This semester I am using Michael Schacker's A Spring Without Bees in my Global Issues course. It has been serving as the basis for helping my students think about environmental global issues. I have supplemented this reading with the wealth of videos about honey bees and CCD available on the internet. The reaction toward this topic has been phenomenal. I am being constantly bombarded by student questions and interest. I am approached in the hallway after class with even more discussion about bees and their social and ecological environment. In all, this topic has peaked their interest in a way no other topic has.
I am left with mixed feelings as I do this, however. On the one hand, it is wonderful to discuss this topic with truly engaged students for a change. In my 27 years of university teaching, this has been a very rare experience. On the other hand, it has increased my bitterness toward the university that will not support me in expanding this topic into a full semester Global Issues course. I wish the institution trusted my intuition and experience more than they do.