On the importance of securing a future for the existence of native and wild bees
“Save the Bees” is a slogan that we have heard left and right in the last couple of years. The bee, in many ways, has been morphed into a symbol of ecosystems suffering under our destructive modern agricultural practices. This agricultural system is now causing the loss of one of its own most important cornerstones: pollinators that ensure our crops, orchards and flowers blossom anew each year, for which bees play a vital role. The chief trigger for this concern was a series of years around 2006-2013 in the United States as well as Europe in which many bee-hives experienced very high rates of mortality, especially throughout winters, with millions of colonies dying in a short amount of time. In China, some regions had to pollinate crops by hand because their bee-colonies were not able to pollinate sufficiently anymore.
This great bee perishing was titled ‘colony collapse disorder’, or CCD in short. Chief among the causes were infection with Varroa mites that latch onto the bees and suck their blood, and also transmit the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (named after the country it was first discovered in) that further weakens the bees. If not treated fast, this can lead to the colony at some point going into a ‘death-spiral’ in which the weak bees either die in the hive or never make it back. Adding to this, communication breaks down as the IAPV lames the insect’s ability to fly – a key component in bee communication. Other factors that are suspected relate directly to modern agriculture, through the use of pesticides (neonicotinoids especially) and land-use changes that damaged the bees and their natural habitat. Especially the neonicotinoid strain of pesticides produced by agri-chemical giants such as Syngenta came under scrutiny (they denied any wrongdoing, of course.)
Scary, right? Yet the decline of managed honeybees seems to get more attention than the rapid decline of local bee species, and moreover, the genocide-by-replacement of Europeans and our cultures.
While a laudable effort that has drawn attention to the impact of our modern agricultural practices, the “Save the Bees” meme as it is most widely used (both on the ‘ecological’ Left and Right) barely scratches the surface. Even worse, it is potentially misleading, and through its superficial panic threatens to obscure far graver issues and also shows an ignorance on the part of those that perpetuate it (for a good cause), and I definitely count myself as being one of them until recently.
The core point is this: modern apiculture (bee cultivation) is in many ways an extension and an important cog in the machine of destructive industrial agriculture and exhibits many of its symptoms. Not perhaps in the small-scale beekeeping we know and which can support local farmers, but by now bees have in many ways become an extesion of our industrial agriculture for a large part. The western honeybee, Apis Mellifera, is the only ‘domesticated’ and truly social species of bee. The cute little honeybees are therefore little more than ‘free-range’ cattle, and a monoculture at that. Many of the factors in CCD therefore also relate more to management practices which make it easier for infections to spread. On the other hand, while honeybees get treated for Varroa infections, wild bees of course have no such luck.
In fact, mega-farms of other monoculture-crops in the West even specifically hire the services of bee-keepers and their hives to ensure the pollination of their vast fields of crop (which has of course been richly inundated with various pesticides). While these bees do indeed supply an important ecosystem service through pollination, the fact is that they are being cultivated in such quantities and ways that they also become an unnatural hazard to other types of wild and native bees, who often do not have a cozy, managed hive or raw numbers to compete for food sources aggressively. While not all honeybees are cultivated (these are called ‘feral’), they still bring up the total to 16 million hives across the EU. As the chart below shows, honeybees have recovered and are climbing to unprecedented numbers of hives despite CCD and other ills.
Yet the situation for Wild and Native bees is far more dire, I would argue. Compared to the one species of honeybee, there are 1965 species of wild bees in Europe alone. Today around one in ten wild bee species is threatened with extinction. Due to a lack of data and resources, population trends for around 79% of bee species are in fact unknown. Of the populations that have been studied, 7.7% of the species have declining populations, 12.6% are stable and 0.7% are increasing. This means that we in fact don’t fully know how bad it is but going by trends for other insects (including pollinators), we can assume the picture isn’t pretty. Furthermore, the factors that are causing a decline of WN bees are also bringing about a die-off, or genocide if you will, of pretty much every other type of insect around, in Europe and elsewhere.
