Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bees, the Bible, and the apocalypse

Loss of bees may lead to human extinction.

No really. I've been looking into the possibility. You can read all about it at End Times Headlines. While that might not be the most academic of sources for an argument, the idea is essentially correct. We need bees to pollinate crops that we grow for food. It is thought that pesticides may be the leading culprit for what's now being termed Colony Collapse. Also in the running are electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and the effects of climate change.

Yet there is another challenge that is increasing the threat to bee livelihood, at least in California. It's drought. Drought has crippled the amount of food sources bees can forage for. So much so that as this documentary at The Atlantic points out, it would now have to rain for an entire year before things returned to normal status. The beekeeper interviewed in the doc reports spending over $100,000 in the past year to feed bees artificial supplements in order to keep them alive. The beekeeper closes out the short film by stating that he will likely have to move his bees to a better environment such as Kansas or one of the Dakotas.

This is significant because California is such a large grower of our produce. If bees go extinct, we can forget about fruits and vegetables. We'll be stuck with corn and wheat. Oddly enough, we'll also have grapes as they self-pollinate and olives because they are pollinated by the wind and are not dependent on bees. I say "oddly enough" because this has...of all things...religious overtones.

As found in a much older article on Boing Boing, the exclusivity of grapes and olives is actually mentioned in The Book of Revelation. That part of the Bible predicts a plague that will spare both grapes and olives will precede the apocalypse. So more good news. I mean, what could be worse than human extinction? I'll tell you what: a bunch of fundies gloating that they predicted it. Then again you can pretty much make whatever you want out of the Book of Revelation, so I'm not going to worry about that part of things too much. I am, however, going to continue to be concerned about Colony Collapse.

Would I really be myself if I didn't have a circus of at least a few extinction scenarios whirling around in my head?

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