Plant a flower, save a bee

Hello! I’ve just read the book Bless The Bees: The Pending Extinction Of Our Pollinators And What We Can Do To Stop It by Kenneth Eade, has anyone else read it? It used a huge amount of references (I read it on the Kindle and about 42% of the book was references haha!) and totally opened my eyes to the problems that bees and other pollinators have to deal with every day. Obviously I’d known that pesticides were a problem, but didn’t even think of some of the things that contained them (Dog flea treatments, duh, I should have known that one!), and I hadn’t really read much into GM crops before.

The section about pesticides and GM crops which contain pesticides is very interesting, and pointed out the effect these things have on humans too, which makes it shocking that they haven’t harmed the pollinators more to be honest. However, he seemed to be making it sound as though ALL GM crops are terrible, when he was only referring to the ones which had added pesticides or pesticide resistance. I would have liked it if he had also discussed the other types of GM crops and provided evidence as to their effects on the environment and health as well, as I have to admit I’m not very clued up on them! I do agree that all products containing GM crops and/or pesticides should be clearly labelled though, then consumers could vote with their wallet and really begin to make a difference. I guess this is why companies like Monsanto spend so much money trying to stop laws like that being enforced!

While the author sometimes revealed his hate for the US government and big business, but to be fair with the things he points out in the book (All backed up with references) he does seem to have a good point. The book is mainly centred towards the USA, but does this by showing how Europe have dealt with the issues.

It starts off quite depressing, but actually towards the end it made me quite glad to have been born in Europe, as it sounds like things are a lot worse in the USA with far less hope for the consumer. I think it would have been better if there was more of a focus on what the reader could do to help the situation though, basically all that was said on the subject was: eat organic, sign petitions and grow your own. It would have been much better if the writer had dedicated more of the book to ideas of what individuals can do to help pollinators. The vast majority of the book described the terrible situation, and only one small chapter actually talked about what could be done, and even then it felt a bit hopeless after the other chapters. For example, his “eat organic” thing felt a bit pointless considering he had spent so long previously talking about how pesticides stay in the soil for 12 years and are spread by infecting other plants in various ways, and that one farmer in Oregon found his farm to be infected years after a pesticide or GM trail (sorry, can’t remember which and I know I should have checked first!) had been undertaken about 50 miles away! So even organic food can be infected without us knowing!

However I’m glad I read it, I was glued to it the past couple of mornings and am stumped on what to read next now! It’s really got me thinking about little changes I can make to help pollinators and also stop risking my health by eating pesticide covered food!

So has anyone else read this book? What did you think? And what other methods do you use to help bees and other pollinators?

– Erika :)

Posts: 19
Joined: Fri May 09, 2014 10:31 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Re: Bless The Bees by Kenneth Eade

Postby kennetheade » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:09 pm

It is very simple, Erika. Bees need a variety of flowers in order to thrive. Commercial agriculture has limited the types of flowers that bees collect nectar and pollen from because commercial beekeepers are used to pollinate crops that are infested with pesticides, and biodiversity in areas between commercial farms has been destroyed. Natural habitats have been devastated to make way for commercial agriculture and housing. People in urban areas or rural areas away from commercial agriculture can help by planting a variety of flowers in their gardens or on their terraces that bees crave. You can find these flowers in chapter 11 of “Bless the Bees.”

Plant a flower, save a bee. What could be more simple than that? And it’s something all of us can do.

Kenneth Eade
Author, Bless the Bees

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