Over the last three decades, insect populations in German nature reserves have seen an extremelydramatic decline. The scientists that conducted the multi-decade study estimate that the flying insect biomass has declined by 82% for mid-summer measurements – the time of the year when insect populations usually reach their highest number. Even worse, they are not able to explain this decline, which seems to have occurred independent of habitat type, weather changes, land use, and habitat characteristics. However, as all of the nature reserves studied were essentially encircled by cropland under intensive agriculture, the use of pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural intensification “may form a plausible cause”. Another study in the UK revealed that the country has seen a 97% decline in wildflower meadows (presumably to make way for more agriculture or the expansion of urban hell-scapes). These meadows are an important habitat and food source foe wild pollinators. Globally, there has been a 45% decline in insect populations over the past 40 years.
This dying is a far greater problem for our food system and ecosystem health than the honeybee deaths. In a great article for chinadialogue.net, Dave Goulson writes that “In the UK, for example, recent studies suggest that about one-third of pollination is delivered by honeybees, the rest being carried out by a range of wild insects. These animals need undisturbed places to nest, and flowers to feed on when the crops are not flowering. However, bee diversity has declined markedly in Europe, with many species disappearing from much of their former range, and some species going extinct. The UK alone has lost three species of native bumblebee, and six more are listed as endangered. Four bumblebee species have gone extinct from the whole of Europe, and there is good evidence for similar declines in North America and China.”
We are told that in those September days of ’45, a war ended. Seventy-three years on, we know that this war truly knew very few “victors”. The death of millions on our soil and beyond, the subsequent war on our cultures, and the spectacle of vapid materialism have been the chief outcomes of that war. The end of this war, however, went in hand in hand with an even-greater intensification of another – war against Life. Chief among the riders of the modern apocalypse is the grotesque counterpart of Famine, the swollen avatar of modern agriculture that gorges itself on the planet until there is nothing left to eat but mammon.
The core issue is that have strayed extremely far from anything approaching normal agricultural practices. This can be seen in the ‘internal’ workings of our food system, where we have rampant disease and grotesque genetic mutations among ‘livestock’ as a result of how we treat the billions of animals locked in tiny cages under artificial suns. On the ‘external’ side, we witness the death of every living system that cannot ‘serve’ the industrial monoculture, killed by piecemeal habitat destruction as well as clouds of pesticides and herbicides.
While in Europe, people are gradually waking up again to the importance of preserving and fostering the very essence of life that we need to sustain us – healthy and diverse native ecosystems – the rest of the world is just getting started unfortunately on their great path of progress. The world, in these calculations, would then just be one gigantic hive with billions of drones that it somehow feeds. We nevertheless always seem to be continually running out of food, wasting around a third we produce globally and adding a billion mouths to feed every other decade – even as more land is converted to grow crops.
Goulson argues here that “it is obvious that this pattern cannot go on for ever; we will run out of forests to clear, and we cannot squeeze ever more food from the same area of land. There are cracks beginning to show; highly intensive farming may not be sustainable in the long term. ” Gee, who would have thought?
Europeans (or rather, “people living on the continent of Europe” as native European birthrates are hardly recorded officially) will constitute a population of around 400 million by the end of this century, and therefore become the smallest group of ‘consumers’. They will be an even greater minority on a planetary scale than today as all other continents will continue seeing population growth –with calculations estimating around 4 billion Africans by the end of century alone, thanks to ongoing urbanization and agricultural production without significant fertility rate reductions. A recipe for ‘excess’ people on an already poorly managed continent. An excellent article by American Renaissance also deals with the coming “Rush to Europe” from Africa, of which we have now very likely seen just the beginning of a great wave coming across the Mediterranean in ramshackle boats à la Jean Raspail’s “Camp of the Saints”.
Naturally, this agricultural system run amok – at least in Europe – represents the unstoppable hell of modernity we seem to be trapped in. I argue that this is a spiritual as much as technological malady. While our intellectual gifts and capacities have enabled us to make ever greater leaps in technology, there has been a simultaneous dismantling of a balancing force to frame and bind this advancement – tradition. It is no single thing, but rather an inherent view of all the components of the material as well as the non-material world being brought into harmony. In essence – we only asked if we ‘could’, and never if we ‘should’, as the guiding principle that has been put into place across the West since the end of the second world war has been one of “progress” without limit and without end, until we die fat and hollow at the altar of consumerism that we have sacrificed everything at.
