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  • This is our life with bees,

    如果有蜜蜂,生活就像這樣!

  • and this is our life without bees.

    如果沒有牠們,生活會是這樣!

  • Bees are the most important pollinators

    對蔬果花卉而言

  • of our fruits and vegetables and flowers

    蜜蜂是最重要的授粉者

  • and crops like alfalfa hay that feed our farm animals.

    受惠的還有苜蓿等牲畜賴以為生的飼料作物

  • More than one third of the world's crop production

    三分之一以上的全球作物產量

  • is dependent on bee pollination.

    有賴蜜蜂授粉

  • But the ironic thing is that bees are not out there

    但與我們所想的不同

  • pollinating our food intentionally.

    蜜蜂是無意間幫糧食作物授粉的

  • They're out there because they need to eat.

    他們飛出來是為了覓食

  • Bees get all of the protein they need in their diet

    蜜蜂飲食中所需的蛋白質

  • from pollen

    全來自花粉

  • and all of the carbohydrates they need from nectar.

    而碳水化合物則由花蜜供給

  • They're flower-feeders,

    他們以花為食

  • and as they move from flower to flower,

    從這朵飛到到那朵

  • basically on a shopping trip at the local floral mart,

    他們就像在當地花市購物一樣

  • they end up providing this valuable pollination service.

    結果無意間促成授粉

  • In parts of the world where there are no bees,

    但有些地方沒有蜜蜂

  • or where they plant varieties that are not attractive to bees,

    或植物多樣性不足吸引蜜蜂

  • people are paid to do the business of pollination by hand.

    便必須花錢請人來幫忙授粉

  • These people are moving pollen from flower to flower

    這些人正做著傳粉的工作

  • with a paintbrush.

    但用的是筆刷

  • Now this business of hand pollination

    目前手工授粉的工作

  • is actually not that uncommon.

    其實不算罕見

  • Tomato growers often pollinate their tomato flowers

    番茄農常用手持振動器

  • with a hand-held vibrator.

    替番茄花授粉

  • Now this one's the tomato tickler. (Laughter)

    這就是番茄搔癢器

  • Now this is because the pollen within a tomato flower

    之所以必須動用這種器材

  • is held very securely within

    是因為番茄的花粉

  • the male part of the flower, the anther,

    深藏在雄蕊的花藥中

  • and the only way to release this pollen is to vibrate it.

    要振動才能釋放花粉

  • So bumblebees are one of the few kinds of bees in the world

    少數能抓牢並搖動番茄花的蜂種當中

  • that are able to hold onto the flower and vibrate it,

    熊蜂是其中之一

  • and they do this by shaking their flight muscles

    牠們以近似Do音的頻率(約256 Hz)

  • at a frequency similar to the musical note C.

    抖動控制飛行的肌肉群

  • So they vibrate the flower, they sonicate it,

    以音波振動花朵

  • and that releases the pollen in this efficient swoosh,

    花粉就在俐落的嗖嗖聲中釋放

  • and the pollen gathers all over the fuzzy bee's body,

    毛茸茸的熊蜂因此滿身花粉

  • and she takes it home as food.

    得以將食物帶回家

  • Tomato growers now put bumblebee colonies

    因此番茄農在溫室養熊蜂

  • inside the greenhouse to pollinate the tomatoes

    替番茄授粉

  • because they get much more efficient pollination

    因為順其自然的方式

  • when it's done naturally

    授粉效率高很多

  • and they get better quality tomatoes.

    且番茄的品質也較好

  • So there's other, maybe more personal reasons,

    所以其他因素或個人考量

  • to care about bees.

    都讓人們有理由關切蜜蜂

  • There's over 20,000 species of bees in the world,

    共有兩萬多的蜂種遍布全世界

  • and they're absolutely gorgeous.

    他們美極了

  • These bees spend the majority of their life cycle

    這些蜂的大半生

  • hidden in the ground or within a hollow stem

    多蟄居地底或空心的莖稈內

  • and very few of these beautiful species

    這些美妙的蜂種中,只有少數

  • have evolved highly social behavior like honeybees.

    像蜜蜂一樣演化出高度的社會行為

  • Now honeybees tend to be the charismatic representative

    深具魅力的蜜蜂常被視為

  • for the other 19,900-plus species

    其他一萬九千九百多種蜂的代表

  • because there's something about honeybees

    因為牠們有一種特質

  • that draws people into their world.

    吸引人們去了解牠們

  • Humans have been drawn to honeybees

    人類受蜜蜂吸引的歷史

  • since early recorded history,

    可追朔到史料紀載之初

  • mostly to harvest their honey,

    主要是為了採集蜂蜜

  • which is an amazing natural sweetener.

    這種奇妙的天然甘味劑

  • I got drawn into the honeybee world

    而我沉迷其中

  • completely by a fluke.

