There is much more to “saving the bees” than spring flowers and a golden mascot. Don’t get me wrong, honeybees have very few faults and definitely need some TLC. But we shouldn’t label one pollinator as the one to rule them all.
We need multicultural pollinator communities if we want to keep eating our favorite foods. This is where the “stop spraying and plant some flowers” campaign comes in. Is it really that simple? Well, yes. But also, no. It’s easy to point the finger at one culprit, just like it’s easy to pick out one single charismatic mini-fauna for the cause.
For about three weeks in August, plantations in Australia’s almond belt are in peak bloom … and it is one of the most breathtaking scenes on Earth. It is the sort of gala display only nature can put on — the first promise of spring, cotton candy and bellinis, all rolled into one. This is the vision that sent Van Gogh into a blossom-painting frenzy.
The rest of the year, it’s bleak under the almond trees. If you get there in winter, after the leaves have dropped and before the bloom, it is a stifling graveyard for undead trees. You long for tumb... Read more