Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched 30 billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.
©2008 Rowan Jacobson (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I am an English teacher in China and can now read and write some Chinese.I have been to 13 countries on 4 continents.I am an avid audiophile
I had heard of bee colony collapse in the news and this is a great in depth coverage of what exactly colony collapse disorder is.We discover there are many things that are hurting bee: verroa mites, pesticides, feeding them fructose pancakes and working them to death are all contributing factors. I was left feeling that man has this need to bend nature to his will, but nature bites back with disease, predators, and extinction in some cases. Man seems to come up with band aid after band aid to solve these problems without regard to how it affects other things in the same environment. We are losing our connection to the earth and its resources. One bee keeper in Vermont let nearly all his bees die and started over with Russian bees and good cultural practices. He also did this in a remote area. His bees are robust and get better with each generation. He see the pests as warning signs that he has done something wrong or that simply a certain amount of pests are to be expected. He doesn't want to rely on yet another quick fix. Industrialization of food is the overall problem. This book is a lot like things from Michael Pollan, Paul Roberts or Joel Salatin. All advocates of smaller scale, diverse farming, something the world seems to be moving away from with such a big population. The bees are living beings and need a rest just like you or me. The book finishes with a short history of pollination and also treats us to the details of bee reproduction, and the kinds of things flowers have done to attract their gracious hosts. The narrator spoke clearly enough, but he spoke a bit too quickly at times. If he had paced himself the delivery would have been a bit longer, but much easier to grasp. Sometimes I had to repeat an entire chapter to fully get the meaning. Maybe this would have been a better book to simply read.
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