before it was taken or settled;
And after it was taken and settled,
the Island of Honey.
In the land of Manannán son of Lír.'
Nowadays the bee population of North America and Europe is in serious decline, which is a disaster in the making for all our major crops which are dependent upon bees to pollinate them. Scientists are unable to pinpoint the reason, but suspects include the increase of commercial agriculture with its use of pesticides and destruction of wild plants and flowers for the bees’ forage. Also implicated are the mass transportation of colonies for commercial purposes, which creates stress for the bees and spreads disease. In fact, bees are an indicator species for the health of Mother Earth, and they are definitely giving us a dire warning about the way we are treating her.
- Leave an area of your garden wild so that plants can flourish for the benefit of the bees. In Scotland, this was called the 'gudeman’s croft,' the plot of land reserved for creatures of the wild, which included the faeries, or “good folk.”
- Create a wildflower meadow, or exchange formal flower beds and lawns for a profusion of flower varieties, especially early and late bloomers.
- Support small beekeepers by buying local honey and bee products such as beeswax candles and salves.
- Buy organic vegetables and fruit that have been raised without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and support organic farming in your area.