September 2009
Vanishing bees


Do you know what apples, almonds, broccoli, cashews, garlic, mangoes, peaches, raspberries and tea have in common? Give up? They all depend on bees to help with their sexual reproduction.

In fact, did you know that every third bite of food that you consume depends on our buzzing buddies, the bees? The busy little gals (the workers are unfertilized females) do a lot for us by pollinating plants and flowers worldwide.

Unfortunately, they're dying by the millions and no-one knows why. It's safe to say our world won't be the same without them. 'No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more... people' is a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, though there doesn't seem to be any evidence that he actually said it. Not that it matters. The attribution is less important than the content.

Our September issue examines the mystery of the disappearing bees.








2 Letters

4 Why are they dying?
Wayne Ellwood investigates the case of the missing bees.

8 The Bees' Knees - The Facts

10 Honey is life
Gathering wild honey is an age-old tradition in South India. Mari Marcel Thekaekara and her husband Stan see how it's done.

12 Ten ways to help save the bees
Illustrated by Scott Ritchie.

14 Backyard beehives
A walk on the wild side with Hadani Ditmars.

15 A stressed world
Extinction is forever. Can we stop the slide in bio-diversity?

16 Looting of a small planet
It won't be easy but Philip Chandler argues that beekeepers themselves need to lead a revolution in sustainability.


18 The aid debate: boon or burden?
Some call it 'live aid'. Some call it 'dead aid'. The debate is raging. Vanessa Baird and
Jonathan Glennie tell the story so far...


22 CRISIS PAKISTAN: Why Pakistan's Taliban win as they lose
Pakistan's army offensive has wrongfooted the Taliban. But the larger war of ideas has yet to be won. Pervez Hoodbhoy explains.

25 HMONG REFUGEES: Jungle orphans
Nick Harvey reports on the position of the Hmong - both inside Laos and the bleak refugee camps of Thailand.

27 Currents
A breakthrough for LGBT rights in India; Afghanistan's handling of people with mental illness adds to their trauma; and seeing REDD in Papua New Guinea.

29 Only Planet
Language may be evolving, but are humans? ponder Gort and Klaatu in the latest cartoon by Marc Roberts.

30 Big Bad World
Mass suicide the CO2 way in Polyp's cartoon.
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword

31 Interview with Mike Bonanno
The Yes Man extraordinaire talks about his latest film.

32 Mixed Media
Tree-hugging in Sweden and train-robbing in Mexico feature in this month's films, plus a doorstop of a book by Roberto Bolano which is as hard to put down as it is to pick up.

34 Essay: Why Children Work
Jeremy Seabrook visits Bangladesh to better understand the roots of child labour.

36 Country profile:Niger





NI Japan




From this month's theme

- Why are they dying? (NI p4-7)

- The Bees' Knees - The Facts (NI p8-9)
- A stressed world (NI p15)

- Ten ways to help save the bees (NI p12-13
- Looting of a small planet (NI p16-17)

From Special Features and other articles
- The aid debate: boon or burden? (NI p18-21)

This month's Japanese organizations at a glance
- Tokyo Beekeeper's Cooperative
- Hunger Free World


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