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Letter: Vanishing Bees, Vanishing Humankind

The old saying, “Busy as a Bee” comes from the fact that bees pollinate at least 70% of our crops, which is 1 out of 3 bites of food that we eat - encompassing at least 95 varieties of crops.

The world’s bees are in jeopardy of extinction. Bees have been dying off in droves since the mid 1990s. This disaster began in France and kept spreading throughout the world, hitting the U.S. in 2006.  It was given a name – colony collapse disorder, or CCD.  Much has been made over the so-called mystery surrounding CCD.  

Well, a new class of pesticide was introduced for agriculture that is a neurotoxin to bees called the neonicotinoid family of pesticides. Introduced in the 1990s, neonicotinoids have rapidly taken over the global insecticide market. Like the product clothianidin, their predecessor, neonicotinoids are used as seed treatments in hundreds of crops from corn to almonds, yes, as well as lawn care and even flea products. These products can persist for years in the soil and systemically permeate the plants to which they are applied, to be expressed as pollen and nectar for bees. In other words, this class of pesticide is nearly pervasive and bees are exposed to it in many different ways. These toxins are key causes of pathogens, habitat loss and immune system damage to bees.

Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying, “ If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live!” So, if you hear a humming or buzz in your yard or see a bee flying by you, “bee” very happy. Do not harm the bee.  

“Bee” a honey and start by taking these few steps so our bees can pollinate and regain their ever diminishing colonies. Some plants that attract bees are Anthyllis vulneraria (commonly known as Kidney Vetch), Crocuses, Sunflowers, Borage, Greater Knapweed, Geranium, Mint, Honeysuckle, and Rosemary. Build a bee shelter in your yard to help protect them from heavy rains, etc.  And most of all, don’t use any kind of synthetic sprays such as insecticides containing imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam and the very deadly weed killer glyphosate (herbicide).  Read labels; only use organic products for your lawn and flowers.  

Spread the “buzz” on saving our bees and we will always be as sweet as honey.

Gary Feldman

Organic Food Advocate

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com