Recent news reports are buzzing about creating sperm banks for bees in case we keep experiencing colony collapse disorder and losing bees by the droves. Aren’t we approaching this problem from the wrong end? Besides pollinating our food and flowers, there are a multitude of reasons why sperm banks are not a great idea, I have come up with five.
The idea of a bee sperm bank is to interbreed bees in order to create a stronger bee, able to withstand pesticides and infections. Why not just stop bombarding bees with harmful chemicals and give them a clean world to live in? Is that too idealistic? Okay, so here are my five top reasons to bag the sperm bank idea:
1- Nature is Smarter than man-
I know we have made some great technological advances in our time, but we have also been screwing up the environment, miscalculating human impact, creating extremely toxic chemicals, blown places and people up and made some fairly detrimental mistakes in our attempts to evolve. Now sure, there is a cosmic order to all of this I’m sure, but there is also, a natural intelligence in nature which has put this whole game together including the bees are as they are. The problem is the perspective of the humans making such decisions. This problem we can take control over and do something about.
2- What about Killer Bees?
We have seen the effects of interbreeding gone wrong. The idea which resulted in killer bees started with good intentions: “Killer bees were the creation of a laboratory project led by the government of Brazil. Brazil hired geneticist Dr. Warwick Kerr in 1956 to create a bee that could survive the tropics of South America, as European honeybees could not. The goal was to create a gentle yet hardy bee by breeding European and African honeybee varieties. This did not happen.” As we can see, interbreeding species is not always a wise idea. How do we know what continual bee interbreeding would do to nature’s already perfect bee?
3- Human Room for Error –
We must admit that there is room for error in the quest to ‘save’ bees by genetically altering them to be stronger and ‘more fit’ for an environment we have artificially created for them. What if something goes wrong? What if we lose the sperm bank to natural disaster or human error? I am not a big fan of the ‘what if’, but – AND -are we prepared to let a critical species go extinct on the basis that we could ‘recreate’ them with their DNA? Are we a little too Jurassic Park here with this whole sperm bank idea?
4-Gives permission to biotechnology corporations to continue harming the environment-
The very thought of creating a bee sperm bank to me sounds like written permission to Monsanto and all the other chemical and pesticide companies to go right ahead and continue to harm the environment without any sense of responsibility. Oh, don’t worry, we have a ‘back up plan’, the bee sperm bank will help us create more bees after we destroy the ones nature has created. Even the EPA is approving toxic pesticides known to kill bees. I can think of more than five reasons why technology should not be allowed to decide the fate of our bees. Bee sperm banks are simply not the answer, though they may seem like a great idea. We could most certainly reverse the issue of colony collapse if we went to the root cause instead of trying to fix the outcome.
5- Bee products –
Bee products are a major untapped resource. Such items like bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly are some of nature’s most potent medicines. Bee pollen alone is a complete multi-vitamin and provides critical lecithin based phosphorus for brain function. Bee propolis is one of the best natural antibiotics known to man and can topically combat skin cancer. Royal Jelly is an age-defying, hormone balancing supplement like no other. I could go on and on about the amazing properties of these substances. Bee products alone are reason enough to protect the bees of today at any cost. Let’s look at delicious honey. Honey was once known to the Egyptians as the immortal elixir of life and still today, when unheated, contains vital life giving enzymes, kills germs and heals burns. Let’s not forget about beeswax, which is invaluable as a nontoxic hydrating beauty care ingredient and natural antiseptic. Who knows what our hybrid sperm creations would be capable of doing? Would they make products you’d feel comfortable using? Could you eat pesticide resistant bees’ honey and be okay with that?
Each one of these reasons could be a report all on their own. The truth is, we are no where near as wise as nature herself and ought not to be messing with the perfect design as we so thoughtlessly do for our own selfish whims. The idea of sperm banks for bees indicates to me a deep and misguided moral fabric willing to destroy the finest woven cosmic weave for profit. Many reasons could be given as to why a sperm bank is an irresponsible move rather than an advanced technological decision. I have simply highlighted five. We ought to treat the bees as nature intended, address the real problem and dump the sperm bank idea in the toilet wrapped in tissue – now that would be great!
Written by: Stasia Bliss