The Plight of the Bees

I’ve been worrying a lot about the bees lately, with bee colony collapse disorder happening in the U.S. and decreases in bee populations up here in Canada as well.

Robin Wall Kimmerer in her beautiful book, Gathering Moss, writes that if we don’t appreciate and respect the other living beings that comprise the web we live our lives in, they will leave us. I admit to taking bees for granted. I gave them little thought except to wish them away when they flew too close, until the buzz of CCD started leaking into news and conversation. The truth of the matter is that we’re not above nature, we’re not even independent from nature. The truth is we are very dependent on a range of organisms for our lives and well being. Bees are essential to much of our agriculture, without them we’re screwed. It would be much better to learn to appreciate and respect them now while they’re still around, rather than waiting until they’re gone. So I’m trying to notice the bees in my neighbourhood and to stop fearing them and to instead appreciate the diligent, vital work they do for the biosphere.


Here’s a photo I took of a little bee who yesterday landed on my turquoise yoga top, which was hanging outside on the clothes line to dry. This morning she was still there, still clinging to the fabric even in death. I don’t know why she stayed there overnight, if that’s what killed her or if she was already on her way to dying when she landed but I can’t help feeling a little disturbed by the incident. I hope her sisters are faring better than she did.

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