The connection between the bee race and the human race continues to deepen.
"Beekeepers see their bees as the canaries in the coal mine. All living beings are exposed to the cocktail of pesticides and other chemicals in our midst, each in sub-lethal doses but all mixing together and interacting in our bodies. Many Americans, like bees used to pollinate monocultures, do not eat very healthy or nutritious diets, and our stressful and sedentary lifestyles put us at even more risk of succumbing to illness. Are the bees giving us a message we should be heeding?
The decline of bees has been in the headlines for several years, and theories to explain their deaths abound. But perhaps there is not just one single cause. University of California San Diego professor of biology James Nieh studies foraging, communication and health of bees. 'I would say it's a combination of four factors; pesticides, disease, parasites, and human mismanagement,' says Nieh. Bees might be weakened by having a very low level of exposure to insecticides or fungicides, making them more susceptible if they are attacked by viruses or parasites. 'It's kind of like taking a patient who is not doing so well -- very weak, poor diet, exposing them to pathogens, and then throwing more things at them. It's not surprising that honeybees are not very healthy.'"
Have Bees Become Canaries In the Coal Mine? Why Massive Bee Dieoffs May Be a Warning About Our Own Health
By Jill Richardson