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A Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply
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A Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In a riveting detective story that melds science and politics, Michael Schacker investigates the case of the missing bees, examining the many theories on the cause, including cell phones, mites, new pathogens, and bee management.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by Lyons Press (first published June 3rd 2008)
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When I picked up this book, I expected to find out some strange unknown environmental factor that was killing off the bees. What I found was that the news media sources have not been doing their homework, some universities and governments have just been pointing their fingers in the wrong directions, and that the possible answer is in front of us every day. With the help from the French who experienced a very similar bee disappearance, Schacker has researched the various theories and has come to ...more
Really riveting, easy to understand account of the mystery of the disappearing bees. The book begins with a fascinating description of the sophisticated bee behavior and hive society. It reminded me of the first time I became educated on ant colonies, marvelling at their intricate, organized societies. The details are right down to the varying roles of each bee (nurse bees, cleaning squads, honey-processors, foragers, drones, etc.). The book logically takes the reader through every theory on CCD ...more
I had heard information about bees dying in record numbers, but I never really thought much of it until I read this book. Boy was I shocked to hear that the dying was caused in part by all of these pesticides that are not tested and given the "ok" from Gov't because of "emergency" measures.

It makes me wonder of what consequences we are being faced with because of modifying insect behavior to get more crop yield.
In "A Spring Without Bees," Michael Shacker introduces readers to Colony Collapse Disorder, a strange phenomenon affecting honey bee hives. Why should we care? Well, honey bees are largely responsible for the pollination of food crops. In fact, entire businesses are dedicated to moving honey bees around the country to pollinate farmers' crops. But, many hives are failing due to the "mysterious" CCD. Shacker then takes us through a history of CCD in France and compares it to the later crises in t ...more
Colony Collapse Disorder has been determined to be caused by a highly toxic insecticide ingredients known as Imidacloprid (IMD), a nicotine-based chlorinated hydrocarbon similar to DDT as well as Fipronil, Thiamethoxam and Clothianidin. Some of these insecticides has been banned in France and other countries because of their experience with Colony Collapse Disorder. Please help the bees by contacting the following officials at the EPA and request that they suspend IMD and neonicotinoid use until ...more
Katie/Doing Dewey
This weekend, I finally finished A Spring Without Bees. This was definitely not a book which took a while because I wasn’t into it, but because I was busy. Plus I had to restrain myself from stopping every few sentences to write down interesting facts about bees! Did you know, bees travel approximately 7 million miles per gallon of honey they produce? All I can say is that if people did that much work for a gallon of honey, it would probably be worth its weight in gold.

Read the rest here...
The bees are a metaphor for our entire relationship with the planet. This book updates Rachel Carson's paradigm-shifting Silent Spring--but unfortunately not as much as shifted as we thought! You'll be amazed at how many untested chemicals, including neurotoxins, are used on the food we eat.
I think he was trying to do too much with this book and didn't quite get anything right. He was looking for a single smoking gun and I don't think there is just one gun.

He makes the case that we are at the envionmental crisis predicted by Rachel Carson in Silent Spring. Bees are dying and we won't be far behind if we don't do something.

The book is mostly about bees and imadaclorprid -the insecticide that will be used in Worcester on the Asian Beetle infected trees. This pesticide has been banned
Apr 09, 2012 Charity marked it as stopped-reading  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the beginning of this book (especially the story of Charity Crabtree and how she saved the fledgling US republic by throwing her bag of bees at British soldiers). I've like to give this one my time because honeybees and other pollinators interest me, but I'm feeling burnt out on nonfiction, and I still have Queen Noor's memoir to read for book club in two weeks.

I'm also worried that the information is going to be out of date anyway since the book is four years old. I'm putting this on
Daniel R.
I couldn't finish this book. It reads like a repetitive alarmist rant. When the author started making mostly unsubstantiated conspiracy theory allegations against higher education and American media I hit my limit. Coming into the subject of bees and colony collapse disorder (CCD) with little knowledge of either I was hoping for an introduction to bees, CCD, and an unbiased exploration of what might be leading to it. I found none in this book. While there maybe truth in some of what the author s ...more
The first half of this book was ridiculously interesting! I didn't know how important bees were for our food supply. The author was very convincing about the vulnerability of bees and the cause for their decline and backed up most of his conclusions with good data. Yet by the middle of the book he begins ranting about everything from chemical companies to universities to the media. While this rant was probably necessary, it got old after a while. Bottom line: eat organic, garden organic, golf or ...more
Breezy but thoughtful, Schacker explicates the crisis and its solution with clarity and conviction. Though he manages to miss the blazingly obvious - colony collapse disorder is a direct consequence of animal agriculture- he presents an eye-opening explication of the important role of bees and a workable plan for ensuring that they- and we- survive.

(Ever asked a vegan why they don't eat honey? Beyond the principle of it, bee factory farms are what this book is essentially combating.)
this book addresses a very interesting topic, but i'm not sure it merits an entire book. most of the chapters cover phenomena that do NOT explain colony collapse disorder. while somewhat interesting, that's not really why i wanted to read the book. so now i'm giving up on reading the whole thing and i'm going to skip to the end and see what the cause of colony collapse disorder is. and i will be SO PISSED if it isn't explained!!!
Life-changing. Absolutely shocking information on how much pull the drug companies have on agriculture! I had no idea! And I think this author has a very compelling, logical solution to the "mysteries" of colony collapse. A couple of chapters a bit too touchy-feely, but those chapters have nothing to do with the problem of colony collapse, so they don't affect my view on his theory. A VERY worth-while read!
If we don't smarten the hell up and pay attention to the damage we're causing to this planet, the bees are going to up and disappear. Then, we're screwed: the honey bee is responsible for 1/3 of the world's food supply and they're incredibly vulnerable to the chemical poisons that we insist on using with no regard for the consequences.

Read it. Be afraid. Do something about it.
A good starter for those who are interested in colony collapse disorder. Pretty much gives background info but there are more books out there and new info just about on a weekly basis. It did peak my interest, and I was able to do a research paper on CCD for my science class 3 years ago. The author provided me with some good leads to more books/papers written on the subject.
The book reads more like a thesis, but had some good information. It was a little dense, however I'm glad I read this book and I encourage everyone to read it or learn a little more about CCD. The book included some great ideas about helping the situation on an individual and global basis, two perspectives I love.
Much more than just about bees, this books gives insight into how we are affecting our planet with the use of insecticides, pesticides, and fertilizer. The last few chapters gives concise ideas for making sure we are supporting bees colonies, not destroying them with our personal choices.
Stacy Miller
Sloppy and repetitive writing style, but still a compelling read. Bee colony die off has increased at least 30%. This combined with the loss of common birds and the white nose epidemic in bats are enough to worry anyone about our food supply and environment.
Kat Lynch
Whoever edited this should be fired.

That said, the discussion about European data pointing to pesticides as a probable cause of CCD was interesting.
The author provided some well documented information. He was also quite empassioned by his subject. Maybe a little bit of radical ideas, but overall good.
Interesting, but I couldn't get through this book...
Michael Powell
A real eye-opener on the perils of pesticide use.
Jamie Banks
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Michael Schacker, author of “A Spring Without Bees, How Colony Collapse Disorder Has Endangered Our Food Supply”, is an investigative science writer. He is the founder of The New Earth Instititute, a lifelong learning center on the Internet. He has also founded an online progressive highschool core curriculum for alternative education, enrichment programs, global studies class ...more
More about Michael Schacker...
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