It's virtually impossible to avoid either baking or eating sweet treats from Halloween straight through to the New Year. Sugar alternatives are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons - but how sustainable are these cane sugar replacements? And are some better for the environment than others?
We're facing a major decline of hard-working pollinators, but it's not a losing battle. Efforts to save our bees and other pollinators are on the rise. With bee highways under construction, pesticide-free zones under consideration and everyone joining in to garden for bees, we're almost on track to healing our bees, our environment and our food system. Here's where we're at today.
Although it may have taken half a century, we are now seeing Rachel Carson's frightful predictions become reality. Countries across the world are growing increasingly concerned with the plight of honey bees. Rightfully so - they are indicating quite clearly the deterioration of our ecosystems. But here in the United States, while we patiently wait 5 more years for our government agencies to review the registrations of neonicotinoid chemicals, there are many things we can be doing now to help.
Brooklyn Grange has a new rooftop farm in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. We were there as they were setting it up this spring. Luckily the farm weathered the storm that was Sandy, although their beehives got blown away.
Last Wednesday, Feb 3rd, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene held a public hearing to discuss a proposed amendment to Article 161 of the New York City Health Code, which prohibits the keeping of wild animals, currently including honeybees. A proposal to amend this section was presented in December, which would "allow New Yorkers to keep hives of non-aggressive honeybees."
For over a decade an international debate has raged over the cause of the global decline of honeybees. In just the past month, three separate studies have connected bee die-offs and neonicotinoid pesticides- a culprit blamed by farmers and scientists since the debate began.
A new film, Queen of the Sun, deals with Colony Collapse Disorder in a direct but endearing way, featuring biodynamic and organic beekeepers around the globe. The sad story of our lost relationship with the bees unfurls, but all is not lost - yet--and so we are presented with ways to fix it.
"Vanishing of the Bees" follows the story of American beekeepers who are rapidly losing their bees to the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The investigation reveals that the culprit may be tied to our industrial farming practices.