Recently Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries wrote a wonderful post on the mysterious disappearance of bees. We are observing this phenomenon first hand. On June 1, 2007 we posted this article on bees in our yard. We had lots of bees, but this year the picture is quite different. No bees showed up last week or this week. Couple of stragglers visited over the weekend. And this absence is troubling.
Taking pictures last year was quite a challenge, with literally a swarm around each plant. Last June, this salvia bush was covered with, maybe, over a hundred bees. They kept flying in and out of the frame. It is not a dangerous job though, as the bees are busy drinking the nectar and are in general very peaceful when you meet them in public. They do get fiercely mad if you ever get close to their hive, especially if they are africanized bees.
The same bush this June had exactly two bees.
Bees love the flowering plants in our garden like Salvia, Chaste, Russian Sage, Weigela which have tons of flowers and bloom right through summer.
Bee in the Crookneck Squash flower
Bees also love to visit the flowers of our raspberry bush, squash, watermelon, cucumber etc in our veggie patch. They are the primary pollinators for lot of vegetables and fruits. A whopping US$14 to15 Billion worth.
Most of these bees are in managed hives in commercial farms. Typically the number of hives per acre of crop in large farms is (source: wiki)
Apples: 1 to 2
Cantaloupe: 2 to 4
Cucumber 1 to 2
Watermelon: 1 to 3
Over the past couple of years there has been an alarming drop in the bee population, threatening food supply. Commercial farms have lost about a third of their hives to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder).
Nobody knows the cause for CCD. Scientists are furiously trying to figure out why this is happening. If the trend continues, food production is going to be hit. The sector is already reeling from high fuel costs and this would only be a double whammy. Food prices will undoubtedly go up too.
Maybe the absence of the bees from the neighborhood hive (that our little veggie patch owes a lot of gratitude to) is due to the erratic weather that we have faced in spring (spikes of cold and hot). Maybe it hasn’t consistently warmed up and they haven’t re-established their colony. I fervently hope so. If not, I will have to do a lot of manual pollinating. As cool as that may sound, its not really that much fun. That’s what we have the bees for!
The solidarity continues to pour in for the CLICK for Bri fundraiser from every corner of the blogosphere.
*** A long list of edible and non-edible goodies from Wandering Chopsticks. They include Malaysian and Indonesian specialty food items and hand-knit scarves.
Details at Wandering Chopsticks. Bid Price: $10, Code: Wandering Chopsticks.
This is an unbelievable story, and every bit is true. First they steal content from 300 sites and post it on their monetised site. Then they cyber-stalk those who bring it to their attention and threaten them with bodily harm. They set up bogus e-mail accounts, bogus stat counters and websites to malign those whose data they have stolen.
They “punish” the person who wrote them an e-mail about her content being stolen by putting her profile on one of their porn sites. When they realised they’d gone too far, they claim to have atoned by making a donation to a fictitious orphanage. They threaten to ‘track her down’ and ‘teach her a lesson’.
Sounds like a bad soap opera, but these people are for real. They claim to have a legitimate business based in San Jose, California, as they try to make life hell for our dear friend and fellow blogger Inji Pennu. We refuse to name them or their site. We do not want their trolls to land up here. You can read all the gory details at Ginger and Mango. Unfortunately for them, they chose to pick on the wrong person. Every day, a new can of worms is opened, and we learn more about their shady dealings.
We join the protest against these despicable threats and intimidations that follow blatant plagiarism. We refuse to use the term ‘cyber bullies’. This is much more than that. It’s like calling men in India who swagger around bus stops and public places molesting women ‘eve-teasers’. Excuse us, touching a woman without her consent is not ‘teasing’. It is attempted rape.
Threatening someone with physical harm, attaching Google maps with e-mails containing threats of physical assault, putting her profile and e-mail address on porn sites, generating bogus e-mails supposedly sent from her inbox – all these acts go way beyond ‘bullying’. All for pointing out that they had taken content from her Malayalam site without consent.
The law enforcement authorities are now involved. So are Yahoo and Google, who are taking this very seriously. Watch this space. Inji, hats off to you for not backing down.
- Bee and Jai