Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why Should We Care About Bees?

I've been wondering about this question for some time now. Over the past year, there's been several reports concerning a dramatic decline in the bee population. Some folks speculated that this decimation was due to cell-phone transmitters interfering with the bees' navigational system - that claim has since been discomfirmed by reserach scientists in England. However, scientists have continued to investigate possible factors that may explain why the bee population is rapidly declining.

Last month, I read a NY Times review about "Bee Movie" by beekeeper Susan Brackney. Her op-ed piece provided a non-fiction account of how bees really live. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hollywood's version overestimates the males' role and underestimates the females' role in the hive. Brackney ends her piece by doubting whether Bee Movie will inspire people to seriously contemplate the current bee crisis we are facing.

Admittedly, I don't know much about bees. As a cognitive psychologist, what I do know is that people generally have a negative association when they think about this concept. Maybe it's because we're likely to think of bees stinging people, which hurts.

I have a few friends, however, who know a lot about the importance of bees. For instance, I've learned that bees play an important role in almond pollination, and that a declining bee population is closely related to an increase in almond prices.

So this issue has been percolating in the back of my mind for some time now. And just this morning I found a trailer for a documentary called, "The Vanishing of the Bees." If you have a moment, take a look at this trailer. Hopefully, this film will provide critical information as to why we should care about bees.

No comments: