I had just started reading Rowan Jacobsen’s book; Fruitless Fall; The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis. With book in one hand and a good glass of wine in the other, I settle into my chair on this cold Saturday night. I picked back up at the start of chapter two; How the Honey Bees Conquered the World when the email arrives. Normally, I wouldn’t bother to check it right then but for some reason this time I did. I wasn’t prepared for what I saw and even more disturbing when you consider the timing.
See for yourself and mourn with me one more sad case of human ignorance on the impact of nature. Although true Colony Collapse Disorder is still a mystery, this particular case is not. Apparently this email is circulating in cyberspace. A quick Internet search of Mortien, the insecticide pictured below, is a common pest control in Australia. Ideally, I would like to have confirmed the details and validate the content before posting. I’d like to think this didn’t really happen but I know better. In fact, it happens all too often. I’ve been on my soapbox too long to think otherwise. These pictures from that email tell the rest of the story.
Could there be any justification for this course of action? Was the homeowner allergic to bees? If so, they never said so. And besides, couldn't a beekeeper have safely removed and relocated this colony to another location? To the contrary, the description in this email by the author tells me they were quite proud of their 'success'. Terms included: I thought I was pretty smart hehehe, and weapon of buzz destruction. They also mentioned that although the poison they used was not labeled for bees, they tried it anyway. Hel-loooo-oh. The brand of chemical pictured above isn’t important. If it weren’t that, it would be something else. But maybe there’s a reason you don’t see Honey bee bombs for sale anywhere Mr. or Mrs. Einstein? Yet, as I travel the country, speaking to groups about the delicate balance of nature, too few people realize the impact of their actions by treating cases like this the very same way.
Finally, as if to defend this tragic massacre in some way, the email author ends their comments with this; "We think the queen flew away..either that or a small child has wings and has been living in the hive cos that thing was huge!" Really! Please help awaken others to the sad events of this story and let me know how you feel below. Thank you.