When I’m on the treadmill I like to read. This is difficult but manageable at certain speeds (if you go faster, the book or magazine or iPad falls off). I was reading the Nov 2013 issue of Costco Connection magazine that came to my house a few days earlier in the mail. Mainly this magazine has product placement ads which is understandable but it also has a few interesting articles. This month one article caught my attention: “Bees are in Crisis”. I knew about the honeybee problem over the past several years – they are dying off in huge numbers. In case you don’t know about this, it’s a big crisis for our food industry because without the honeybees to pollinate key crops there won’t be any crops – blueberries, almonds, alfalfa, cherries to name a few. The article points to one possible cause of this problem – chemical insecticides sprayed on the plants that the bees are pollinating. To make a long story short, the insecticides get into the plant’s vascular tissue and the bees are then exposed to these chemicals when they travel from plant to plant. This weakens their immune system which in turn leaves them open to parasites and other bad-bee-bug-microbes that kill them. As I read, I was thinking about our human immune system. All of the allergies with foods, drugs, animals, hay fever with asthma, diabetes, etc. are related to dysfunctional immune systems. Is there a link between us and the honeybees? Something systemic in our environment? Possibly.
p.s. when I wrote this post I didn't know that there would be a NY Times article on this topic the next day. Interesting connection: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/business/international/europe-warns-of-human-risk-from-insecticides.html?hpw&rref=business&_r=0