(Extra)ordinary in so many ways

 An eco-system in balance Photo: Su Leslie, 2015


An eco-system in balance Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

It is estimated that one third of human food crops are pollinated by bees (1). That is, the ordinary day-to-day act of insects sustaining their own species, also helps in a huge way to sustain human life on Earth. That is extraordinary — but of course, it is a part of how eco-systems work.

"In North America alone, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits and nuts, including almonds, avocados, cranberries and apples. " (source: Pesticide Action Network). Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

“In North America alone, honey bees pollinate nearly 95 kinds of fruits and nuts, including almonds, avocados, cranberries and apples. ” (source: Pesticide Action Network). Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

What seems more extraordinary is that despite increasing evidence that some human agricultural activities are actually killing bee populations (2), our species continues to allow the use of harmful pesticides and the destruction of bee habitats in order to plant more, particularly, genetically modified, mono-crops.

 "The European Union suspended the use of three neonic pesticides in December 2013, after a scientific review by European Food Safety Authority found that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees." Source: Friends of the Earth Bee Action Campaign. Photo: Tony Gray, 2014


“The European Union suspended the use of three neonic pesticides in December 2013, after a scientific review by European Food Safety Authority found that neonicotinoids pose an unacceptably high risk to bees.” Source: Friends of the Earth Bee Action Campaign. Photo: Tony Gray, 2014

We are, in effect, biting the hand that feeds us. That is not only extraordinary, but extraordinarily stupid.

The European Union has already suspended the use of several pesticides that have been shown to be toxic to bees, but many are still able to be legally sold and used elsewhere. That includes New Zealand (3)– my home country — which is both heavily dependent on food exports and markets itself world-wide as a “clean, green” country.

Extraordinary!

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is (extra)ordinary.

—-

(1) ‘Pollinators help one-third of world’s crop production, says new study’, UC Berkeley, 25 October, 2006

(2) Wide Range of Pesticides Contribute to Dwindling Bee Populations, Study Finds’, Healthline, 13, October, 2015

(3) NZ urged to follow US pesticide ban, Radio NZ, 17 September 2015

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29 thoughts on “(Extra)ordinary in so many ways

  1. Such a thoughtful post with stunning photos displaying the sophisticated relationship betweeen flowers & insects!Sad though that we,humans,badly disturb the ecosystem and lots of extraordinary things happen.Lovely choice for the challenge,dear Su!Have a sunny day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Doda. I’ve been thinking a lot about bees since I saw some feasting on blue borage at the Hamilton Gardens, and it reminded me (in that roundabout way that brains work) of a story I used to read the boychild when he was young about a wonderful grandmother who made special cake for her teething grandson and it contained blue borage honey (see I told you it was convoluted). It’s raining here and blowing a gale, but I’m feeling sunny connecting with everyone online. My best to you xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband and I took a picture last summer of a bee so covered in pollen that we wondered if it was ‘drunk’ on it as he just simply sat on the flower. lol We are easily entertained I guess. 🙂 Love your advocacy for bees!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing photographs and very eye-opening information about the horrors of pesticide use that is still going on in so much of the world. I have to admit although I know about this issue and am concerned I do tend to let it slip to the back of my mind unless reminded by posts such as this one. Great post all around.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These are fabulous bee photographs. I hope you are selling on some of the stock photo websites.

    New Zealand isn’t pure green & clean, through & through? I’m a little shaken. But it is still on my ‘most admired countries’ list.

    Like

  5. I adore bees as a beautiful photogenic, hardworking, essential and amazing creature and would ideally aspire to photograph them as wonderfully as you do.

    Sadly I’m also severely allergic to them so when they come close I have to head in the opposite direction rather than set the camera on zoom.

    I think that bees are one of the most necessary creatures on the planet (even more so than humans if the nightly News is anything to go by) and I think that human beings should be helping these magnificent creatures with the upmost urgent priority.

    Fabulous post, wonderful photographs! Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much. Allergies are terrible to live with. Mine are fairly mild and definitely not life-threatening, so I can only begin to understand how difficult it must be for you.

      Like

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