UPDATE: I should really have linked to Charlotte de Keyzer’s “bee-washing” site – https://www.bee-washing.com/ – it’s making much the same argument in a more comprehensive and elegant way. That’s what happens when you post blogs first thing in the morning before the (bee pollinated!) coffee has properly kicked your brain into gear…..
I am fond of new words – neologisms – and if pollinators can be included, so much the better. For example see my recent post about autobeeography. That refers to memoirs which focus around work or encounters with bees, of course. So here’s a new one: “beexploitation”.
Beexploitaton is a play on “blaxpoitation“ of course, and refers to articles, campaigns, social media, etc., that seeks to make financial or reputational gain from making wild and unsubstantiated claims about pollinators, most often honeybees. Here’s an egregious example that caught my eye this morning and stimulated this post: https://www.boredpanda.com/influencer-bee-b-fondation-de-france/
Worryingly, this is set up by the French Government and is aimed at raising money from well meaning people to “save the bees”. But it’s full of nonsense claims such as that bees pollinate cocoa plants to give us chocolate. They don’t – the pollinators of cocoa are primarily, perhaps exclusively, small flies. There are other errors too and we know that honeybees, globally, are not as important as wild pollinators for crop plants. We need to highlight and critique this sort of rubbish because it diverts money and attention away from genuinely well thought out initiatives to conserve pollinators.
As always, I’m happy to receive comments and other examples of beexploitation.