What’s the Correct Color of Bees? In Austria, It’s a Toxic Topic

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‘Across the world, pesticides, new diseases, climate change and habitat loss are killing bees and other pollinators, which play an essential role in agriculture, at an ominous speed, with the mass die-off putting many fruits and grains at risk. 

Yet the mostly rural state of Carinthia, which borders Slovenia and Italy, doesn’t care only about the health of the bees pollinating its apple orchards and chestnut trees. It also insists that all of them be Carniolan honey bees, with their signature light-gray abdominal rings, the only subspecies that state law has allowed here since 2007. As with all domesticated and semi-domesticated animals, bees have long been bred by their keepers for certain traits, and the Carniolan is considered well adapted for its alpine home, better than other honey bees at surviving the snowy winters and often capricious weather. And while Carniolans will aggressively defend their hives against parasites and honey thieves, they are known to be quite docile around their human handlers.

0205 for webNAZI BEESmap 335So Carinthia’s law has many supporters among the state’s apiarists, eager to keep unwelcome characteristics
out of the local bee gene pool. The neighboring state of Styria has a similar law, as does Slovenia.

But the law’s opponents see in it at least the echo of the area’s Nazi past — and cite Nazi history to further their point….’

— via The New York Times thanks to Abby

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