Envirowritings of Wally du Temple
Bees, blossoming flowers and fruits are foundational to the lives of all creatures, great and small. Soil, sun, plants, bees and mammals – from ancient times they gave birth to civilizations.
Most civilizations honored the bees and flowers in paintings, stories, sculptures and poetry.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886 ) wrote this poem;
‘The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Here E.D. disapproves of the human inventions of ‘pedigree’ and ‘aristocracy’ and indicates that the lowliest ‘clover’ is as fine as the most exquisite bloom for making a living.
There is a wonderful, natural essence about bees. It is not only the perfume. It is not only the buzz and the zoom. It is the fact that the world is their room. They are the ones who keep the generations fertile. They are the ones that had better not become sterile. But now, Monsanto raises the specter of that danger.
E.D. disliked certain ‘human inventions’ of class and privilege but could not predict that humans would for profit try to improve on nature by putting poisons into seeds, into soils, into nectar, that then threatens that the next generation of bees might be infertile.
Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company is widely blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, partly by the use of pesticides that have been incorporated into the DNA of plants. Monsanto was recently banned from Poland. One of the primary reasons was that the company’s genetically modified corn was devastating the bee population.
Now Monsanto has bought ‘Beeologics’ the largest bee research firm on the planet that could have done honest, unbiased research.
Now there is a potential for developing a patented, genetically modified ‘bee’ that can withstand the poisons of pesticides.
What would ED say today were she alive, had she seen the inventions of our time. Could she ask, have inventions gone wrong? Has the car been a crime? Did atoms become a bomb? Could oil become a tomb for extinctions? Could even the bees in your garden be owned by a corporation? Poor Emily, poor us! I want to say something. I want to do something.
I saw fewer bees this summer. I miss them for beauty, for their ambience among the flowers. I remember that food comes from the worker bees not from the supermarket. Should we arise for the bees? Should we see who agrees that no one ought to have the right to threaten life as we have known it for mercantile profit.
We need a United Nations for the flowering plants, trees and bees.
Wally du Temple