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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

It was quite a panel at the Hicksville Community Center Oct. 20 as State Senator Jack Martins and Senate Candidate Adam Haber discussed their qualifications and answered public questions about their upcoming election bids in the 7th Senate District. Congressman Steve Israel was on hand as well as 13 District State Assemblyman Michael Montesano and contender Lou Imbroto. The event was hosted by Northwest Civic Association President Joel Berse.

Martins, who previously served as Mayor of Mineola and was elected to Senate in 2011, said that the State of New York is in much better financial shape since he has taken office.

Alan Yu, an external auditor from the firm, Cullen & Danowski LLP gave the findings of the annual district external audit at Oct. 22’s Hicksville Board of Education meeting. Discussed at the meeting were the financial statements of the 2013-14 school year which officially ended June 30.

According to Yu, the Hicksville School district has a fund balance of $34 million. Roughly 26 to 27 percent of the general fund balance comprises the total budget.


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

Safe Trick or Treat

October 31

Election Day

November 4

Senior Luncheon

November 6



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