Over the past few years there has been a honeybee epidemic where bee colonies have been collapsing seemingly â€œout of nowhereâ€.Â This has puzzled a great number of people, and only now has research been able to provide a clue on their disappearance.Â A new study has shown that insecticides used on corn crops are causing the â€œColony Collapse Disorderâ€œ; a previously unexplained disorder where healthy bee colonies would collapse without a trace of evidence.Â Many feared that our beloved honey makers were on their way to extinction.
Someone I used to work with, weâ€™ll call him â€œChris Smithâ€, loves plants.Â I would have never guessed that he would be the type, but this guy knows everything about plants.Â His back yard looks like a tropical jungle.Â One day at work he brings in a Queen bee and a few worker bees to keep her company in a small, sealed box.Â He explains the honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder, and says that he is going to buy a bee hive and start raising bees.Â I found this interesting.
The main reason for his new found interest in bees is to make sure that his plants are pollinated.Â If his plants reproduce, he can raise and sell them for a small profit.Â Mother Nature wants to run her course, but Chris is giving her some fertile ground and a few additional bee friends for assistance.Â I thought that this sounded like a good plan.
There was another reason for the bees.Â After explaining the pandemic with honeybees, he said that if things went well on a small scale in his backyard, he planned to buy many more honey bee hives, raise them in to healthy colonies and lease them out to farmers that feel Mother Nature no longer provides the bees for healthy pollination.
Since honeybees are dying off in record numbers, they have become scarce and the value placed on each bee has risen.Â This additional demand for bees has caused their value (the price someone is willing to pay) to rise and is bringing new honeybee entrepreneurs in to the market.Â Chris may have never thought about raising bees if there were plenty around in the normal state of nature.Â The new pandemic caught his attention.Â The pricing mechanism of the market sent Chris a signal and made him think that he could turn a profit by building a bee dynasty.
Can you see how the Free Market is refusing to let the bees go extinct?Â Since humans place value on bees, the Market will send signals to those listening that there is a profit to be made in being a bee-farmer.Â Without this natural signal additional people would not take up the beekeeping business, and bees may be buzzing their way in to extinction.Â As long as people value honeybees, there will be honeybees.
Compare this to how the government would handle the same situation.Â They would make killing honeybees illegal, and put penalties on any interaction with them.Â Sit on a honeybee; youâ€™ll be fined.Â Get stung and take some simple revenge?Â Off to jail.Â Governments are outside of â€œthe Marketâ€ because they do not run in the profit/loss environment.Â Without this, they cannot see the same market signals that businessmen do.Â Simply passing a law will not save the bees, but understanding the newly found value will help change the minds and attitudes of the people that are in a position to actually help.
So letâ€™s celebrate high prices because they ultimately help keep prices low for the things that we love.Â How expensive would honey be if all of the worldâ€™s bees vanished?Â Fortunately we will never find out!Â People like Chris Smith are attempting to profit from this catastrophe, but are actually helping keep that sweet honey on our shelves at affordable prices!
UPDATE 9 March 2012:
Purdue University in Indiana has just released a study that showing a direct connection between honeybee deaths and the use of an FDA-approved pesticide.Â Check it out!!