If you haven’t yet heard the latest on Colony Collapse Disorder, a sudden and mysterious disappearance of perfectly healthy honeybees from their hives, then read these rather chilling pieces from Boing Boing and Time. In short, the reason honeybees are dying off in droves has been linked to a certain pesticide used on corn plants.
The fact that pesticides are the culprit isn’t exactly shocking; but what is interesting is the relationship between our dependence on one monoculture (corn corps) to feed another monoculture (honeybees) in order to reap the bounty of food that we see in our supermarkets. Because farmers harvest the honey from commercial beehives, they rely on cheap corn syrup–similar to high fructose corn syrup we see in various food items–to feed the bees. Harvard biologist Chensheng Lu believes even trace amounts of the pesticide Imidacloprid in their corn-based food supply may be cause of Colony Collapse Disorder.
If Colony Collapse Disorder were to continue, almost 1 in 3 foods we see in our supermarkets would be at jeopardy, according to Michael Pollan who has done extensive research on our delicate food supply.
For more on how honeybees are transported from one part of the country to another, to pollenate everything from almond trees to apple orchards, watch this clip from America Revealed on PBS.