Smokers of the World, Unite!

Nov 30, 2008 by

No--I'm not talking about cigarette smokers; I'm talking about bee smokers. You can see me with a smoker in my profile picture--it looks like a tea kettle with a mini-accordion on the back, and is used to blow smoke into the bee hive to calm bees. But what I really wanted to talk about is a protest in Britain a few weeks ago. Apparently 300 beekeepers joined together with their smokers in full effect, dressed in their Sunday best (starch-white bee suits) to protest the dramatic loss of bee hives in the U.K. We're talking 2 million bees in ONE year. Wow. The beekeepers are angry that the government hasn't put enough money towards bee research. It's understandable why they haven't: Beekeepers don't have the same kind of sway that energy and science lobbyists do, for example...we face the same problem here in the U.S. In the U.K., about 2.4 million is being spent on bee research and to conduct hive checks, but the beekeepers would like to up that amount to 12.6 million. Why the urgency? Check this out. According to an article about the event in "The beekeeper group said if the current state of deterioration continues across Britain, English honey supplies could be gone before the end of the year." And when honey supplies are gone, we're talking about a bee decline that's so dramatic that it'll trickle down (and already has!) to farmers everywhere. Check out the article where I found the picture, and see some other great pics here and here.

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