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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

Hicksville improv sketch comedy group, Unrehearsed, will be performing this weekend at Crossroads Farm in Malverne.

The group, which consists of performers from Hicksville, will put on a fast-paced, interactive improv sketch show which will be made up completely on the spot. The only thing the actors know is which improv game they will be playing.

An Unrehearsed show follows a format similar to popular improv sketch comedy television shows, such as "Whose Line Is It Anyway," using games to create hilarious situations that are completely made up on the spot.

Superintendent Maureen Bright and the Hicksville School District are parting ways, a year earlier than originally planned.

At a Board of Education meeting May 20, Bright announced that she would not be renewing her contract when it expired at the end of the 2014-15 school year. However, a notice posted last week on the Hicksville School District website stated that she is leaving her position July 31, 2014.


Sports

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday, July 17. We had 34 golfers and only three who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by Charlie Hong with an impressive 34. Joe Sander scored a solid 49 and won low overall net with a 31.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100% handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.

The Michael Magro Foundation is once again partnering with The Mastermind Unit to put on the annual Soccer For A Cause tournament. The event, which raises money for the Michael Magro Foundation, will take place at the Kevin Kolm Memorial Field in Hicksville this Saturday.

The soccer tournament is an enjoyable event, which offers participants the chance to enter in the competitive game. In years past, approximately 20 soccer teams from the tri-state area have played. All participants will be able to enjoy music and entertainment while supporting a worthy cause. Each registrant will receive a special event t-shirt. Teams can register online at http://www.mastermindunit.com/ with a $500 donation.


Calendar

Soccer For A Cause

August 2

Blood Drive

August 2

Holy Family Church Fair

August 13-16



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