Random thoughts

Yesterday when I was waiting for the Bart train, I noticed a bee on the ground. The bee was, for lack of a better word, stumbling around. It was not able to fly, and it also seemed unble to walk in a straight line or even stay on its legs. It made me think of the articles I have read about bee colony collapse, the mysterious circumstance where bees suddenly stop retuning to the hive. The latest I have read about it is that it is caused by something going wrong with the bees sense of direction, such that although the bees want to get home to the hive, they cannot find their way back. And without the nourishment of the honey, they all start to die.

What is causing this navigational failure is still uncertain--cell phone transmissions for instance have been offered as one explanation. But yesterday I was sure it was caused by another culprit I've heard mentioned: pesticides. After this thought occurred to me, I spent the rest of the train ride imagining a book written two hundred years in the future, where the author laments the stupidity of 21st century industrial farming and the hubris of agribusiness thinking they can control life's delicate balance. And I imaged the book told of a meeting where the pesticide responsible for killing all the bees was first introduced as a grand new way to keep aphids away or some such thing, and none of the business men in the room had the common sense to understand that if the chemical would do that to undesirable insects, it would also do bad things to important and helpful insects, like bees.

I know first hand that the extensive farms stretching all along the interior valley of Central California are now almost lifeless, no birds, no insects, no wild animals. It's surreal. It was hard to have thoughts like that while riding on the Bart alone. I wished I had someone there to share these thoughts with. Instead I blog about it now.

Comments

Jon Frimann said…
Since I am no longer on Facebook. I hope that you are ok during the magnitude 5.9 earthquake that you just had in California.

I am on Google+ if you want to reconnect.

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