Dear Mother: October/November 2007

Letters from our readers on everything from vanishing bees to the winged beans.


| October/November 2007



bee

Worker bee


ISTOCKPHOTO/RYAN PIKE

You all have certainly sent in a bountiful batch of letters and e-mails recently — notably about Electric Bikes, Vanishing Bees, Winged Beans, Better Mileage, the Bible of Homesteading, Big Brother and Better Living. Contributing editor and herbal expert Dr. James Duke wrote to tell us about winged beans vs. cancer. Don Rylander provided a great tip on a super-easy solar water treatment. Beekeeper Nevin Hawlman sent a disturbing report on the status of bees and pollinating insects in Pennsylvania.

If your letter was not selected for publication, it’s probably because we are now receiving far more letters than we have space to publish. It’s a problem we are happy to have, and we plan to resolve it by adding a new section to our Web site so the Mother Earth community conversation can expand. Watch for more details soon, and meanwhile, keep those cards and letters coming!


Where Have all the Bees Gone?

I am writing with regard to the mysterious honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder that is affecting bees all around the world. I have been a beekeeper for many years, and my grandfather was a beekeeper before me. I make houses for bees that I sell on the Internet, and have many models scattered around my Pennsylvania property. This year they are all but empty.

Last week I picked up a wheelbarrow full of dropped apples, and saw only two yellow jackets, no other bees or wasps. In previous years there would’ve been dozens of bees, wasps and hornets on the apples.

The one plant in central Pennsylvania which attracts the most insects of all species is the wild clematis, now in full bloom. It is nearly void of insect life and much more fragrant than I remember; an indication that the nectar is not being consumed. This information worries me; I’m talking about no pollinators!!





dairy goat

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