23 06 2009

Do say the bees will return,
And with them, seasons.

This bee was trembling. Can you see it–it is all of a blur…
Admittedly, the camera (my iphone) is not the best equipment…but I tell you, it was truly trembling.

Below and behind it, the tide was coming in on the lake, and little waves were splashing, making it feel, if I closed my eyes, like I was near the sea.

Stars about my head I felt
About my Feet the Sea–

Except that it did not smell like the sea. The lake has a clearer scent, less salt and rot, and does not smell nearly as translucent to me as the ocean.

(Can you tell how much I miss it?)

There is something to Sina Queyras’ fear about the bees–recently, whole colonies of bees have been dying off. This has been named “colony collapse syndrome” and has caused considerable concern. Recently, a primary cause of this in honeybees has been identified–the parasite Nosema ceranae (Microsporidia). Researchers were even able to cure a colony of infection which is good news.

One clover, and a bee.

of course.

Except that honey bees are not the only bees–and the Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) is now, perhaps, extinct. And many other native bees are threatened. And less you complacently suggested that the Franklin’s bumble bee was never particularly common–take note. Dr. Robbin Thorp, an entomologist professor (emeritus) at UC Davis regularly censused bees, and the Franklin’s bees were among the 10-20 most common species. (Though perhaps you might not be convinced by that, had you not known that there were upwards of 20,000 species of bees across the globe).

Last time Dr. Thorp saw a Franklin’s bumble bee was in 2006, when he saw a lone worker at Mt. Ashland.


Another species vanished and I bet you didn’t see it coming.

Where man is, nature is bereft.




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