Mailbag: Where have all the honeybees gone?

Where have all the honeybees gone?

Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, vanishing from their hives and the cause is still being debated by scientists.

Did you know that a bee can pollinate 100,000 flowers a day, but who is counting? Thanks to bees and the wind, our crops get pollinated and we have food to eat. One out of 3 bites of your food depends on the work of bees. Their liquid gold is the nectar of the gods and flower pollen is a food for bees and people.

Bees are a sensitive indicator of environmental quality and they are giving us a warning and telling us we are not honoring the body of the Earth. A signal has been going out from bee keepers all over the world about the pesticides that are now being used on many crops that science is discovering is causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The young are fed pollen from systemic pesticides (long lasting and persistent synthetic). The young die and the bees leave these toxic fields. Good health and the environment are at risk. We need to limit these conditions that are making bees abandon their hives. The beekeeping industry is responsible for producing our apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables, but the beekeepers are losing so many of their hives to CCD that they are finding it harder to stay in business.

A precautionary principle is advised by Transition Laguna Beach, a local organization of citizens committed to educating the community. They will be hosting a documentary screening of "Vanishing of the Bees" at the Regency South Coast Cinema's in downtown Laguna Beach. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mother earth, mankind and our food supply. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting opinions abound, and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery. The movie is 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $12 and include Q-and-A with producers, snacks, and live music.

Justin Gresh

Laguna Beach

Editor's Note: Justin Gresh is a member of Transition Laguna Beach.

Hedge amendments good for views

I was very happy, as were countless other citizens, to hear that the City Council is taking action to simplify the Hedge Ordinance to reduce the complexity and high cost of filing a view obstruction claim. Though enacting the Hedge ordinance many years ago was great step forward in protecting our precious view sheds, it was made so complex and costly that very few people who have lost their views actually use it. While doing this badly needed revision, we hope that city will make it clear that whether vegetation near the property line is one plant or multiple plants that are being used to illegally increase the legal height of a fence, it is still a violation of the intent of ordinance. It is recognized that the mere existence of the Hedge ordinance has done some good in that a few thoughtful people, when made award that their vegetation cannot exceed the legal height of a fence if it is obstructing public or private view sheds, voluntarily reduce that height. Unfortunately, there are too few people that are that considerate and thus the need for a good simple, effective and easily enforced ordinance.

Another good news that was also well received is that the Planning Commission has received permission from the Council to work on revising the entire ordinance. There is lots of room for improvement.

As soon as the city and Planning Commission complete revising the Hedge ordinance they should revise our awful View Preservation Ordinance which is a thousand time more important, complex and costly then the Hedge Ordinance. The best thing you can say about the existing View Preservation Ordinance is that is just a little better than no ordinance at all. It should be noted that many years ago concerned citizens prepared a really excellent, fair and effective View Preservation ordinance that sadly was rejected by the city. However, it is still available to the city and citizens as a model ordinance to preserve and restore our vanishing beautiful public and private view sheds.

Dave Connell

Laguna Beach

The recent election was truly a Kumbaya moment in the history of council elections. The three ancient incumbents holding hands across the aisle could almost make one forget the vicious campaigns of the past. However as we head into the next round it appears the bell has rung. I would like to share my own learning experience for those who make themselves targets by daring to participate in the political dialogue.

For the Troglodytes or Don't forget the mustard:

I've been slimed and much maligned and told to go to Hell

As sticks and stones will break my bones

And make me bleed and swell

Mere words cannot hurt me a lot

That is a truth to tell.

The gift of speech

Unique to each

Cannot be cut short

Baseless innuendo

Will motivate retort.

Although I try and

I don't know why

To be a decent sport.

So don't abate the continuing spate

of insults or complaint,

in the interest of fair debate,

all will be answered without restraint.

C. Penney-Hall

Laguna Beach

Fifty seven percent of Laguna voters voted "no" for Proposition 19, the "so called" legalization of marijuana initiative. Forty-two percent voted "yes." Northern California voters, where lots of "pot" is grown along with voters across the state turned down the proposition. Why?

Simply stated, voters don't want government meddling in the long established production and supply lines and since it is a "cottage industry," people want the government to stay out. Along with this desire, people are afraid of big business coming into marijuana production, even though it is California's largest cash crop. Farming, preparing and selling "pot" is working quite well without Big Brother's interference and I don't think any marijuana proposition in the future will win either. The "cops" got their way, but not for reasons they will ever understand.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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