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Symbiotic Bee

From the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to every state or family dinner, in any country you can think of, food is front and centre. It's at the heart and soul of us all. There is nothing more personal. Not relationships, or careers, or even sex. In exceedingly unique ways, food governs everything we do and everything we think. Honeybees pollinate 90% of the food crops on Earth. That places them as an integral player in the ongoing saga of human development.


As residents living on this beautiful blue planet, we are all interconnected and nothing exemplifies this more than Earth's ecosystems. They are humanity’s life support system. These delicate environs depend on pollinators to regenerate finely tuned elements to ensure continuity. Whether mammal, animal or insect, should these pollinators disappear, the impact on humanity would be considerable. Previous studies indicate that the number of pollinators may be falling, but until now, there has been no investigation of how they are faring on a global level. A new international study does just that and it's ringing a very loud warning bell.

Saving the Monarch

The eastern population of Monarch butterflies are known for their extraordinary migration north from Mexico, through the mid-west United States and on into Canada. The one way trip is over 4800 miles -- the longest insect migration on Earth. They’ve traversed this route for thousands of years, but within the last 20 years, their populations have mysteriously plummeted 90%. Fewer than 50 million butterflies made it to Mexico last winter – a fraction of the population once estimated at 1 billion. So the Obama administration recently launched an initiative to halt the death spiral of the Monarch butterfly. But how effective will it be?

Pesticide Industry on Trial: Beekeeper Jeff Anderson

The agrochemical industry is valued at over $42 billion and operates with impunity while over 355,000 people die from pesticide poisoning every year, and hundreds of thousands more are made ill. In addition, pesticide corporations have put livelihoods and jobs in jeopardy, including, farmers, beekeepers and lobstermen.

Honeybees dead in Elmwood, Ontario

Shortly after 50,000 bees and other pollinators were found dead in an Oregon parking lot, 37 millions honeybees were found dead in Elmwood, Ontario. Dave Schuit, who runs a honey operation in Elmwood lost 600 hives and he's pointing to the class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which are manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc as the culprit.

Pollinator Die-off In Oregon

Tens of thousands of dead bumblebees, honeybees and ladybugs blanketed a shopping plaza's parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Its estimated 25,000 dead bumblebees and 150 colonies were lost. Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the non-profit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation said "To our knowledge this is one of the largest documented bumblebee deaths in the Western U.S. It was heartbreaking to watch."

To Ban or Not To Ban

There's a war about to take place. The honeybees are taking on industrial farming and the battle field is looking ugly.

Between April and June 2012, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency received "an unusually high number of incident reports of bee losses" from across southern Ontario. The agency said the reports involved 40 beekeepers and more than 200 bee yards. Residues of nitro-guanidine neonicotinoid insecticides used to treat corn seed were detected in approximately 70 per cent the dead bee samples analyzed by the agency.

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Colony Collapse Disorder

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found a possible link between the practice of feeding commercial honeybees high-fructose corn syrup and the collapse of honeybee colonies around the world. The study was published by a team of entomologists at the University of Illinois.The team outlines their research and findings in a paper they've had published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Intricate World of Pollination

Louie Schwartzberg's film “Wings of Life,” was inspired by the vanishing of one of Nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee. This award-winning cinematographer captures breathtaking images that celebrate life, interdependency, universal rhythms and sheer beauty.

Humanity's Garden

One hundred million years ago, during what geologists call the Cretaceous period, the face of our planet was reshaping itself, yet again. The supercontinent Pangaea had broken up into the land formations we are familiar with today. But it would take another 40 million years for the continents to make the journey to where they are currently anchored.

The land mass we now call South America was an island, slowly drifting westward. Africa was in pieces. India and Madagascar were island neighbours while much of Europe was still a series of small islands. Down under, Australia’s land mass was attached to Antarctica. And while the southern polar cap had just about settled into its current position, the temperature was a balmy 10◦C/50◦F, instead of the coldest spot on Earth.

A Taste of Honey

Honeybees have been revered by humans throughout time. A 15,000 year old rock painting in a cave in Valencia, Spain tells the story of a hunter collecting honey from a wild nest.

As far back as 7000 BC, societies celebrated by drinking mead fermented from honey. The ancient beverage was consumed during the month-long celebrations following weddings -- the honey moon. Prenuptial agreements required bridegrooms to supply their bride with honey throughout their marriage. Egyptians used honey 4,000 years ago to promote longevity in the afterlife by wrapping their dead in it.