Have you seen any Bees lately?

Jessi and I watched a documentary this evening, Vanishing of the Bees. It was very informative and interesting on many different levels as we are both environmentally conscious individuals — she more than me, but still… We learned about Collapsing Colony Disorder and possible causes of bee disappearances in recent years. And, you may ask, “Why is Mother Goose suddenly so interested in bees?” And I would answer that Mother Goose has ALWAYS been fascinated with bees!

When we were young tator tots, we didn’t have a lot of modern day entertainment like video games, Facebook and such. As kids, we actually went outside and played! We usually lived in the country, and visited our grandma and grampa’s homes as well — all out in the middle of the woods and fields of northern Minnesota. One of the most fun activities we had was to catch bees in jars. I see you shuddering for fear of being stung, and yes, sometimes we were stung. But most of the time, it was a harmless activity. We also picked armfuls of flowers for our Mom and brought them back to the house. She would be so grateful of our field flowers — mostly black-eye suzies and goldenrod — and would arrange them all artfully in vases immediately. But oh my gosh, Mother Goose gets so sidetracked! Back to the Bees, please!

Bee research is showing that systemic pesticide use to be the most logical cause of the vanishing bee colonies. Farmers use to spray their crops with pesticides, but now it is common practice to soak the seeds of the corn or soybeans in the pesticides before planting. The chemicals stay on the plant, its flowers, produce as well as in the soil for a long long time. The documentary actually showed footage of bees in France behaving normally on an organic sunflower, and then behaving erratically on a sunflower grown from systemic pesticide treated seeds. It was very very sad.

Friends, Mother Goose and others have directly experienced decreased produce in vegetable gardens this past year. My plants had plenty of flowers on them — the zucchinis, tomatoes, watermelons and green peppers all had blooms. But we had very little fruit or vegetables after the blossoms. Vegetable flowers cannot turn into vegetables or seeds unless they experience pollination which is the main work of bees. Yes, bees produce honey, and that’s a noble career for anyone. But honey production and pollination go hand in hand, or buzz by buzz.

I need to do tons more research on this topic. Obviously Mother Goose doesn’t have all the answers yet, but folks, this is a critical situation, and it affects all of us. We need to remember the bees, to think about the bees and then to act on behalf of the bees.

Bee blessed today! Love, Natalie

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