Europe has become barren in the truest sense of the word.
We may no longer lay claim to our lands, as these are now open to all the world and its cultures. Europe is a space for everyone and no-one. There is no more fertile spiritual soil that would create societies of high trust and will to live for more than today. The mere thought of what Guillaume Faye terms the ‘germen’, the ethno-cultural seed of potential from which our generations have sprung, is now anathema. While the liberal ecologists cry about the introduction of exotic species into frail ecosystems, they have no qualms when the cultural and ethnic balance of Europe is ripped up by the root. Protect the ‘indigenous’, the noble savage defender of the rainforest! But any idea of a non-universalist inheritance that extends to both the soil and ‘the blood’ is purged carefully when it comes to Europeans. Europe, as Greens, Leftists and other power-sycophants like to repeat, is really an empty piece of land, just waiting for the world to till it.
Eva Esche, a protestant priest from Cologne, voices this sentiment perfectly: “I don’t have the feeling that Germany must change. It has to evolve, find new answers to new problems. There really are big problems in Germany, also due to the refugee crisis. This will not change. If someone is starving in Africa or has no chance at peace, they will simply come. Who’s to say that Germany belongs to the Germans? It’s just a piece of land that has to be worked so that people can live.” [Quote translated from Nationalmasochismus. Chapter VI, M. Klonovsky. Verlag Antaios, 2018]. (Note: the slogan ‘Germany for the Germans’ is in fact constitutionally forbidden in Germany.)
Ironic, then, that this land’s very soil is also in rapid physical decline. We are losing soil equal to the area of Berlin covered 1 metre deep every year. While our lands become ever more ‘diverse’ with every wave of migrants washing ashore, our native biodiversity and species health is plummeting. Next to that, of course, is that our people are increasingly becoming childless, with 3 children per European woman the exception rather than anything ‘normal’. Sadly, just like for WN bees, exact population statistics and research are lacking. Such a slight occasional population shrinkage in itself would not be a desperate problem, as it could relieve the pressure of such a resource-intense civilization as ours. Of course, that would only be the case if simultaneously, a return to traditional appreciation of material and non-material roots was the driver of innovation, rather than this simply being an excuse to consume more and be more wasteful. The fertility decline, unfortunately, has more to with the poison honey we’ve been fed for decades. One of the ecological Left’s major talking points these days is indeed this – how Europeans should have fewer offspring in order to ‘combat climate change’ in some nebulous fashion, as if they aren’t making sure that people with far less environmental qualms than your average Gutmensch Vegan-Organic European are taking up the slack.
The truth is sadly that our peoples have lost much of their virility and others are stepping up to lay claims on this land. They, in turn, do not come for what remains of our country’s beauty and pride, they come for its ill-defended richness. They come for the ‘economy’ and its little brother, the ‘welfare state’. They come to take shelter in the bones of some mythical great beast and form the new hyper-urbanized class as the last of those who may have a deeper interest in the continued survival of that wish their ancestors cherished slowly wither away.
The Hive doesn’t care who its drones are, as long as the honey gets made. It doesn’t matter if the honey is sweet poison laced with industrial concoctions. It doesn’t matter if the bees stop being able to communicate with each other, their wings shuddering into silence and forgetting. You can always just breed new bees somewhere else and replace your dead or dying colony, right? In this analogy, unfortunately, I cannot say that the beekeepers are cultivators and caretakers who truly wish the best for any Hive.
So, when we feel sorry for that poor little honeybee, we really feel sorry for ourselves. Their colony collapse disorder mirrors our own, and whatever ‘wildness’ there is left in us is fading quickly as that which is in the way of the Hive must be razed and replaced.
In taking action, we must be Nature defending itself, and defend Europe at the same time!
~ Arminius, 22.01.2019.