop using suspected chemicals for growing our food production. Instead we should use alternative farming methods that are biologically approved that don’t harm bees.

Irene Schleining