Less Pesticides Would Be Sweeter Than Honey
More Than Honey, the documentary screened by Planet in Focus at the Art Gallery of Ontario this week, has my mind abuzzzz. What I loved about this documentary, aside from the big question about bee survival, was the way they showed bees close up in flight. No doubt some special effects were applied but the bees were real.
Their communal intelligence is astounding, and yet, we humans commonly see ourselves as superior. More Than Honey tells how the bees may have found a way around our ignorant insistence on spraying crops with pesticides and interfering in their mating habits. Interestingly, the ‘killer bee’ phenomenon has produced a virile, if not angry, new subspecies. If I took one lesson from this doc it’s ‘Don’t *&!k with nature’. Did you know that in some parts of China, humans polinate blooms by hand because the bees have deserted farming areas? They reminded me of Oompa Loompas (see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
After the screening, emotions high in my throat, I learned about why bees are disappearing in Canada from a panel of beekeepers and naturalists. Would you even be surprised if the pesticides widely used in corn and soy mono-farming were said to be the major contributors? The chemicals wear on the bees’ immunity, hence wide-spread diseases, infections and parasite infestations. The wider farming and chemical industry are well-aware of the impact of their businesses and the effects are backed up by numerous studies as well. But the panelists pointed to feeble regulation as the reason these chemicals are continuously used in Canada, unlike Europe. There is a petition to Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne that you can sign instantly online asking the province of Ontario to ban neonicotinoid pesticide use. Over 50 000 have signed so far but it’s not enough to be heard yet. What about in BC too?
The next contribution I can make to the situation is to choose organic foods, particularly corn and soy-based foods. We don’t need pesticides and increased productivity. We have enough, more than enough to be grateful for. It reminds us of the respect we must have for the other creatures we share the world with and to share our food supply with those in need. I think the only way out is to change our ideas about food consumption in North America fundamentally.