animals, consumption, environment, food, journalism, science, unfortunate

Learn Something New: Honeybees

The amazing, disappearing honeybee has become the sleeper hit of journalism. It has slowly gained momentum over the last nine or ten months and now it seems like just about everyone has heard of it, even if they don’t really know anything about it. Most coverage follows the same beaten path: bees are disappearing, did you know that people truck bees around the country?, etc. It’s all very interesting, in a panicky sort of way (kind of like the disappearing banana, though that never tugged at America’s heartstrings like this story).

070710_science_honeybeetn.jpgAnd then Heather Smith writes in Slate about why maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised or so worried. Because the honeybee that we’ve come to think we know and love is already long gone. Smith notes, “The only honeybees left—i.e., the ones that started disappearing in October—had become the cows of the insect world: virtually extinct in the wild, hopped up on antibiotics, and more likely to reproduce via artificial insemination than by their own recognizance.”

Illustration from Slate by Robert Neubecker.

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