Holding Space for the Relationships Bees Choose
A Million Bodies Drowning in the Flood Myth of Apis Mellifera
I have found myself wondering what the next stage in hive evolution will be.
More than that, I have realized that the predominant theme of commercial honeybee hive design throughout history has so far been the theft of honey, only recently rivaled by concern for bee welfare. But can this dynamic be completely revolutionized—where bee welfare is the primary design concern, and the collection of bee-related products—on their terms—is only secondary? Is it possible to design a hive in which bees are given the option to provide products like honey or pollen for species other than themselves?
A New Direction for Beekeeping
We can build and place all the wild bee hotels we can make (and we should). We can refuse to buy honey on industrial or local scales, whatever preference we have (and we should). But until we change the underlying system of food production, we are not addressing the root causes of colony collapse or loss of pollinator diversity. Industrial pollination–that is, the waiting game for when colony collapse or some other horror will strike a hive, and the destruction of wild bees with it–is demanded for every fruit and vegetable we buy from this scale.
Perma-WHAT? Planting for Pollinators
How will we keep-bees when so many threats face them and us together? How do we act on valuing resiliency ahead of profit and products? What can we offer them rather than solely take from them?
Pollinator Week 2018
Permaculture design shouldn't be limited to creating a more sustainable world for humans. If we take our cues from nature, we see a complex system that has never been just about one species at the expense of all others.
Wild Bees Need Our Help
Doing our part as consumers, farmers, home gardeners, and community advocates, we can build up local food systems to replace unsustainable agribusinesses. With these food systems must come localized pollinator networks, and action that recognizes the interconnectedness of soil health, crop management, farmed bees, and wild bees along with other neighborhood pollinators.
Since the early 2000s, the world has been abuzz with concern about honeybees and the hive-devastating phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 2006 and 2007, some beekeepers reported unexplained losses of between 30-90% of their hives. We now hypothesize that CCD is a result of the labor and environmental conditions honeybees are made to work in to pollinate our modern agricultural system.