Honeybee Hive Collapse, Almond Trees, the California drought and more: Three Dot Lounge for May 24, 2015

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Honeybees at a Crossroads

Honeybees at a Crossroads

Eric Holthaus has pulled together great look at all of the interconnecting dots that surround the ongoing problem of honeybee hive collapse here in the U.S. and around the world. This is a huge problem that’s not going to get better any time soon, especially with the U.S. government moving slowly on banning neonicotinoid pesticides, which have increasingly been implicated in the syndrome. But what isn’t so obvious is how the Central Valley’s massive shift from farmed crops to tree crops — especially Almonds — and how the serious drought we’re having here in California are contributing to accelerating this collapse.

Almonds are entirely dependent on bees for pollination. These bees are trucked in from around the country, but climate change is pushing the bloom earlier, and now the drought is reducing the bees ability to feed on nectar, leaving the hives stressed and more susceptible to the pesticide. This entire cycle might be in a death spiral — at best, it’s going to be difficult to stabilize this and give the hives a chance to recover and rebuild their numbers.

All in all, it’s clearly another cluster in the large number of clusters we’ve caused for ourselves by not taking the needs of the planet seriously for far too many years — and now the planet has hit a point where it can’t absorb the abuse much longer.