Forward

“…writers and artists are in the shocking position of having to record the decline of pollinators through our works. Winged is meant to be a record of this moment, a document that artfully honors the relationship, the importance, and the beauty and peril of one of the most vital of all pollinators: the honeybee.”

Winged: New Writing on Bees

Lizzie Harper

Forward, Winged

        A year ago on June 19th, the seeds of Winged were planted when an estimated 50,00 bumblebees were killed by insecticides in Wilsonville, Oregon. That number was especially shocking since bumblebees tend to live in colonies of 25 – 75 bees. The loss was, obviously, staggering. Poet, educator, and editor Melissa Reeser Poulin was immediately moved to respond. Thus, Winged was born.
          Feeling shocked and wanting to utilize art as activism, but not having a connection to the larger beekeeping community and knowledge base, a common friend introduced me to Melissa. To say it was kismet is trivializing the partnership and connection; I think we both would feel comfortable citing fate. I am a local poet and writing instructor, and owner of Bee Thinking. Our partnership has been a perfect fit.
        Being awarded a grant from Regional…

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The Day the Bees Died

Little actions have very big consequences.

Winged: New Writing on Bees

American Bumblebee

It has been over a year since the mass deaths of over 50,000 bumblebees in Wilsonville, due to an illegal application of Safari to flowering linden trees in a Target parking lot. It was the largest documented die-off of wild pollinators on record.

The event garnered a great deal of media attention, locally and nationally, including this well-researched piece for Al-Jazeera America by renowned science writer Elizabeth Grossman. Unfortunately, such die-offs continue to occur today, with or without media attention. Just two days ago, a die-off in Eugene prompted investigation.

The shameful event in Wilsonville was the impetus for Winged. We ought to be deeply respectful of bumblebees and all pollinators that belong to the complex ecosystem of which we are but one small part. We ought to use sense and caution when legislating poisons, especially neonicotinoids, whose impact we don’t fully understand. We ought to take small steps every…

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