News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2007


Where have all the honeybees gone?

Our land of milk and honey is fast becoming a land of milk only.

The reason has to do with something that we take for granted: the lowly honeybee.

We have plenty of important issues to consume our thoughts, with war still simmering in the Middle East and a presidential election on the horizon. But let's not overlook the honeybee, which is vanishing. Its disappearance could mean more than the loss of honey. About one-third of our diets come from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.

Pulitzer Prize-winning insect biologist E.O. Wilson, who graduated from high school in Decatur, said we have taken nature's workhorse for granted. "We've hung our own future on a thread," said Wilson, a professor at Harvard.

Scientists name several possible bee killers, including disease and parasites. Some suspect pesticides or other manmade causes.

We should encourage our government leaders to act quickly to provide emergency funding into research that could save the honeybee.

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