24 Year Old Musician Stung by Enslaved Bees

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Musical genius and environmentalist, Kristin Center, takes up the daunting cause of educating people about the Slavery of Honey Bees.

Kristin Center, a 24 year old musical genius and environmentalist, recently took up the daunting cause of educating people about the Slavery of Honey Bees. Through her catchy and lyrical “think” music she has begun to tell the world about abuses and muses. In this case it’s the plight of the dying, and humble, honey bee.

“There’s no doubt that the honey bee is in danger,” says Center. “They have been dying en masse since around 2006 and from what we can tell, there's not one exact cause.” There are, of course, the usual suspects; pesticides, disease, and natural predators like the verroa mite. While Center recognizes those causes, she also sees something more insidious.

“Throughout history the bee population has gone up and down. That’s nothing new. What is relatively new is the fact that humans have basically started enslaving the bees and we’re trying to bend their nature to our fancy.” Center is referring to the practices of Migratory Beekeepers that transport millions of bees across the country in order to pollinate crops. One of the largest crops is the almonds in Central Valley, California. Every year nearly 60% of the nation’s bees are collected in their hives and loaded onto flatbed trucks to be shipped to California.

“Bees have become a commodity; like cattle,” says Center. “Yes, bees pollinate our food. But a lot fewer farmers and beekeepers would care about the honey bees dying if they weren’t losing money.” Because of the long practice of farmers growing single crops over thousands of acres, there is often a lack of resources to pollinate the vegetation. Therefore, bees are brought in to do the heavy lifting of pollination. Once the bee’s work is completed, the exhausted bees are shipped to another location to pollinate another crop.

“The stress is too much for the bees,” says Center, “Many of them die along the way or in holding. It’s just not even close to the way we should be working with bees.” Center believes that humans can be synergistic with the bees and still have something similar to our monoculture.” Center, along with others, have suggested that farmers raise a variety of other crops on parts of their land so that the bees can remain in one place. Farmers could host the bees permanently on their property year round and build a synergistic relationship with the bees and the beekeepers. This would be a major change from the way we’ve previously been farming, but our current methods are only going to get more and more complicated, and more and more expensive.

Center has started a project on the Internet at http://www.Kickstarter.com/profile/KristinCenter to raise money for her new music project and to raise public awareness about the plight of the bees. She wants people to know that bees are not slaves and that we can work together. She is promoting, “Respect for all, through empathy for a few.” In this case the “few” are honey bees.

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Kristin Center’s past awareness projects have included co-founding a program, Classical Open Mic, in Dallas, Texas, to bring classical music to unexposed and low-income areas. She also spearheaded an initiative for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to donate hundreds of environmental newsletters and magazines to California Institute for Men, a prison in Southern California. Another accomplishment was lobbying for environmental magazine, “Onearth,” to become a part of Santa Monica library’s standard collection; a yearlong project. Learn more about Kristin, her music, and her environmental work at http://www.KristinCenter.com.

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