Now that the hysteria has started to dwindle, we're gettting into more rational and useful discussions of what that the issues are behind the honeybee crisis and some insight into the solutions.
I'm personally concerned that the general public is less interested in the solutions then the dramatic headlines.
But as a Salon round table discussion with bee experts revealed, the mass exodus of bees to the great hive in the sky forebodes a bigger story. The faltering dance between honeybees and trees is symptomatic of industrial disease. As the scientists outlined some of the biological agents behind "colony collapse disorder," and dismissed the ones that are not -- sorry, friends, the Rapture is out -- they sketched a picture of how we are forever altering the planet's delicate web of life.
The scientists constituted a fascinating foursome, each with his own point of view. Jeffrey Pettis, research leader of the USDA's honeybee lab, told us the current collapse is one of the worst in history. Eric Mussen, of the Honey Bee Research Facility at the University of California at Davis, maintained that it may only be cyclical. Wayne Esaias, of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, an amateur beekeeper, outlined his compelling views about the impact of climate change on bees. And John McDonald, a biologist, beekeeper and gentleman farmer in rural Pennsylvania, reminded us, if at times sardonically, of the poetry in agriculture.