December 1, 2013
on the necessity of being a bee part 1
Visiting La Grande Ourse organic miellerie this summer in Abitibi near Amos Quebec I began to understand how complicated this honey thing is. Looking around, forest, fields, forest, fields, small towns with very few GM crops. That is good when wanting to be certified organic. One of the owners explained to me that unfortunately that was changing due to enormous canola plantations which are popping up around the 4-5 kilometers radius from their hives. They are not certain to receive their certification in 2014 because of this. Not surprising, the impact of one affects the other, so it is with water, so it is with air, so it is with bees. In Vanishing of the Bees, a 2009 documentary film by Hive Mentality Films & Hipfuel films, directed by George Langworthy and Maryam Henein, we follow the sudden disappearance of honey bees from beehives around the world known as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. There is no absolute conclusion in the somewhat gloopy documentary, but it does hint strongly to a link between neonicotinoid pesticides (neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine)and CCD. 'Neonicotinoids, developed in the 80s by Shell and followed up in the 90s by Bayer, are a relatively new class of insecticides that share a common mode of action that affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death'. (http://www.beyondpesticides.org/pollinators/chemicals.php) There is no absolute scientific data at present making this link, but I would think that logically, somewhere, if you have an insecticide which fucks with a bug's nervous system and kills the fucking thing, and seeing that bees are insects and have a nervous system well... This issue is not of simply being certified organic, but of product and environment safety in general. Perhaps also that when we deal with bees we are dealing with something different. Something pure. Something hard to define. That idea behind the honeymoon. Bees are omnipresent in every religion. There is something pure about honey but also the bee. Cheyenne creation myth says that the first people lived on honey and wild fruits, to never be hungry. Zeus was fed on honey and milk as a child. Bees were rumoured to have landed on Plato's lips as a child, as bringers of truth. There is a connection in Hebrew between bees and the Divine Word. In the Qur'an there is the 'Sura of the bees'. Not to mention John the Baptist or the ancient Hebrew promised land flowing with milk and honey while a mixture of the two was given after baptism and first communion in Christianity. According to Egyptian mythology, bees were created when the tears of the sun god Ra landed on the desert sand. So forth and so on....there is definitely something going on here, a powerful presence we cannot most probably cannot afford to ignore.