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1 Burnside Environmental Studies- Food and Famine

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis

by

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

How the disappearance of the worlds honeybee population puts the food we eat at risk.

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time when “there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.” The fruitless fall nearly became a reality last year when beekeepers watched one third of the honeybee populationthirty billion beesmysteriously die. The deaths have continued in 2008. Rowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their essential connection to our daily lives. With their disappearance, we wont just be losing honey. Industrial agriculture depends on the honeybee to pollinate most fruits, nuts, and vegetablesone third of American crops. Yet this system is falling apart. The number of these professional pollinators has become so inadequate that they are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. By exploring the causes of CCD and the even more chilling decline of wild pollinators, Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural crisis. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take for granted the Edenic garden Homo sapiens has played in since birth. Our world could have been utterly differentand may be still.

Rowan Jacobsen writes about food, the environment, and the connections between the two. His work has appeared in the Art of Eating, the New York Times, Wild Earth, Wondertime, Culture & Travel, NPR.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Chocolate Unwrapped and A Geography of Oysters. He lives in rural Vermont with his wife and son.

A Seattle Times Best Book of 2008

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time when “there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.” The fruitless fall nearly became a reality last year when beekeepers watched one third of the honeybee populationthirty billion beesmysteriously die. The deaths have continued in 2008. Rowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their essential connection to our daily lives. With their disappearance, we wont just be losing honey. Industrial agriculture depends on the honeybee to pollinate most fruits, nuts, and vegetablesone third of American crops. Yet this system is falling apart. The number of these professional pollinators has become so inadequate that they are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. By exploring the causes of CCD and the even more chilling decline of wild pollinators, Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural crisis. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take for granted the Edenic garden Homo sapiens has played in since birth. Our world could have been utterly differentand may be still.

“If honeybees and their wild relatives vanish, we could lose some of our most luscious fruits and vegetables — up to 100 crops, from apples to zucchini. In "Fruitless Fall," Mr. Jacobsen warns that we may be on the brink of just such a disaster…a detailed history of honeybee biology… [Jacobsens] analysis is helpful and instructive.”Wall Street Journal

"A timely, thought-provoking examination of Colony Collapse Disorder, in which bees fail to return to their hives causing critical shortages of pollinators, a growing worldwide problem whose cause and cure remain a mystery.”Seattle Times

 
“In his very scary Fruitless Fall, Rowan Jacobsen explains in laymans terms and with a rising urgency why autumns mellow fruitfulness wont happen unless we take better care of that industrious pollinator Apis mellifera, the honeybee. To write his book, Mr. Jacobsen had to take a "bees-eye view of the world," but the result is surprisingly human: Its the story of a close and enduring partnership that crashed in 2006 with the onset of colony collapse disorder…Fruitless Fall is a passionate sequel to Rachel Carsons Silent Spring, and wed better listen up before we get to winter kills.”New York Observer
 
“A spiritual successor to Rachel Carson's seminal eco-polemic Silent Spring… You can't finish this book unconvinced that our food supply is in serious danger. Although Jacobsen doesn't solve the CCD mystery, he presents ample evidence that the current state of affairs "rented" honey bees that are shipped coast to coast to pollinate crops is unsustainable and stressing the insects to the max…Jacobsen's concern for the fate of the honey bee population is easily contagious…The Verdict: Read.”Time
 
"Food writer Rowan Jacobsen lays out the crisis in his latest book with the lure of a good mystery…Jacobsen weaves in a light history of and biology of the honeybee…Fruitless Fall, while startling and worrisome, also is entertaining, informative and fascinating.”Charleston Post and Courier

“In this densely woven account of waggle dances, almond trees, and confounded pathologists, Jacobsen tells the story of CCD: how it happened, the likely culprits, and its implications for the future of agriculture.”Seed

“The apiculture industry now has its own Upton SinclairFruitless Fall is an eye-opening, attitude-changing, and exceptionally engaging examination of America's most overlooked multi-billion-dollar industry.”May Berenbaum, professor of Entomology, University of Illinois, and Chair, National Research Council Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America

“Past a certain point, we can't make nature conform to our industrial model. The collapse of beehives is a warning--and the cleverness of a few beekeepers in figuring out how to work with bees not as masters but as partners offers a clear-eyed kind of hope for many of our ecological dilemmas.”

--Bill McKibben, author Deep Economy

“Rowan Jacobsen tells the fascinating — and alarming — story of honeybee decline with energy and insight.” –Elizabeth Kolbert, author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe

“Well-informed…For many readers, it may make the mystery of CCD easier to comprehend.  [An] intelligent, important assessment of a confusing phenomenon and its potentially catastrophic implications.”Kirkus Reviews

"With a passion that gives this exploration of colony collapse disorder real buzz, Jacobsen investigates why 30 billion honeybeesone-quarter of the northern hemisphere's populationvanished by the spring of 2007. He identifies the convergence of culpritsblood-sucking mites, pesticide buildup, viral infections, overused antibiotics, urbanization and climate changethat have led to habitat loss and the destruction of 'the beautiful mathematics of the hive.' Honeybees are undergoing something akin

Review:

