20110118

Bees on a tennis court

Even before I heard about "colony collapse disorder" in honeybees, I had noticed that something was not quite right for the hardworking insects. Since a couple of years ago, when I play tennis in summer, I would often see some bees on the court surface. Instead of busying themselves collecting nectar from flowers, the insects are crawling on the ground, wriggling in pain, slowly succumbing to the grip of death. I have long conjectured that there must be some toxic chemicals either in the air or in their food that have poisoned them. Now I have learned that a high level of pesticide residue in the wax of honeycomes is actually one of the major causes of the disorder, in which seemingly healthy bees vanish from a hive.

When I see those poor bees, I feel angry, sad and alarmed - angry for the mess that humans have made of the environment, sad for the suffering and diminishing of the honeybees, and alarmed for our own well-being. A few days ago, a University of Hong Kong released the findings that there is a strong correlation between the number of hazy days per year and deaths from heart and respiratory causes. For every 6.5-kilometer reduction of visibility, there is a 1.13 percent increase in such deaths.

The massive pollution and destruction of the environment caused by human greed or folly do not just affect other living things such as animals, insects and plants. They will come back to haunt us.
They already do, to be more precise.

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