Einstein on Bees "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!" Albert Einstein The recent concerns over a significant and mysterious decline in the population of pollinating honeybees (a phenomenon attributed to everything from global warming to insecticides to radiation from cell phone towers, and now thought to be the result of a fungus) has to be taken seriously. This truly sounds alarming: Bees are disappearing for reasons we can’t yet explain, and a certified genius such as Einstein noted long ago that if all the bees disappeared, we’d soon be following them into extinction. The US beekeepers’ warnings should have some heavyweight expert support. A pamphlet distributed quoted Albert Einstein. “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live,” Einstein was quoted as saying. “No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!” Beekeepers claim that if they were forced out of business, the honey bee could be eradicated in the US since wild hives were already being decimated by a parasitic mite called varroa. Its a matter of fact: “The honey bee is threatened with a rapid decline.” If the bees became extinct, the impact would go well beyond the livelihoods of the US’s full-time beekeepers and hundreds of thousands of part-timers. Crops such as apples, pears, beans, and oilseeds need bees for pollination. It is estimated that 85 percent of the US’s wildflowers are pollinated by bees and the death of the flowers could have a major impact on wildlife. It’s going to be a chain reaction. Sightings: Political comedian Bill Maher used the Einstein “bee” quote to begin his closing essay on the 20 April 2007 episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.