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The Trouble with Beekeeping in the Anthropocene
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of TIME Magazine

TIME Magazine, August 9, 2013
Posted: August 19th, 2013

Honeybees are very useful to human beings, and species that are very useful to usthink domesticated animals and petstend to do OK in the increasingly human-dominated world we call the Anthropocene. But other wild species arent so luckyand that includes the thousands of species of wild bees and other non-domesticated pollinators. Bumblebees have experienced recent and rapid population loss in the U.S., punctuated by a mass pesticide poisoning in Oregon this past June that led to the deaths of some 50,000 bumblebees. A 2006 report by the National Academies of Science concluded that the populations of many other wild pollinatorsespecially wild beeswas trending demonstrably downward. The threats are much the same ones faced by managed honeybees: pesticides, lack of wild forage, parasites and disease. The difference is that there are thousands of human beings who make it their business to care for and prop up the populations of honeybees. No one is doing the same thing for wild bees. You dont hear about the decline of hundreds of species of wild bees, says Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. Thats meant almost literallywe dont hear them anymore. The plight of the bees illustrates our outsized influence on the this planet as we reshape itconsciously and notto meet our immediate needs. But just because we have this power doesnt mean we fully understand it, or our impact on our own world. We are a species that increasingly has omnipotence without omniscience. Thats a dangerous combination for the animals and plants that share this planet with us. And eventually, it will be dangerous for us, too.

Note: For more on mysterious mass deaths of animals, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.

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