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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

Looking for a place to work on your bedside manner and start a promising new career in the process? Look no farther than your hometown.

The Vocational Education and Extension Board (VEEB), a division of the county that oversees educational facilities such as the Fire Service Academy and EMS Academy, recently transplanted one of its facilities — The School of Practical Nursing — into a new location right in the heart of Hicksville, where they recently held an open house to celebrate their new home.

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.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

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


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