    則完全是無心插柳

  • I was 18 years old and bored,

    那時我18歲,生活有些乏味

  • and I picked up a book in the library on bees

    就在圖書館選了一本關於密蜂的書

  • and I spent the night reading it.

    然後花一整夜閱讀

  • I had never thought about insects

    在那之前我從不知道

  • living in complex societies.

    昆蟲有複雜的社會結構

  • It was like the best of science fiction come true.

    簡直就像暢銷科幻小說的翻版

  • And even stranger, there were these people,

    更奇怪的是有一群人

  • these beekeepers, that loved their bees like they were family,

    一群愛蜂如親的養蜂人

  • and when I put down the book, I knew I had to see this for myself.

    當我讀完那本書,我覺得非得親眼看看不可

  • So I went to work for a commercial beekeeper,

    所以我到一家專業蜂場工作

  • a family that owned 2,000 hives of bees in New Mexico.

    業主一家在新墨西哥州有2千個蜂箱

  • And I was permanently hooked.

    我從此無法自拔

  • Honeybees can be considered a super-organism,

    蜜蜂群可說是一種超級社會組織

  • where the colony is the organism

    群體本身就是這個組織

  • and it's comprised of 40,000 to 50,000

    由4到5萬隻

  • individual bee organisms.

    單獨個體組成

  • Now this society has no central authority.

    蜜蜂的社會組織沒有最高權威

  • Nobody's in charge.

    個體間都是平等的

  • So how they come to collective decisions,

    牠們是怎麼達成集體決策?

  • and how they allocate their tasks and divide their labor,

    怎麼分配任務和分工?

  • how they communicate where the flowers are,

    還有牠們如何傳達花的位置?

  • all of their collective social behaviors are mindblowing.

    牠們的種種集體社會行為都令人驚嘆

  • My personal favorite, and one that I've studied for many years,

    我個人的最愛,也是我研究多年的部分

  • is their system of healthcare.

    是他們的醫療保健系統

  • So bees have social healthcare.

    沒錯,蜜蜂有社會保健制度!

  • So in my lab, we study how bees keep themselves healthy.

    我的實驗室研究蜜蜂怎麼保持健康

  • For example, we study hygiene,

    例如我們研究衛生

  • where some bees are able to locate and weed out

    有些蜜蜂能夠找出病號

  • sick individuals from the nest, from the colony,

    把牠們趕出蜂巢和蜂群

  • and it keeps the colony healthy.

    藉此維持群體健康

  • And more recently, we've been studying resins

    最近我們研究樹脂

  • that bees collect from plants.

    蜜蜂從植物採集樹脂

  • So bees fly to some plants and they scrape

    牠們飛到某些植物上

  • these very, very sticky resins off the leaves,

    把樹葉上粘稠的樹脂刮下來

  • and they take them back to the nest

    然後帶回蜂巢

  • where they cement them into the nest architecture

    用來構築蜂巢結構

  • where we call it propolis.

    就是我們所謂的蜂膠

  • We've found that propolis is a natural disinfectant.

    蜂膠已證實是天然的殺菌劑

  • It's a natural antibiotic.

    是天然的抗生素

  • It kills off bacteria and molds and other germs

    能殺死細菌、黴菌

  • within the colony,

    以及蜂群裡的其他病菌

  • and so it bolsters the colony health and their social immunity.

    所以蜂膠改善了群體健康和免疫力

  • Humans have known about the power of propolis

    人類從聖經時代

  • since biblical times.

    就已知箇中奧妙

  • We've been harvesting propolis out of bee colonies

    為了醫藥用途從蜂窩採集蜂膠

  • for human medicine,

    由來已久

  • but we didn't know how good it was for the bees.

    但過去我們不知道它對蜜蜂有多大好處

  • So honeybees have these remarkable natural defenses

    蜜蜂以這些非凡的天然防禦機制

  • that have kept them healthy and thriving

    保持族群健康興旺

  • for over 50 million years.

    已有五千多萬年的時間

  • So seven years ago, when honeybee colonies

    所以七年前

  • were reported to be dying en masse,

    美國開始傳出

  • first in the United States,

    有關蜂群大量死亡的報導

  • it was clear that there was something really, really wrong.

    情況明顯不妙

  • In our collective conscience, in a really primal way,

    若本能地以人類的共同文化來看

  • we know we can't afford to lose bees.

    就會知道失去蜜蜂的後果不堪設想

  • So what's going on?

    到底發生甚麼事了?

  • Bees are dying from multiple and interacting causes,

    其實蜂群死亡其來有自,且交錯紛雜

  • and I'll go through each of these.

    我會逐一說明

  • The bottom line is,

    但根本的問題是

  • bees dying reflects a flowerless landscape

    蜜蜂的死亡反映了環境中缺乏花朵

  • and a dysfunctional food system.

