Monday, May 12, 2008

The Demise of Bees

Arizona Republic published a story this week stating that 36.1 percent of the nation's commercially managed hives have been lost in the past year. After reading about this, I remembered a poem that seemed fitting.

When the last bee died,
nobody noticed. Nobody put on black
or made a dirge for the death
of honey. Nobody wrote an elegy
to apricots, no one mourned for cherries.

When the last bee died,
everyone was busy. They had things to do,
drove straight to work each morning,
straight back home each night. The roads
all seriously hummed. Besides,

the pantries were still packed
with cans of fruit cocktail in heavy syrup,
deep deep freezers full
of concentrated grape and orange juice,
stores stocked with artificial flavoring.

When the last bee died, nobody saw
the poppies winking out, nobody cried
for burdock, yarrow, wild delphinium.
Now and again a child would ask for
dandelions, quickly shushed: That pest!

And everyone is fine. The children healthy,
radish-cheeked. They play she loves me/not
with Savoy cabbage leaves, enjoy the telling
of the great myths, peach and peony.
No one believes in apples any more.

End Notes for a Small History
Betty Lies
"Southern Poetry Review"
Summer 1998 Vol. XXXVlll, No. 1 page 33


Julie said...

Oh dear...our bees...what to do??? This one makes me sad...

WiseAcre said...

I still believe in apples. It will be a sad day indeed if the bees vanish. Few realize just how much we depend on them.

Bo said...

Excellent post, Aiyana, on a problem many people don't know about - or care about , do you think???

Pretty short sighted. I hear our hives are doing better in Wisconsin...

Jim/ArtofGardening said...

Ouch. That stings a bit.

Yes, it starts out as small articles in the news, then becomes more urgent as time goes on. Without a solution, it starts to effect crops. When it puts a choke hold on the food supply it'll be too late to do much.

I was trying to picture, just the other day, what a man-made pollination machine might look like.

Laura said...

Scary thought to lose our bee's. Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

How sad to read about the loss of bees. Beautiful photo, Aiyana.

Cheryl said...

Well done Aiyana for promoting the demise of the bee. The poem brought tears to my eyes. I have worked religiously for the last few years to plant and create a healthy habitat for wild bees. To this point it has worked and they have increased in numbers.
A virus, I believe is causing the problem. In England many groups are pushing the Government into financing studies to find out how we can help our precious bees. I think we will succeed. The power of the people.
By the way the photograph is pure magic.
I will keep the poem it is so beautiful, tku for a fantastic post.

beckie said...

There have been ads on TV that state every 3rd bite of food we eat is because of bees. The poem is lovely. Hopefully, increased awarness will help find a solution.

Claude said...

Well, there's plenty of bees here. I'm constantly amazed at how terrified people are of the little gals... they seem to think the things are lurking outside the door in hopes of attacking unwary suburbanites. Of course, they're city folks, and I grew up out in the country in the middle of a clover lawn, so I guess I'm just used to them.

Great post!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Lovely poem and great picture. We just can't lose our bees.

farmingfriends said...

I am sorry to say that farming has played it's part in the demise of the bee as the use of pesticides can affect bees.
I like the poem.
Sara from farmingfriends

Neza said...

Interesting forgot about the part where the whole earth shrivels up and dies...

Please also read my bee post from May 3rd with lots of photos.
Thanks! The Rock and Roll Gardener

Correy said...

Apparently the reason they are dying out is because of a parasite which hops on the bees and sucks it's blood. Then it sets itself up in the hive living off all the bees that get born.

Australia apparently is the last place on earth where this parasite has not reached.

Australia is sending millions of bees to places like the U.S every year to pollinate their crops such as almonds.