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Weekend Reads 10/14/17

What Happens If the Honeybees Disappear?

Most honeybees in the U.S. today are of Italian heritage and vulnerable to a pest called the varroa mite. But Russian bees are more resistant to it, and backyard beekeepers have had success with them. The problem, says Tarpy, is that Russian honeybees don’t make as much honey as their Italian counterparts and “aren’t as amenable” to the migratory nature of pollinating large-scale farms.

Another option, says wildlife biologist Sam Droege of the U.S. Geological Survey, is to embrace the thousands of North American wild bee species, which are excellent pollinators, rarely sting, and are typically the size of a grain of rice. The drawback for some people is that none of the wild bee species produce honey.

Redeeming the Bible From American Evangelicalism

About four years ago, I attended a church for the first time in my life that said anything about the possibility of the Bible being part reality, part metaphor. For the first time, I saw this book as a work of history, but more than that, I saw it as a work written by men, human men with limitations and egos and preferences. It was written with a particular cultural view, and to ignore that all these years couldn’t have caused more damage.

What You Might Be Missing in the Kneeling Debate

Many struggle with accepting that a symbol can mean different things to different people at the same time. In particular, there seems to be an historical gap regarding the African-American experience and why they might view the national anthem, the flag, law enforcement, and perceptions of justice through a very different lens.

I assume this gap exists mostly for White folks, who inherently own the option of not paying attention to that history unless it’s forced upon them. But if a person genuinely wants to understand what’s going on beyond the immediate offense of the Sunday afternoon kneeling, engaging that history becomes a necessary place to start.

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