    還有失能的糧食系統

  • Now we have the best data on honeybees,

    至於蜜蜂則有最可靠的數據

  • so I'll use them as an example.

    我會以這些數據為例

  • In the United States, bees in fact have been

    以美國來看

  • in decline since World War II.

    蜜蜂數量自二戰後持續減少

  • We have half the number of managed hives

    目前美國養蜂場的蜂箱數

  • in the United States now compared to 1945.

    是1945年的一半

  • We're down to about two million hives of bees, we think.

    我們估計總數已減少到約2百萬箱

  • And the reason is, after World War II,

    原因是二戰後

  • we changed our farming practices.

    我們改變了耕作方式

  • We stopped planting cover crops.

    不再種覆土作物

  • We stopped planting clover and alfalfa,

    像三葉草和苜蓿

  • which are natural fertilizers that fix nitrogen in the soil,

    它們能把土壤中的氮素鎖住,是天然肥料

  • and instead we started using synthetic fertilizers.

    而我們卻以化肥取代

  • Clover and alfalfa are highly nutritious food plants for bees.

    但對蜜蜂而言,三葉草和苜蓿的營養價值很高

  • And after World War II, we started using herbicides

    另外,二戰後除草劑的施用

  • to kill off the weeds in our farms.

    雖除去農場上的雜草

  • Many of these weeds are flowering plants

    但其中很多是開花植物

  • that bees require for their survival.

    也是蜜蜂生存命脈

  • And we started growing larger and larger crop monocultures.

    另外單一作物的種植面積擴大

  • Now we talk about food deserts,

    所以我們要談談食品沙漠

  • places in our cities, neighborhoods that have no grocery stores.

    城市中有些地方沒有雜貨店

  • The very farms that used to sustain bees

    而過去蜜蜂賴以生存的農場

  • are now agricultural food deserts,

    反成食品沙漠

  • dominated by one or two plant species

    為一兩種作物寡占

  • like corn and soybeans.

    例如玉米和大豆

  • Since World War II, we have been systematically

    二戰後人類就有計畫地

  • eliminating many of the flowering plants

    除去許多開花植物

  • that bees need for their survival.

    可是蜜蜂仰賴它們維生

  • And these monocultures extend even to crops

    單一作物的農耕方式甚至使用在

  • that are good for bees, like almonds.

    像杏仁這樣對蜜蜂有益的作物

  • Fifty years ago, beekeepers would take a few colonies,

    50年前,養蜂人會帶著數個蜂群(箱)

  • hives of bees into the almond orchards, for pollination,

    到杏仁園進行授粉

  • and also because the pollen in an almond blossom

    一個原因是杏仁花粉

  • is really high in protein. It's really good for bees.

    富含蛋白質,對蜜蜂很好

  • Now, the scale of almond monoculture

    目前杏仁的單一作物規模

  • demands that most of our nation's bees,

    需要動用全國大部分的蜜蜂幫忙

  • over 1.5 million hives of bees,

    150萬多個蜂箱的蜜蜂

  • be transported across the nation

    被送到全國各地

  • to pollinate this one crop.

    幫杏仁授粉

  • And they're trucked in in semi-loads,

    蜂箱是以半承載式卡車運達

  • and they must be trucked out,

    事後送返

  • because after bloom, the almond orchards

    因為花期過後的杏仁園

  • are a vast and flowerless landscape.

    是花影杳然的無垠景觀

  • Bees have been dying over the last 50 years,

    這50年來蜜蜂逐漸滅絕

  • and we're planting more crops that need them.

    我們卻種了更多需要牠們的作物

  • There has been a 300 percent increase in crop production

    需要蜜蜂授粉的作物

  • that requires bee pollination.

    近來產量已成長了三倍

  • And then there's pesticides.

    另一個致命傷是農藥

  • After World War II, we started using pesticides

    二戰後我們拼命使用農藥

  • on a large scale, and this became necessary

    而這演變為一種必要手段

  • because of the monocultures that put out a feast

    因為單一作物的耕作方式

  • for crop pests.

    提供了害蟲豐盛的食物

  • Recently, researchers from Penn State University

    最近賓州大學的研究人員

  • have started looking at the pesticide residue

    已著手研究蜜蜂帶回家吃的花粉中

  • in the loads of pollen that bees carry home as food,

    農藥殘留的程度

  • and they've found that every batch of pollen

    他們發現

  • that a honeybee collects

    蜜蜂採集的每一批花粉

  • has at least six detectable pesticides in it,

    都測出至少6種農藥

  • and this includes every class of insecticides,

    包括各類殺蟲劑

  • herbicides, fungicides,

    除草劑和殺真菌劑

  • and even inert and unlabeled ingredients

    甚至還包括不知名的佐劑

  • that are part of the pesticide formulation

    這些佐劑雖是次要成分

  • that can be more toxic than the active ingredient.

