ALI – Bees and cities

Bees and citiesAny reference to bees generally makes us think about honey bees. Honey bees are part of our agricultural culture as they live close to people just like dogs, cats, sheep or goats and they produce honey as the most prominent item on our breakfast tables.

Mankind sees bees as a source of agricultural produce.Bees are here mainly for the plants, not for human beings.

Other than the wind, bees, butterflies and bugs are the main instrument of pollination. Flowers tend to exhibit their beauty, send the best odors, and feature the most alluring colors in order to attract bees.

Human beings are useless for flowers. Flowers love bees and butterflies.

Flowers know that their beauty, colors, makeup and perfume are hardly enough for a lasting relationship with bees so they offer the sweet syrup we call nectar to bees that come to them Bees love the nectar-offering flowers and they drink the nectar and collect it and turn it into honey to consume in winter and store it in the honeycomb. In this relationship, bees and butterflies do not realize that flowers are andquotusingandquot them just for reproduction.

Even man fails to understand the true nature of love so it shouldnand#39t be a matter for bees.Without bees, we cannot have apples, cherries and oranges.

Studies indicate that bees perform 90 percent of all pollination in plants. This is why the disappearance of bees is a sign of the nearing doomsday.

We can get a gist of the disruption in the natural equilibrium thanks to media reports about climate change and floods that have become more frequent.However, reports about the disappearance of bees are voiced only by a small group of people.

Beekeepers know that bees are like human beings: They are born, they grow and they die. If one or two hives of bees dies due to diseases or neglect, this is quite natural for a beekeeper But the rate of bee deaths is around 50 percent in certain parts of Europe.

Everyone agrees that this is a disaster But the contention is about the source or cause of this disasterBeekeepers and environmentalists hold the new generation of pesticides that target the nervous system of insects as responsible for bee deaths. The chemical giants that fear financial losses in the billions of dollars if these pesticides are banned argue that an East Asian parasite called varroa is killing the bees.

It goes without saying that these giants enjoy more aantageous terms in getting andquotscientific reportsandquot to support their case. As there are legal cases under way, politicians are involved in the matterThis year, 15 European Union countries introduced bans on certain pesticides.

Bayer decided to compensate beekeepers for each hive of dead bees in Germany without waiting for the conclusion of the litigation. The cost of this decision to this giant is just a drop in the bucket.

Why do you think Bayer is showing this goodwill? Can we say andquotbecause it is remorsefulandquot?The second fact is more striking. In regions where the rate of bee deaths is 50 percent, this rate is as small as 1 percent in urban areas.

The fact that the parasite varroa wonand#39t distinguish between urban and rural areas and that pesticides are more commonly used in rural areas explains the goodwill of Bayer They know that their pesticides are the source of the problemCities have turned into oases for bees as the chemical and agricultural industry cannot reach them there. This is why the andquotBees in the Citiesandquot movement, of which I am a member, is spreading in Europe.

Members of this movement engage in beekeeping in parks, terraces and roofs found in cities. The honey produced in this manner is of higher quality as bees are away from pesticides.

I have made up my mind to propagate this movement in Istanbul and other cities. I hope you will soon have access to honey produced in the cities.

SOURCE: The East African