Sep 2, 2008

Of Bees and Fireflies

It would appear that both bees and fireflies are disappearing. The fireflies, I have been noticing for years. I can remember when I was a child and the lawn was blanketed with twinkling light every evening. I used to catch scores of them and put them in jars, with a little grass. I'd watch them flash as I fell asleep at night and free them in the morning. I was secretly delighted when one or two would escape the jar and twinkle from various nooks and crannies in my bedroom. Some years ago, I realized that I could go an evening with nary a sighting. In more recent years, they seem to have made a resurgence, but it's nothing like the fireflies of my youth.

I'm not the only person who's noticed the diminishing of the firefly population.

The fate of the insects drew more than 100 entomologists and biologists to Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai last week for an international symposium on the "Diversity and Conservation of Fireflies."

They then traveled Friday to Ban Lomtuan, an hour outside of Bangkok, to see the synchronous firefly Pteroptyx malaccae — known for its rapid, pulsating flashing that look like Christmas lights.

Yet another much-loved species imperiled by humankind? The evidence is entirely anecdotal, but there are anecdotes galore.

The evidence apparently consists of people, like myself, who remember. And what is causing it, they do not know.

Fireflies in Jar

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The other unsolved mystery -- one that is causing far greater panic -- is the disappearing honeybee. Panic, because they are integral to the food supply. In both cases, it seems quite clear that human technologies are the culprit. But, the bee disappearance, if Richard Hoagland is correct, can be traced quite directly to the utter stupidity of corporate farmers.

If you watch the video series I've posted, you'll learn some surprising things. Things which directly contradict the media narrative that has whipped people into a frenzy.

For starters, there is no record of Einstein ever making the statement that has been attributed to him from the earliest writings on colony collapse disorder. This one:

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.

Nope. Never said it. At least, not that can be documented by people whose job it is to document these things.

To answer that last question (without denying the importance of the honeybees), we have to consider the related question of "Did Einstein really say this?" First off, searches of Einstein's writings and speeches and public statements, as well as of (scholarly) compilations of Einstein quotations reveal nary a reference to the "four years" phrase or any other statement mentioning bees (save for a brief comparison between humans and colony insects such as ants and bees). The compiler of The New Quotable Einstein also found no Einsteinian source for this quote and lists it as "Probably Not by Einstein."

More importantly, it appears to be only the corporate beekeepers who are losing bees. This, for me, was the really shocking revelation. I've had a hard time independently documenting it, because it just isn't part of the media narrative. What you do find, if you google it, is a lot of statements on message boards and the like, from organic beekeepers, who say their bees are doing fine. But, if Hoagland's research is correct, the problem can be fairly directly traced to practices of industrial farming. That raises some obvious possibilities, like pesticide use. But, it gets even stranger than the obvious. And, it has to do with some direct tinkering with the bees themselves.

It seems that some years ago, these beekeepers thought it would be a good idea to make a bigger, better bee. They did this by changing the size of the starter comb they provide for the beehives. The bees adjusted to the new size of comb by becoming larger. Now, it seems fairly obvious to me, that making giant, mutant bees was an idiotic idea on its face.

New Bee

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Hoagland has a theory on torsion physics, that I recommend hearing out. Fascinated as I am by sacred geometry and its relationship to sound frequency, I found it compelling. It is far from proven, but definitely worth some thought.

There is also some indication that making the bees larger has had an impact on their natural immunity to things like the much discussed mites.

Another component of this that has not gotten nearly enough discussion in the press: No bee corpses. The evidence of colony collapse disorder points to their disappearance, not their death. What these farmers are finding is empty, abandoned hives. There are also cases of bee colonies springing up in strange places; like houses. I remember seeing a story on the news a year or so ago. They were interviewing a woman whose house had pretty much turned into a beehive. It was swarming. I remember thinking, at the time, the bees haven't disappeared. They're all living in that woman's drywall.

None of this is to discount the importance of colony collapse disorder. Clearly, most of us live on the produce of big, industrial farms. And, those farms rely on commercial beekeepers. But, it does shift the context of the conversation quite a bit.

Bottom line: It's not nice to fool with mother nature.

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