By: J. Marlando

One of my most beloved childhood memories are those summer evenings that my grandmother would gather the family and say, “Let’s go out on the porch and listen to the crickets.” We would sometimes just sit in silence for an hour or two listening to those enchanting symphonies coming from some mysterious place, only a few feet away, hidden in the darkness.

 The world seemed more filled with life then and it was. Perhaps you remember it? There were abundances of fireflies, grasshoppers, butterflies and other insects; the sky seemed filled with countless birds fluttering about and singing their songs. And, it was nearly impossible to go out into the yard without encountering a few bees busy going from flower to flower collecting their pollen and darting about in their wonderful dances. They were almost all wild honey bees back then; wonderful, colorful creatures buzzing about in all their bee-ness.

Today wild bees are all gone or nearly so. While I was born and raised in Colorado, I’m a long time residence of California now and like so many other places the big farmers pay to have domestic bee colonies shipped in. There’s big money in raising bees on the commercial level and they have it down to a science—the “domestically grown” bees are fed high-fructose corn syrup instead of their own sweet honey and in attempt to keep the population stable the queens are artificially inseminated which actually corrupts the bee’s genetic mapping. But of course no one cares because the domestic bees are fated to be killed off too because of the insecticides that are used these days and ave  been used for years.

It’s not an easy death either. Mostly it seems that the nerves are poisoned so many bees simply can’t navigate their way back to their hives; they simply flutter about until they drop. And, those that do return often end up in colonies wherein the inhabitants suffer from tremors and convulsions.    

But what is to be expected? It is estimated that American farmers use around one billion pounds of chemicals on their crops each year. And this takes us to another subject for a moment. Us!

 *Jeffrey Reiman tells us, “…the Food and Drug Administration through a combination of lax enforcement and uncritical acceptance of the results of the food industries own “scientific” research, has allowed a situation to exist in which the American public is the real guinea pig for nearly 3,000 food additives. As a result, we are subjugated to chemicals strongly suspected of causing cancer, gallbladder ailments, hyperkinesia in children and allergies, to others that inhibit mammalian cell growth, and ‘may adversely affect the rate of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis’; and to still others that are capable of crossing the placental barrier between mother and fetus and are suspected causes of birth defects and congenital diseases.

*Reiman, Jeffrey*The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison*Allyn & Bacon

The above only represents some of the dangerous chemicals we eat…” If you will, we certainly get more than our share of those billion pounds of chemicals that farmers cover their fields and orchards with. And how much air pollution results from that? So when we talk about capitalistic-Darwinism destroying our bees, we need to look at ourselves and our children at the same time.

   THE DISAPPEARANCE OF THE BEES AND OTHER HOMICIDES(99745)      Perhaps it is time to turn to the United States Department of Agriculture to put a stop to all these known and unknown homicides? Whoops, not a good idea—the USDA, obviously well lobbied by big corporate farmers, most recently was caught closing their eyes to a pesticide not only harmful to bees but to humans as well; the toxic stuff not only harm insects but the internal systems of humans.

The USDA is in the murder-for-hire industry called “part of the profit game” across the country. Indeed, agents euthanized four million or so birds using pesticides that government officials swear are not harmful to pets and or humans. And then there was the strange mystery, not long ago, surrounding massive bird populations falling from the sky in the areas of Arkansas, Alabama, South Dakota, and Kentucky. Some rare, killer disease perhaps or maybe some airborne poison spreading across our skies from an alien spaceship…There was all kinds of speculations but in the end, government admitted that they were involved in the massive bird deaths. Our government incidentally has a hush-hush bird control program which is economic-motivated. In 2009 the conscientious USDA murdered over 4 million birds—they also have killed nearly 25,000 Canadian Geese, 100,000 Pigeons, the list goes on.

Back more directly to our bees. So what would happen if they become “extinct?” 

Well while the researchers create robot-bees or clones or whatever to keep plants pollinated, the 70% of plants now on our planet would also die off. And so would particular animal species. In regard to this, what government and other authority across our land either don’t grasp, or grasp and don’t give a hoot, is that nature works in a web of relationships. When the “web” is unnaturally broken, unnatural events occur. Some go unnoticed for many years but sometimes, long after the cause has been forgotten, the affect is devastating.

Admittedly I resent losing the Nature that I had when growing up; unpolluted skies and streams, a forest thick with the sounds and sights of insects, and birds and animals; I recall those vacant fields we used to play in, thick with butterflies and grasshoppers, bees, snakes and lizards; it was being a part of it all, as the Indians used to say, being between the ant and the mountain.

Science has worked for centuries in the quest to control Nature just as it works hard to create weapons to control other human beings. How much better would it be if all the energy and brain-power was spent in creating cooperation with our planet and all living creatures on it?

Greed and self-centeredness is what has ruled our world since the advent of so-called civilization itself; they have always been the cornerstones of selfish, pompous demagoguery, worldwide. I do not claim to have all the answers but I believe in my own heart that we need to reframe ourselves in a philosophy of insight and making that philosophy a cornerstone for what I term Compassionate Capitalism as a final deconstruction of the traditions of greed and self-centeredness of which I speak.