So much news came out this week about bees. And it’s all bad.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report saying honeybees that are crucial for pollinating crops are still dying off at alarming rates.
Minnesota legislators are recommending pesticide reviews include the possibility of restricting or banning certain pesticides that are found to kill bees. The European Union already does this.
U.S. environmentalist groups are suing government agencies, demanding that the rusty patched bumble bee be added to the endangered species list, as a result of its steep population decline.
My head is buzzing (sorry).
If you read my blog regularly, you know I like bees. And I have a particular soft spot for bumble bees, with their fat, fuzzy bodies. I think they’re cute.
While mentioning my appreciation, I got into a discussion with a fellow Agweek team member in the office today about instances where I’ve been stung by bees. One in particular stands out.
I was about 4 or 5 and lying on the living room floor in our family home watching TV (Sesame Street or the Muppet Babies, I think). It was a hot summer day and we had no air conditioning, so the windows were open to let in the breeze. Suddenly, I felt a searing pain in my pinky finger and looked down to see a small bee sitting on it, stinger already detached and protruding from my quickly swelling finger.
I was so upset. Not because it hurt so much, but because I couldn’t understand why this tiny little bee wanted to hurt me.
My mom scooped me into her lap with a small bag of ice for my chubby, kid finger and explained he was just trying to sit down because I was welcoming and he accidentally stung me. I liked that explanation — so much that I didn’t question it. I probably still told people the story into adulthood.
But moms always have the answers. My mom knew everything when I was a kid. She still does.
So Mom, how do we save those cute little critters who like watching Sesame Street with 5-year-old strawberry-blonds?
The federal government needs your genius.