A GOOD READ
We are in the process of a lengthy bee rewilding project here at La Donaira with the expert help of the Natural Beekeeping Trust - a small effort but one of lots of small efforts to save bees underway around the world. It's encouraging to see how people are slowly beginning to grasp the potential implications of a declining bee population, but time is running out. In the last decade, more than 10 million beehives have been lost, nearly twice the normal rate of loss.
As a study at Yale University notes: “One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. And in the past several months, a scramble in California’s almond groves has given the world a taste of what may lie in store for food production if the widespread—and still puzzling— decimation of bee colonies continues.”
The History of Bees by Norwegian writer Maja Lunde (Simon & Schuster) has done a lot to catapult the issue to the top of the crisis charts by tackling colony collapse in the context of a novel. It imagines a future where bees no longer exist, food is in short supply, and humanity depends on human labour and hand pollination in order to sustain itself. Actually, intertwined stories span 150 years, linking an English biologist who designs a new beehive in 1852, an American beekeeper battling to stop the decline in 2007, and - spoiler alert - a woman in China brushing pollen onto trees by hand in 2098.
Climate fiction - cli-fi- is a thing! And it's big. None currently bigger than this bestselling debut reaching new audiences who, hopefully, can create a better narrative for bees in the real world.