Life the Universe and Bees

As a kid I loved bees and would capture them in a handkerchief and see them sting the material then let them go unharmed leaving only the stain of venom on my handkerchief.  Playing with bees in this way I learned that bees are not aggressive and once freed would just fly away as if nothing had happened.

Now I love bees because of there intricate connection to all life on this planet and with over 20,000 different species of bees it’s clear they are the reason we exist as we do today.  Without the bees there would be no beautiful flowers or fruits and nuts or vegetables.  This veritable cornucopia of fruits and vegetables would be reduced to wind only pollinators like corn, wheat, barley and pine nuts and most other insects would not be here either like butterflies that need nectar as an adult. 

If it was not for flowering plants and the pollinators they rely on such as bees and hoverflies the very air we breathe would have become so full of pollen we would not be able to breathe.  We would have evolved in bodies very different from the ones we have today and all life would be very different.  It’s not just humans that need bees it’s the entire planet ecosystem that relies on these 20,000 different species of bees to continue there efforts to pollinate plants and sustain this planets way of life.

It’s easy to forget that this intricate system called life has existed for millions of years and here we are tearing it to pieces and wondering why suddenly it’s no longer functioning like it used to.  This system has been through many changes and has always found a way to put itself back together as if nothing had changed.  Time was always in natures favour but now it’s different, man has come along and changed all the rules because somehow in our egotistical stupidity we believed we knew better. 

The rules are simple, look at nature and copy.  Nature always seeks a balance between all parties so that all parts of the system can continue to operate.  By understanding properly the way nature works we can devise systems that copy and even enhance the natural way of life without resorting to Chemical fertilisers and Poisonous sprays that attempt to override the natural order of nature.  Nature always fights back and the Poisons stop working and the chemical fertilisers kill the soil.

Bill mollison was right when he devised permaculture to mean it has permanence within culture.  To be sustainable into the long distant future will require a new thinking from everyone.  The current Chemical culture of the world is a short sighted view that’s proven it’s not sustainable and worse it’s damaging to the future of all life including man and the bees. 

With each passing day I read another story about mass bee deaths, not just honey bees (apis Mellifera) but bumble bees, mason bees, Asian bees (apis cerana) solitary bees of all types.  Arial spraying for mosquitos in Florida and Japan is killing everything and not just the mosquitoes.  This is done despite the alternatives available and the cries from people to change.  Governments are the worst offenders pandering to these multinational billion dollar companies who would go bust if the system didn’t need them.  Companies that lie bully and steel the very life from the planet all in the name of progress and the corporate dollar.

This planet is unique in the universe, not because it has life but because life here is different to every other planet.  Life is I believe inevitably similar as all planets are similar but unique and different for every planet is different.  There are no two planets that are identical so life cannot be identical from planet to planet.  People are all similar but equally we are all unique and different.  It cannot be any other way.  From my eyes I see the universe and my environment differently to any other, only my eyes can see all that I see, each person experiencing life in their own unique way that only they get to experience.

What legacy are we leaving for our future inhabitants?  If we don’t change current practices we will likely wipe out most pollinator species and in so doing we will wipe ourselves from this planet as well. 

A simple change in attitude and the knowledge of nature is all it takes to make life in a balanced way and guarantee the future of all life on this planet.


Steven Murphy