The Cumulative Effect: Bees, the Environment, and Our Bodies

by Matt on June 18, 2013

Blueberry Bee

The honey bee’s “colony collapse disorder” is getting a lot of attention lately, and I have had a recent personal connection to bees and their hives. This has lead me to connecting some dots and reminded me of a problem (and solution!) that I’ve been meaning to share with you.

This spring, one of the gardens that I tend in San Antonio had grown a large hive. They were a little stressed by my pick-ax wielding and would get visibly agitated when I got too close(I got stung twice during last fall’s planting). So, I alerted my client and found a “bee rescue” company in Austin to come safely remove the hive (which we will adopt back once they are settled in their “new” home).

Serendipitously, I heard radio programs and read articles about what’s happening to the bees, which has been happening for years, but is now reaching epic(and finally mass media reportable) proportions: they’re dying off.

The scientists cited various reasons, including pesticides, herbicides, a fungus, fungicides, climate change and genetically modified crops. But they also said it could be a synthesis of these problems.

Everything is Connected

To me, it couldn’t NOT be a synthesis of these problems!

What I call the “cumulative effect” is just that: the manifest results of how actions in isolation do one thing, and maybe are safe, but many together produce quite different results.

The bees are one example. Here’s another: Body toxins. Maybe the FDA thinks that the residual pesticide that ends up in our food from “conventional” farming is safe for us. What about pesticides from farming plus chlorine and fluoride in water, benzene and sulfur dioxide in our air, synthetic chemicals in our lotions, air-fresheners, hair-sprays, the pthalates in plastic and carpet, and the “safe” synthetic ingredients in food, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and drugs? Add to that the chemicals in our laundry detergents and soaps. The very thing that we think is making us clean is mucking us up.

What about for the planet? Well, to me it’s obvious, you can’t cut down the trees in the rainforest and light a billion fires(we have over a billion combustion engines on this planet) and not expect that there may be some effect from all that change on our fishbowl like climate.

So, it can be a little (or a lot) disheartening to think about all this, and even when you go organic, start buying natural clothes and products, as I now do, there are still effects and then there is all those people out there who don’t seem to even notice the urgent need to change how we are interacting with our host planet.

I have good news:

The Upside of the Cumulative Effect

So, I found that, Surprise! Surprise! Our positive efforts are not done in a vacuum either.

The word spreads fast! More and more “types” of people are waking up to organic living.

Cleansing your body has positive effects on your emotions and your resiliency. Your spirit is lifted by exercise and your exercise is lifted by your spirit! You can cut your contribution to toxic chemicals, and to toxic attitudes, toxic organizations, toxic behaviors, and you can learn to help others do the same with your example. There’s an art to it, and it takes patience!

The more you do the more you get. When you can change your diet to a fresher, more organic one, you will see you have more energy to exercise, or garden. Your mind will be calmer and body feel better and it will be easier to make healthy decisions.  A little focus in any of these over a period of time will make it easier to tackle the bigger more entrenched issues like changing jobs, or overcoming an addictive pattern, or finally stopping something unhealthy you have cut back on.

So, here’s to you accumulating the positive behaviors that will help you be like that god or goddess of fertility, the Bee, pollenating Love wherever you go.


Action: Right now, post a comment about one behavior that you are already doing and one you going to implement that will feel good.  

If you want big help making changes, with deep issues, and getting unstuck, you can visit this page:


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