Thursday, March 31, 2005

Earthfamily Changes

Yesterday was a big day for Earthfamilyalpha.

We broke a page view record.

And, we had the debut of a new contributor , and I am totally jazzed about it. The Culture of Life post is thoughtful and touching. I suspect you will agree.

Several people have e mailed and asked if they can forward their e mails to their own lists or post the link on their sites. The answer of couse is, absolutely. Do it do it do it.

Also, if you have some addresses that you think should go on the distribution list, E Mail them to

If you missed these two stories yesterday,


The first one may not get much play here inside the shaping zone.

This version is from Al Jazeera but I saw it in the Telegraph and the Guardian.

Panel sounds ecosystem alarm
Wednesday 30 March 2005,

Nearly two-thirds of the ecosystem services that support life on Earth are being degraded or used unsustainably,and the harmful consequences of this could grow significantly worse in the next 50 years, scientists say.

"Any progress achieved in addressing the goals of poverty and hunger eradication, improved health, and environmental protection is unlikely to be sustained if most of the ecosystem services on which humanity relies continue to be degraded," the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Report, conducted by 1300 experts from 95 countries, said.

Although evidence remains incomplete, there is enough for the experts to warn that the ongoing degradation of 15 of the 24 ecosystem services examined is increasing the likelihood of potentially abrupt changes that will seriously affect human well-being.

And as if we need to give the story a little down home meaning, we have the Bee story:

Parasite thins ranks of vital honeybees
Posted on Tue, Mar. 29, 2005

WEST PALM BEACH - More than $15 billion in U.S. crops rides each year on the tiny legs of an insect.

The honeybee is the major carrier of pollen for seeded fruits and just about anything that grows on a vine. Everything, in other words, from apples to zucchini.

"If honeybees ceased to exist, two-thirds of the citrus, all of the watermelons, the blueberries, strawberries, pecans and beans would disappear," said Jerry Hayes, chief of apiary inspection with the state's Division of Plant Industry.

But now it's the bee itself that is disappearing.

Under attack from a Southeast Asian parasite, vast numbers of the creatures are dying off, worried industry experts say. More than 50 percent of the bees in California, critical to the success of the Golden State's almond crop, have died in the past six months. Frantic growers there have sent out the call around the world, including Florida, for hives.

It's not only California that's suffering the ravages of the determined pest. Experts say as many as 40 to 60 percent of the bees nationwide have perished during the same six-month period.

"It's the biggest crisis that has ever faced the U.S. beekeeping industry," said Laurence Cutts, president of the Florida State Beekeepers Association, and a retired apiary inspector with the state Department of Agriculture.

Uh, in case you haven't thought about it.

We like really, really need bees.



Blogger oZ said...

Special thanks to Igor Loving for the Bee story turn on.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like our connection to nature and a healthy biosphere may become more and more obvious to all of us and hopefully to those who deny or forgot it.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this bee thing. its too weird.
how can 60 % of the bees be gone?
how do they know?

6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this bee thing. its too weird.
how can 60 % of the bees be gone?
how do they know?

6:39 PM  
Blogger John Hamre said...

I can finally post a comment to a subject I know at least a "little bit" about. My first job was at a honey farm. I took in the beehives, extracted the honey, and put the hives back together with new sheets of bees wax. I have to tell you, bloggers, bees are smart! No shit! They just know that as a producer worker, like I was just, was just part of the process of their lives. I did get stung, about 50 to 80 times a day, but mostly they just left me alone. These animals, because I never really thought of them as insects, really had a weird thing about them that I cannot explain. If anyone makes it after the apocalypse, the bees will.
BTW Oz, got your last. He is in Mexico right now; on vacation until May 5th.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honeybees are actually a non-native species, imported from Europe. They have displaced many of our native polinators, such as the Orchid Mason Bee.

Losing the honey bees would be a major disruption, but native polinators would presumably recover and fill the niche that they once did.

See for more on native polinators.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

The Planet is changing. People are too greedy.

My bee hives were always a big problem to keep. The fire ants attacked them taking out an entire hive in the matter of hours, wax moths attacked them killing off the hive, the racoons attacked them tearign up the hives. It was a continual struggle.

There were ways to protect the hives and I learned them. The most I had was 17. I had a bee suit and smoker and fooled with them all the time and they were really cool little bugs. I was always very sad when a hive died or was invaded because there wasn't much you could do. Insect spray just wasn't a good idea.

The honey was good. Fifty pounds per hive. It was healthy and served to help people fight their allergies.

1:16 AM  

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