    卻可能比主成分更毒

  • This small bee is holding up a large mirror.

    借鏡這些小蜂的遭遇

  • How much is it going to take to contaminate humans?

    可窺見農藥劑量對人體危害的比例

  • One of these class of insecticides,

    有一類殺蟲劑

  • the neonicontinoids,

    叫類尼古丁(新菸鹼Neonicotinoids)

  • is making headlines around the world right now.

    正引起全球關注

  • You've probably heard about it.

    你們可能早有耳聞

  • This is a new class of insecticides.

    這是一類新型殺蟲劑

  • It moves through the plant so that a crop pest,

    藥性可蔓延整株植物

  • a leaf-eating insect,

    因此食葉害蟲

  • would take a bite of the plant

    只需一口

  • and get a lethal dose and die.

    便足以喪命

  • If one of these neonics, we call them,

    如果任一種俗稱neonics(類尼古丁)的農藥

  • is applied in a high concentration,

    以高濃度施用

  • such as in this ground application,

    像這樣施用於土壤

  • enough of the compound moves through the plant

    植物所吸收的成分劑量

  • and gets into the pollen and the nectar,

    足以滲入花粉和花蜜

  • where a bee can consume, in this case,

    蜜蜂在此情況下吃進

  • a high dose of this neurotoxin

    高劑量的神經毒素

  • that makes the bee twitch and die.

    會抽搐而死

  • In most agricultural settings, on most of our farms,

    不過在大多農耕及農場環境中

  • it's only the seed that's coated with the insecticide,

    只有種子表層包覆著殺蟲劑

  • and so a smaller concentration moves through the plant

    循環於植物體內的劑量較低

  • and gets into the pollen and nectar,

    花粉和花蜜所含藥量也較低

  • and if a bee consumes this lower dose,

    如果蜜蜂吃了較低的藥量

  • either nothing happens

    可能安然無恙

  • or the bee becomes intoxicated and disoriented

    或是暈頭轉向

  • and she may not find her way home.

    可能因此茫然不知歸途

  • And on top of everything else, bees have

    禍不單行的是

  • their own set of diseases and parasites.

    蜜蜂還有疾病和寄生蟲的難題

  • Public enemy number one for bees is this thing.

    這是蜂類的頭號公敵

  • It's called varroa destructor.

    叫做蜂蟎(varroa destructor)

  • It's aptly named.

    恰如其名

  • It's this big, blood-sucking parasite

    蜂蟎是一種大型吸血寄生蟲

  • that compromises the bee's immune system

    會弱化蜜蜂的免疫系統

  • and circulates viruses.

    並散布病毒

  • Let me put this all together for you.

    我想為各位統整一下

  • I don't know what it feels like to a bee

    我無法與蜜蜂感同身受

  • to have a big, bloodsucking parasite running around on it,

    體會大型吸血寄生蟲在身上亂竄的感覺

  • and I don't know what it feels like to a bee to have a virus,

    我也不知道蜜蜂染上病毒的感受

  • but I do know what it feels like when I have a virus, the flu,

    但我有感染病毒和流感的切身經驗

  • and I know how difficult it is for me to get

    我也知道奔波趕赴雜貨店

  • to the grocery store to get good nutrition.

    購買營養品的辛苦

  • But what if I lived in a food desert?

    若我住在食品沙漠

  • And what if I had to travel a long distance

    必須長途跋涉

  • to get to the grocery store,

    才能抵達雜貨店

  • and I finally got my weak body out there

    而當我終得以拖著疲憊身軀進門

  • and I consumed, in my food,

    找到食物吃

  • enough of a pesticide, a neurotoxin,

    但食物中的殺蟲劑神經毒

  • that I couldn't find my way home?

    卻足以讓我返家時迷路

  • And this is what we mean by multiple

    這就是所謂

  • and interacting causes of death.

    多重因素交戶作用致死

  • And it's not just our honeybees.

    而且不只蜜蜂

  • All of our beautiful wild species of bees

    所有美麗的野生蜂種都身陷危機

  • are at risk, including those tomato-pollinating bumblebees.

    包括替番茄授粉的熊蜂

  • These bees are providing backup for our honeybees.

    牠們是蜜蜂的後援

  • They're providing the pollination insurance

    和蜜蜂一樣

  • alongside our honeybees.

    提供授粉保障

  • We need all of our bees.

    因此所有蜂種缺一不可

  • So what are we going to do?

    那我們該怎麼辦?

  • What are we going to do about this big bee bummer

    我們給蜜蜂製造的大麻煩

  • that we've created?

    該如何收拾?

  • It turns out, it's hopeful. It's hopeful.

    事實上沒那麼糟,還有希望的!