Globalization and Outsourcing Honeybees

What if the pollinator crisis was not so much a mysterious global phenomenon wrought by inscrutable worker bees called "Colony Collapse Disorder" but instead a very clear result of economic forces? Well, according to an interesting article, "Raspberries, Pears and Chocolate: A Fresh Understanding of the Bee Crisis," we came across on The Guardian, the big picture of the crisis tells a very different story than the one we have been reading. As one scientist states, "At least for honeybees, the pollinator crisis is not happening." This is because the key to the crisis is not viewing it strictly in terms of a decrease in U.S. hives, but instead in terms of outsourced honeybees, and the replacement of small, diverse crops with luxury crops and monoculture farms. As author Nathanael Johnson explains,
Call it a scoping problem — the conclusions you draw from looking through a microscope may be opposite to those you arrive at after examining the same evidence through a telescope. By drawing on both perspectives, scientists have come to a new, more-nuanced revelation: a pollinator crisis does indeed loom, but the crisis they see has little to do with a decline in bees and everything to do with economic globalization and the world's growing appetite for raspberries, cashews, chocolate, and other luxury crops. You don't have to don a protective suit and poke around beehives to see this crisis: it's there in your local supermarket when you find watermelons for sale in December.
You can read the full article here.
Image of honey bee courtesy of Flickr photographer autan under the Creative Commons License.
Print Friendly and PDF

No comments:

Post a Comment

Having trouble leaving a comment? Some browsers require acceptance of 3rd party cookies. If you leave an anonymous comment, it may need to be approved.