Thursday, 30 May 2013

Endangered Bees

We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne. -- Marcus Aurelius

In September of 2011, millions of bees in Florida's Breward County mysteriously died in one day.  Local farmers and beekeepers suspected that pesticide spraying was to blame.

In March 2012, an Illinois beekeeper's hives were illegally seized and destroyed by the Department of Agriculture, who claimed that the bees were infected with a disease.  The farmer insisted that his bees were healthy and the only reason they were taken was because he had been researching the effects of the pesticide known as Roundup.

The agricultural giant Monsanto has been suing farmers to protect their "patented seed technology"; all because honeybees land on Monsanto’s genetically-modified crop fields and cross pollenate them with the organic plants at the farmers' fields nearby.

In April 2012 Monsanto bought out a research firm that specialized in bee disorders, for the apparent purpose of using that research to deny any link between genetically-modified crops and the honeybee decline.

All of the above cases, and more, make it clear that corporations are taking more aggressive and even illegal actions to control our food supply.  Even honeybees are considered a threat, to the point where bees are actively being exterminated despite warnings from the scientific community that pollination is vital to our crops and to humanity's well-being.

Many environmentally conscious groups are advocating the use of yards as personal farms; their motto being "Grow food, not lawns".  Unfortunately there are municipalities that have bylaws requiring grass to be planted, and hefty fines have been levied against homeowners who grow vegetables on their property.  So it's a good idea to check first.

I for one am thinking about turning my back yard into a vegetable garden.  Wish me luck.

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