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Urbanization and industrialization have changed the way we think about pollinators

By MICHELLE and RAY WRIGHT/ecoRI News contributors

“Telling the bees” is a beautiful, old English country tradition. In the 1800s, honeybees were an integral part of family and community landscapes. Informing the family hive of changes such as a birth, death or marriage was customary — and if the owner of the hive died, the bees had to be told of the death or they would leave the hive. Not only did backyard hives invigorate garden productivity and provide a bounty of honey, but the family apiary was considered a quiet sanctuary in which to meditate, read and unwind.

Like so many customs, interest in “talking to the bees” waned over time, and the close relationship we once had with bees has changed. Urbanization and industrialization have, to a great extent, eliminated the need and interest to grow produce at home and shifted the way we think about pollinators. Bees in general have become something to be wary of and even to eradicate from our manicured lawns and gardens. Read more at ecoRI.


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