The latest numbers on honeybee colonies have been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and they show that the Beepocalypse we keep being warned about has been postponed for another year.
Instead of going extinct, as activist fundraising campaigns assured us would happen unless efficient targeted seed treatments were replaced by mass spraying of plants with antiquated pesticides still certified “organic”, bees are doing great. The only fluctuations are “statistical wobble” that can happen any time – or due to economics …
If your bee business is in decline the way nearly every business was in decline last year, you stop replacing bees. Every month millions die because they only live a few weeks. And in winter deaths due to natural causes will get even worse. Factor in natural pests like varroa mites and it is common to have whole colonies wiped out. Because of random variation, some years show higher than average deaths and some lower. Stuff happens in nature. And years ago stuff happened -another mass die-off of bees, just like those have been recorded since the first known record of bee numbers were kept, in 950 AD. “Colony collapse disorder” was coined to pretend this was a new phenomenon but it was as old as managed beehives.
Instead of dying out, there are now 10 honeybees for every human on the planet – more than 25 years ago. And that is just in one species. There are over 25,000 species of bees, we just don’t try to count them all because the others are not part of a billion dollar industry, like sending honeybees around in trucks to pollinate almond farms.Hank Campbell, “Latest Data Show Bees Are Still Thriving At An Alarming Rate” at Science 2.0
Campbell tells us that there are 40 million lbs of surplus honey in the United States. If only they would send it to places where there is hunger… honey is excellent nourishment.
Some of us worry about all this because, if people ever pick themselves up from the status of punched puppet in the bureaucrats’ Punch and Judy Show around COVID-19, trust in science generally may take a hit. That particular pick-your-favorite-apocalypse has really hurt.
“Trust the science” just can’t sound the same any more to a thinking human being.