About Bees…and the Environment

I just discovered that bees are slaves. I never knew that. In the years in which I kept bees, starting with the very gentle swarm that I captured without incident or loss of life back in the late 1970s, and kept for several years without incident, I always thought that it was a cooperative enterprise. Mind you, I didn’t practice any of the things that many beekeepers do–I never killed a queen; never killed any of the bees; never medicated them; collected only the surplus honey, not the honey they needed to overwinter with, nor the pollen, propolis, royal jelly, etc.; and so on. Essentially, I respected the bees as partners, and thought kindly of them, and did everything I knew how (which was mostly just leaving them alone and providng them with new supers as needed) to make sure they were healthy and happy. In my entire time managing that hive, I was never stung. (I later had a different hive of bees in Arizona, and that was a nasty-tempered bunch. With that hive, I did get stung.)

I am being sarcastic here about the bees-as-slaves idea. The person who wrote that bees are slaves has many valid points about how we, as a society, are mismanaging honeybees, and I agree with most of them. Many years ago, Rudolph Steiner predicted that our beekeeping practices would weaken honeybees, to the point that we would have the exact problems we are having today with colony collapse disorder (CCD).

CCD is just one result of the carelessness with which humanity as a whole has been treating the world. Though some like to point fingers at the United States, the truth is that people around the world, in all levels of society, are abusing the environment out of ignorance, greed, shortsightedness, and general contempt for any lives other than their own.

The thing is, it is so easy to reduce one’s impact, to respect the planet, to live kindly and lovingly on this earth. It may mean some “sacrifices” for some people (do we women really need to wear makeup everyday? Or even any day, for that matter?), but the end result will be happier people and a healthier planet, I am quite sure of it. You can start by checking out some of my recommendations on this page.

There is a lot of information available on the Internet on the many different things you can do to help the environment; many of them will save you time and money, too, making it a win-win situation for all.

If you decide to make a difference, don’t overwhelm yourself and give yourself goals that are hard to reach. Start small. Pick even one change that you are willing to make, then stick to that one change for a while. Do the research, though. Some groups, such as PETA, who sound like they are wonderful are sometimes doing the opposite of what they say they are about.

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