304 pages, tables
More than a century after the birth of Rachel Carson, the world faces a new environmental disaster, from a chemical similar to DDT. This time the culprit appears to be IMD, or imidacloprid, a relatively new but widely used insecticide in the United States. Many beekeepers and researchers blame IMD for Colony Collapse Disorder, which has wiped out 23% of America's beehives. Since honeybees are essential to the production of major food crops, their demise could spell catastrophe. In a riveting detective story that melds science and politics, Michael Schacker examines the evidence and offers a plan to save the bees. Like An Inconvenient Truth and Silent Spring before it, A Spring Without Bees is a compelling cautionary tale and a clarion call for action.
"At last an authoritative account of the vanishing bees: one of the most puzzling environmental problems of recent times [...] at once a great detective story and an object lesson of how to live in harmony with the living planet, our home."
– Thomas E. Lovejoy, President, the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and Environment
"Who could imagine a spring without bees? One might say this is impossible, especially the kids. Michael Schacker's eye-opening story A Spring Without Bees is a must-read for all of us who want to live in a sustainable and regenerating world for many generations to come."
– Anthony Rodale, Chairman Emeritus, The Rodale Institute
"The loss of the bees is a four-fold tragedy: for the beekeepers, the growers, the consumers and of course for the bees themselves. Michael Schacker's fascinating and enlightening book is an important new look at the great mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder."
– Dr. James Amrine, President of the Acarology Society of America, Medical Entomologist, West Virginia University
"In a debate clearly underpinned with political and commercial positioning and controversy over scientific fact and assumption, Michael Schacker's multi-faceted review of the dispute to date, and its possible consequences, helps us clearly understand what is needed to reverse the bee decline threatening world food supply."
– Dr. Kurt Johnson, ecologist and ethicist; co-author of Nabokov's Blues: The Scientific Odyssey of a Literary Genius
"A Spring Without Bees is an object lesson in just how delicate the web of life is. It sounds an urgent call to action on behalf of one of our economy's tiniest laborers but also asks that we re-think the environmentalconsequences of the entire way we do business."
– Jeff Ruch, Executive Director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
"Michael Schacker offers another important rationale for organic farming methods as a way to protect the fruit and vegetable supply."
– Dr. Timothy J. LaSalle, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, The Rodale Institute
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Michael Schacker is on the advisory board of The Rodale Institute and has a strong scientific, writing, speaking, political and marketing background, making him an excellent candidate to lead the fight to save the bees. As a political consultant, Michael was hired in 2004 by the national Presidential campaign of Howard Dean to publish The Dean Times, a campaign newspaper that he created. 275,000 copies of The Dean Times were distributed by volunteers in New Hampshire and Iowa. He has also strategized, marketed and carried out 24 winning campaigns for his local political consulting clients. In 2003, Michael started The Ulster Clarion, a Democratic Party election newspaper that investigated Ulster County issues and told truth to power. Michael investigated and wrote many of the key articles for The Ulster Clarion, exposing Republican illegalities and favors concerning casino development, the local $200 million jail and numerous county budget shenanigans and scandals. The paper, with a temporary circulation of 50,000, helped turn Ulster from a 25-8 Republican majority in the County Legislature to a 21-12 Democrat government just four years later. Using the Web as an organizing tool, the author will help lead the effort to ban IMD through book tours, TV interviews and his future Web site WhyTheBeesDie.com. The author also has four years experience working as a strategic consultant and contract writer for The Rodale Institute, the leading organic agriculture institution. There he helped write and create an Organic Farmer e-learning program, working with the TRI Farm Manager, top researchers and TRI's leadership. This experience helps him write the solutions chapters of Bees, which explains how "Regenerative Farm Design" can bring back the birds and other wildlife that used to eat the aphids and other bugs now afflicting crops. Mr. Schacker has forged contacts with many CCD researchers, such as Maryanne Frazier at the Penn State CCD Working Group, alerting them to the research of others and news reports of Killer Bee Resistance, CCD's presence in Arizona, the French research on parts per billion, etc. In return, they have emailed him back all the main papers on the subject, as well as keeping him in the loop during many phone calls, interviews and emails. He also has very close contacts to United States Representatives Maurice Hinchey and Kirstan Gillibrand, who serve on the House Agriculture Committee. He has many influential political, scientific and press contacts in NY, DC and LA and plans to work with dozens of different groups to lead the coalition to ban IMD, carrying on the legacy of Rachel Carson. The author is a dynamic speaker, who has addressed large crowds many times in his political organizing career. In fact, he is one of the speakers called in by the local Ulster Democrats to specifically rally the troops and inspire the volunteers. Michael is determined to save the bees. He will contribute a portion of the royalties to Plan Bee and intends to organize in DC and through the blogosphere, in order to exert maximum pressure on the Congress to enact legislation in support of the bees.