"With a passion that gives this exploration of colony collapse disorder real buzz, Jacobsen (A Geography of Oysters) investigates why 30 billion honeybees — one-quarter of the northern hemisphere's population — vanished by the spring of 2007. He identifies the convergence of culprits — blood-sucking mites, pesticide buildup, viral infections, overused antibiotics, urbanization and climate change — that have led to habitat loss and the destruction of 'the beautiful mathematics of the hive.' Honeybees are undergoing something akin to a nervous breakdown; they aren't pollinating crops as effectively, and production of commercial American honey, already undercut by cheap Chinese imports, is dwindling, even as beekeepers truck stressed honeybees cross-country to pollinate the fields of desperate farmers. Jacobsen pessimistically predicts that 'our breakfasts will become... a lot more expensive' as the supply of citrus fruits, berries and nuts will inevitably decrease, though he expresses faith that more resilient bees can eventually emerge, perhaps as North American honeybees are crossbred with sturdier Russian queen bees. The author, now tending his own hives, invests solid investigative journalism with a poet's voice to craft a fact-heavy book that soars. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

“Jacobsen reminds readers that bees provide not just the sweetness of honey, but also are a crucial link in the life cycle of our crops.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched thirty billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.

Synopsis:

How the disappearance of the worlds honeybee population puts the food we eat at risk.

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time when “there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.” The fruitless fall nearly became a reality last year when beekeepers watched one third of the honeybee population—thirty billion bees—mysteriously die. The deaths have continued in 2008. Rowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their essential connection to our daily lives. With their disappearance, we wont just be losing honey. Industrial agriculture depends on the honeybee to pollinate most fruits, nuts, and vegetables—one third of American crops. Yet this system is falling apart. The number of these professional pollinators has become so inadequate that they are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. By exploring the causes of CCD and the even more chilling decline of wild pollinators, Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural crisis. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take for granted the Edenic garden Homo sapiens has played in since birth. Our world could have been utterly different—and may be still.

About the Author

Rowan Jacobsen writes about food, the environment, and the connections between the two. His work has appeared in the Art of Eating, the New York Times, Wild Earth, Wondertime, Culture & Travel, NPR.org, and elsewhere. He is the author of Chocolate Unwrapped and A Geography of Oysters. He lives in rural Vermont with his wife and son.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596915374
Subtitle:
The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis
Author:
Jacobsen, Rowan
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Diseases
Subject:
Honeybee
Subject:
Honeybee - Diseases - United States
Subject:
Colony collapse disorder of honeybees
Subject:
Animals - Insects & Spiders
Subject:
Nature Studies-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20090818
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects


Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » Bees and Beekeeping
Science and Mathematics » Agriculture » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Food and Famine

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Bloomsbury Press - English 9781596915374 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "With a passion that gives this exploration of colony collapse disorder real buzz, Jacobsen (A Geography of Oysters) investigates why 30 billion honeybees — one-quarter of the northern hemisphere's population — vanished by the spring of 2007. He identifies the convergence of culprits — blood-sucking mites, pesticide buildup, viral infections, overused antibiotics, urbanization and climate change — that have led to habitat loss and the destruction of 'the beautiful mathematics of the hive.' Honeybees are undergoing something akin to a nervous breakdown; they aren't pollinating crops as effectively, and production of commercial American honey, already undercut by cheap Chinese imports, is dwindling, even as beekeepers truck stressed honeybees cross-country to pollinate the fields of desperate farmers. Jacobsen pessimistically predicts that 'our breakfasts will become... a lot more expensive' as the supply of citrus fruits, berries and nuts will inevitably decrease, though he expresses faith that more resilient bees can eventually emerge, perhaps as North American honeybees are crossbred with sturdier Russian queen bees. The author, now tending his own hives, invests solid investigative journalism with a poet's voice to craft a fact-heavy book that soars. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
“Jacobsen reminds readers that bees provide not just the sweetness of honey, but also are a crucial link in the life cycle of our crops.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time with no pollination and no fruit. The fruitless fall nearly became a reality when, in 2007, beekeepers watched thirty billion bees mysteriously die. And they continue to disappear. The remaining pollinators, essential to the cultivation of a third of American crops, are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural catastrophe. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take the abundance of our Earth for granted. A new afterword by the author tracks the most recent developments in this ongoing crisis.

"Synopsis" by ,

How the disappearance of the worlds honeybee population puts the food we eat at risk.

Many people will remember that Rachel Carson predicted a silent spring, but she also warned of a fruitless fall, a time when “there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.” The fruitless fall nearly became a reality last year when beekeepers watched one third of the honeybee population—thirty billion bees—mysteriously die. The deaths have continued in 2008. Rowan Jacobsen uses the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder to tell the bigger story of bees and their essential connection to our daily lives. With their disappearance, we wont just be losing honey. Industrial agriculture depends on the honeybee to pollinate most fruits, nuts, and vegetables—one third of American crops. Yet this system is falling apart. The number of these professional pollinators has become so inadequate that they are now trucked across the country and flown around the world, pushing them ever closer to collapse. By exploring the causes of CCD and the even more chilling decline of wild pollinators, Fruitless Fall does more than just highlight this growing agricultural crisis. It emphasizes the miracle of flowering plants and their pollination partners, and urges readers not to take for granted the Edenic garden Homo sapiens has played in since birth. Our world could have been utterly different—and may be still.

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