Our Honey Bee.
Much of our agricultural system is partially built on a house of cards.
California, for instance, has over 1600 species of native bees,
All species of which are full-time pollinators.
But upon what species do we mostly rely for controlled pollination?
It is the European--yes European--Honey Bee,
Introduced long ago from the European invasion of North America.
For many years (40+), I conducted walking tours on Quail Ridge Reserve,
Now part of the Natural Reserve System of the University of California, Davis.
Whenever I came upon a native Buckeye tree,
I would ask, "Why, with all those large, phallic blossoms,
Are the blossoms' 'products' lethal to our Honey Bee?"
Few could ever correctly answer, but the answer is in its name!
By introducing a non-native species to a new region of the world,
There is always the risk of potential catastrophe.
Some living thing--plant or animal-- will find a 'weakness',
And in the world of evolution, will take advantage for its own survival.
The European Honey Bee has not evolved in North America
To be able to pollinate a California Buckeye with its toxins.
Just as it has now rapidly been barraged with parasites.
It is always dangerous to introduce much of anything
To another region without risk:
Especially a creature introduced, which also lives in a huge community!
Is this phenomenon a warning that a gigantic human population
Is relying absolutely too much on cultures of another gigantic population?
As we watch the 'emergence' of virus, spreading through our hospitals and the world,
We must teach our young to truly understand the principles of evolution,
And that the phenomenon, is ever-guided through natural selection.
Frank Maurer 3 July 2023
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