The Denver Post ran an article (Hives holding a secret) yesterday about the bee crisis in America. I fastidiously ignored the article. All day. Well, and today as well. Of course, Rileyberry sent me a copy of the article, which I am ignoring as well.
There's nothing wrong with denial.
"Your friend Jeff Johnson is in the paper," D. says to me.
"Huh," I say. Jeff runs a company called Colorado Honey. Do I need to put my fingers in my ears and hum "na, na, na, na"?
My bees are dying. I know it's true. I've lost four hives since last August. I just went out to check the two hives in the backyard.
I have one viable hive.
One viable hive out of the five hives I had last summer.
What's happening? No one knows. And the truth is that it's been going on for a while. But beekeepers are solitary, shy people prone to blaming themselves. I read about this "new" phenomena and know that it's been going on at least the last three years.
We've blamed it on the drought. We blamed it on the pesticides. Mid-1990's 95% of the bee population in the state of Colorado was wiped out by varroa mites. And now?
I love my bees. They are mysterious creatures that respond to factors we cannot explain. Standing in a cloud of bees is an amazing experience. You'll have to try it some day. (If you live in Denver, you're welcome to try it at my house.)
And the bees are dying.
My bees are dead.
We have no idea why.
I feel very small in the middle of a baffling universe.