September 20, 2010
Although I set up this blog in January 2010, I didn’t start writing with dedication until March. Since then, this website has taken on a life of its own and expanded more than I ever expected.
Originally the “suite” part of the name meant that I intended to write mostly about honey bees, but also about native bees. As it turns out, I’m writing more and more about other pollinators as well. This is partly a result of questions that readers have asked and partly because of all the different pollinators I have observed while I was out looking for bees.
Thirdly, there is the simple fact that the issues affecting bee pollinators—such as habitat fragmentation, pesticide use, urbanization, monoculture farming, invasive species, climate change, and deforestation—affect all pollinators. It becomes impossible to separate one group from another.
A certain amount of dissention exists among environmentalists about whether honey bees should even be included in the conservation discussion. Honey bees are not, after all, native to the Americas. But I would argue that although honey bees are not native here, neither are most of the farm crops that we want them to pollinate. Neither are most of the ornamental plants we cherish. Neither are most of the roadside weeds. Neither are most of us.
In my way of thinking about the environment, we need to make change. But we have to begin from where we are—not from where we should have been. It turns out that honey bees are fairly good indicators of environmental health, and they are a lot easier to study than most of the native species. We can learn a lot from honey bees and apply that knowledge to other areas of biological conservation.
This website is doing what I hoped it would do. I’ve had tens of thousands of page views. I’ve had requests to re-use both articles and photographs. I’ve had many questions and comments. All of this means that the world is full of folks who want to do the best for the honey bees, the native bees, and the wild pollinators. It means people care. It means that we truly want a better world for our pollinators—and if we can achieve that, it will ultimately be a better world for us.
Thank you, readers, for the first six months. Let’s see if we can do it again.