photos by Daniela Buvat
Bees are dying, and we need to do something about it.
I’m praying I don’t get stung by one of the 70,000 bees buzzing within a foot of my face. Polly Draker has no such worries. A beekeeper in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Draker has spent the past two years of her life raising these bees in her backyard hives. She knows them and knows not to be nervous — at least not about the thousands of stingers within striking distance. When it comes to bees in general and the challenges they currently face, that’s what makes Draker nervous.
Within the past few years, bees have gone through serious struggles, including widespread pesticide use and an increase in colony collapse disorder. And while there has been a recent uptick in the number of bees nationwide, there is still reason to keep a close eye on the diminished bee population. During an afternoon in September, Draker explains why these insects are crucial to our food chain and society as a whole.