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Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply Paperback – May 5, 2009
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“At last an authoritative account of the vanishing bees: one of the most puzzling environmental problems of recent times. . . . at once a great detective story and an object lesson of how to live in harmony with the living planet, our home.” --Thomas E. Lovejoy,
"The loss of the bees is a four-fold tragedy: for the beekeepers, the growers, the consumers and of course for the bees themselves. Michael Schacker's fascinating and enlightening book is an important new look at the great mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder." --Dr. James Amrine, former president of the Acarological Society of America, Medical Entomologist, West Virginia University
From the Back Cover
Almost fifty years after Rachel Carson called our attention to the dangers of pesticides like DDT, the world faces a similar environmental disaster. In a riveting detective story that melds science and politics, Michael Schacker examines the evidence for Colony Collapse Disorder―which is wiping out beehives across America and beyond at an alarming rate―and offers a plan to save the bees. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, A Spring without Bees is a compelling cautionary tale and a clarion call for action.
“A must-read for all of us who want to live in a sustainable and regenerating world for many generations to come.”―Anthony Rodale, Chairman Emeritus, The Rodale Institute
“Michael Schacker’s fascinating and enlightening book is an important new look at the great mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder.”―Dr. James Amrine, former President of the Acarological Society of America
“A Spring without Bees . . . sounds an urgent call to action on behalf of one of our economy’s tiniest laborers, but also asks that we rethink the environmental consequences of the entire way we do business.”―Jeff Ruch, Executive Director, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
Top Customer Reviews
Following in the footsteps of Rachel Carson, Michael Schacker again sounds the alarm that the normal functioning of the natural world is still being disrupted by man-made substances. In A SPRING WITHOUT BEES: HOW COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER HAS ENDANGERED OUR FOOD SUPPLY, he carefully investigates the plight of the European honeybees, many of which have died or been unable to find their way back to their hives. In the process of solving this disturbing mystery, Schacker examines the numerous theories that have been proposed as causes of CCD and reveals a new one--which is most probable, partly because it is supported by what has been known for decades about how products used to control harmful insects can also destroy helpful ones.
Schacker presents convincing arguments, including the experience of French beekeepers which point in the direction of neurotoxins that have changed certain pesticide formulas in the past five years. These poisons build up with repeated applications and remain in the soil for years. When the honeybee collects the flower nectar, it can "intoxicate" the bees to the point where they can no longer find their way home, causing the mysterious disappearance of whole hives. Partial exposure or eating poisoned winter stores of honey can weaken or kill the bees as well. The pervasive use of these pesticides, not just for agriculture but for lawns, golf courses, and parks makes it impossible for the honeybee to avid contamination. He further explains that human exposure to these pesticides is also a health risk, especially for children who play on these contaminated lawns.
But Schacker also offers hope for the honeybee, for humankind, and for the planet if we begin to act quickly.Read more ›
I bought this book as a new hardback because I feel the need to be as well educated as possible about CCD. I also recommend the website for the documentary The Vanishing of the Bees.
Schacker reviews some of the CCD theories that have made cameos in the news media over the last two years, including a thorough and amusing dismissal of the "cell phones are killing the bees!" story. After rejecting many theories, he presents the story of CCD in France (a story we've heard relatively little about in the U.S.) and explains why French beekeepers came to suspect the pesticide IMD. It's a compelling narrative, and there is data in the U.S. that supports it. However, one of our country's top bee researchers, Dr. Eric Mussen of UC Davis, recently recounted in his newsletter (repeated by apiarist Kim Flottum in his "Catch the Buzz" newsletter) that the pattern of CCD's spread looks more like a disease than pesticide misuse.
My point is, it's too early in the crisis to settle on one hypothesis.Read more ›
One reviewer here asserts this book contains woo-woo science (it doesn't; everything is documented). The same reviewer then suggests we might genetically engineer bees that can tolerate the neuro-toxin that France and Germany have banned. Excuse me? That's worse than woo woo. It's irresponsible. Genetically engineer bees to withstand neurotoxin so chemical companies can continue to put it in the ecosystemime ? This reviewer clearly does not get it. Five more years of tests and proofs before suspending the use of the suspect substance and there will be no hive populations left to resuscitate.
European bans on the neurotoxins in question are based on simple tests that vested lobbies in the US have managed to avoid so far. Would anyone suggest we engineer songbirds to withstand DDT and bring DDT back into mainstream farming? How about breeding people to tolerate eating sewage and sate their hunger at land fills? An equally nutty idea.
Schacker has clearly done his research and answers each speculation as to cause with the facts on the ground. By citing conclusions reached by scientists in Europe, Schacker issues a call to the United States to look seriously at these causes and perform the same tests.
If you're looking to inform yourself thoroughly on this agricultural disaster in the making, you're first stop, and your best, is here, at "A Spring Without Bees."
People can also help spread the word about CCD at Schacker's website: [...]
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very good but loses its focus somewhat toward the end of the book.Published 11 months ago by Judith A. Cartisano
A very informative book on the demise of the honey bee. Wake up humans!!!Published 22 months ago by Sandra Yatsko
Schacker presents a global view on the experience of farmers and scientists in coping with the modern collapse of bee populations, For example, he details how farmers in France... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Brian Griffith
A Spring Without Bees is still the only book that documents the real root cause of massive bee die-off. Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Barbara Dean
A lot of information. But Not much research. I would prune the half of the book. Very little about bee behavior. A little about food supply and the role of bees en that. Read morePublished on March 18, 2011 by bajopalabra
This is an excellent and well-researched review of the relatively new problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which is currently decimating hives in this country (and the world). Read morePublished on April 25, 2010 by M. J. Lemos
A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply identifies a new chemical devastating our environment: IMD, a new but widely used insecticide in... Read morePublished on April 17, 2010 by Midwest Book Review