A Spring Without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply

Overview

A Silent Spring for the Twenty-First Century

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 ...

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Overview

A Silent Spring for the Twenty-First Century

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.
 

“At last, an authoritative account of the vanishing bees. . . . 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, Biodiversity Chair and former President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and Environment

“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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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,

Biodiversity Chair and former President, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and Environment

"Who could imagine a spring without bees? One might say this is impossible, especially the kids. Michael Schacker's eye-opening story A Spring without Bees is 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

"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

 

"In a debate clearly underpinned with political and commercial positioning and controversy over scientific fact and assumption, Michael Schacker’s multi-faceted review of the dispute to date, and its possible consequences, helps us clearly understand what is needed to reverse the bee decline threatening world food supply." --Dr. Kurt Johnson, ecologist and ethicist; co-author of Nabokov’s Blues:  The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius
 

"A Spring Without Bees is an object lesson in just how delicate the web of life is. It sounds an urgent call to action on behalf of one of our economy's tiniest laborers but also asks that we re-think the environmental consequences of the entire way we do business." --Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
 
“Michael Schacker offers another important rationale for organic farming methods as a way to protect the fruit and vegetable supply.”--Dr. Timothy J. LaSalle, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, The Rodale Institute

Bookseller Quote:

"If you read nothing else this summer, you must read this book - it will open your eyes and mind to the ecological impact you have on life every single day.  For the generation who ingored Rachel Carson, or who didn't read "Silent Spring", here's your second chance.  For those who dismissed Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth", pay attention now!
 
This book is written so that everyone will understand this impending disaster.  It educated me on the significant impact that bees make on our food supply and the devastating impact the disappearance of bees would have.  We can (hopefully) make a difference but we need to seriously address the use of insecticides in the United States in order to prevent further Colony Collapse Disorder and worse.  Read labels, learn what's in the stuff you use, and act now.
 
This is the most impactful book I have read in a very long time.  I strongly recommend it."
 
Pam White
Skyland Books
West Jefferson, NC

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599216003
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 976,403
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Schacker is an investigative science writer and is the founder of The New Earth Institute, a lifelong learning center on the Internet. He has served as a strategic consultant and contract writer in the field of regenerative agriculture. He lives in Willow, New York. Visit him at PlanBeeCentral.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

1 To Bee or Not to Bee 1

2 Colony Collapse Disorder 14

3 The Potential Impact of Colony Collapse Disorder 23

4 It's Not the Cell Phones... 29

5 It's Not the Mites or a Virus... 35

6 The French Say They Know Why 52

7 The Return of the Bees! 68

8 America in the Dark 92

9 Civilization Collapse Disorder 138

10 The Farmer Solution 155

11 Taking Your Home and Lawn Organic 167

12 Organic Golf, Anyone? 182

13 The Beekeeper Solution 193

14 Plant a Bee Garden and They Will Come 204

15 Plan Bee 214

Appendixes

Appendix 1 Notes 230

Appendix 2 Beekeeper Letter to EU Commission 238

Appendix 3 FIFRA Section 18 Exemptions for Imidacloprid (IMD)-EPA 244

Appendix 4 Section 18 of Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 257

Appendix 5 Colony Collapse Disorder in the United States 260

Appendix 6 Farmer Solutions 261

Appendix 7 Organic Home and Lawn Solutions 265

Appendix 8 Beekeeper Solutions for Mites and Bee Health 268

Appendix 9 List of Foods Pollinated by Bees 271

Index 273

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2009

    needed for more than sweetness

    Michael Schacker's A Spring Without Bees is a remarkable, thorough explanation of how the world's bee population has been severely threatened by the use of pesticides. Schacker carefully describes how this sad phenomena has occurred in various parts of the world, and how differently it has been handled in those places. France, for example, has tackled the issue boldly, and has found success. Due to politics in the United States, though, Americans have only found the problem growing worse. I found myself constantly underlining remarks that were alarming (the Bush administration, for instance, really crippled efforts to remedy the problem). I heartily recommend this book: I had started out knowing very little about this situation. I do not consider myself to be of a particularly scientific frame of mind, yet Schaker's words made sense to me. I began to feel more aware, more educated. For those who care about this world and what we leave as our legacy, this is vital information. All of us must learn to appreciate the value of bees, and how their importance extends far beyond that of sweetening products.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Insight on CCD

    A well written book for beekeepers and bee enthusiasts. This book was extremely informative on the theories that have been presented on CCD in the past. It is also very informative on the implications of such disease such as varroa mites and other diseases that have been traced through the international sales of bees.<BR/>If you wish to learn about beekeeping and CCD, this is an excellent choice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    IMPORTANT book for our time!

    The information in this book is not only relevent for our world today, but a CALL TO ACTION! With all the predictions of 2012 being the 'end' of our age/human life/world as we know it, (all with famine as part of the cause) we must spread the word and save the source of pollination or doom ourselves, our meat supplies, and plant and animal life on earth!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    Colony Collapse Disorder and other Bee Die-offs, real causes and solutions

    Michael Schacker's book, 'A Spring Without Bees', is the most important information you could read right now, because disappearing bees are a BIG issue. Siting scientific research from France and Europe and reports from beekeepers in the field, along with numerous other studies, the scattered puzzle pieces are carefully put together to see the whole picture. This is essential to cut through the clutter of misinformation and proposed possible causes of colony collapse disorder. One factor seems to stand out above all the rest--the bee's delicate immune system and nervous system is particularly suspectible to neonicotinoid pesticides, introduced into this country only a few years ago. These neurotoxic pesticides even play a part in making bees more vulnerable to the AIP virus, mites, fungus, stress and the other proposed causes of CCD. Add to this, the finding that fungicides increase the toxicity of these chlorinated nicotines up to 1000 times and other loopholes that allow these pesticides to be used without independent testing and to be use at over 3 times the amount previously allowed by EPA regulations and it becomes clear--the corporate sponsored tests for safety of these chemicals are meaningless. If that isn't bad enough, this class of pesticide builds up in the soil and takes 3 years to breakdown--so even after their use is suspended it will take another 3 years before bees can safely return. Clearly, this is a wake up call. Better read this book so you know what you are putting on your lawn and what your child is crawling around in! Most important, it is the first book to throroughly investigate this problem and present reasonable solutions that are easy to understand and accessible for everyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2008

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