Wednesday, 4 June 2008

research on bees - a petition

Beeswax is one of my raw (and most valued) materials, and the historic resist for batik, so can I urge all UK readers to sign this petition.

Think not only of their wax and honey, both ancient traditional natural materials, but also of bees 'services' to agriculture. They fertilise up to a third of our crops - if bees seriously decline there will be disastrous repercussions for crop fertility. A beekeeping friend indicated his more experienced neighbour lost 23 out of her 40 hives last winter.

The petition is asking for
funding for research into the rapid decline of honey bee colonies

and runs until June 11th (a week left to sign).

The following came in the original email I received (Mark: hope it's OK to quote you):

"Quick background. I'm an erstwhile beekeeper, and this year painfully aware
of the lack of honey bees around. I leave a clump of brassicas on the
allotment every year for them to feast on, but until yesterday i hadn't seen
a single one. This combines with a local newspaper article (I live in
Warwicks) that colonies in this area - in line with the national average -
are down by 30 per cent. With no reserves in the 'British' wild (even more
serious news) I hardly need reminding anybody who is making connections that
this is part of and parcel of a bigger environmental catastrophe. I do not
use that term lightly - but without honey bees - even looked at in the most
blatantly pragmatic sense of 'eco-services' provided, our daily diets are
going to be seriously narrowed in terms of the vegetables and fruit we will
no longer be eating.

It goes without saying that last year's disastrous weather is a major factor
in the bee collapse. In other words, continued anthropogenic climate change
may spell the end of the British honey bee. The request for research money
may not help that in itself, but it might remind government on the
connectedness of all things, including the small but essential ones to our
bodies and souls, we tend to forget.

Sign the petition please, if you will!
cheers, mark"

More about bees at the British Beekeepers Association, whose site pointed me to this recent Daily Mail article about the funding situation by an enlightened (on this) politician. Last Saturday's Guardian had this informative article "Last Flight of the Honeybee". And here, a link to the government's response to an earlier bee research funding petition. Read it. Need I say more...

No comments: