It certainly is a mystery, and it certainly is dire. The decline of bee colonies throughout the world and the lack, so far, of an explanation for this calamity has the agricultural world on edge, as well they and we should be.
As first-time contributor Molly Stentz reports in this week's cover story, "The Mystery of Dying Bees," the little creatures are a vital link in food production, not just here but everywhere. And the devastation is growing. Our story last week on the new city planning director, Katherine Cornwell, who kept bees in her previous location in Denver, noted that over the winter eight of her nine beehives died.
Stentz is news and public affairs coordinator at WORT community radio. She was honored in 2012 by Pacifica Network, a nonprofit news outlet that services community radio stations, for Outstanding Service to Community Radio for her work in covering the Walker protests, referred to on their website as "massive uprisings in Madison, Wisconsin." She's also traveled extensively to report on stories of social significance throughout the world. And the plight of bees is definitely a story of social significance. As usual, the actions of man are under suspicion.
A couple of reminders: Next weekend is the Isthmus Jazz Festival. Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 21, on the Memorial Union Terrace, a steady stream of jazz acts will perform through late Saturday, when the Mike Frost Project begins at 10 p.m. At 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, headliner Carmen Lundy will take the stage at UW Mills Hall. (The venue is filling in for the Wisconsin Union Theater, which is undergoing remodeling.) All performances are free.