There is currently a loud buzz about Bees, the buzz is in the news, on TV, social media, and conservation sites on the internet. Bee colonies are collapsing at alarming rates and a second study by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) has provided more evidence that the use of a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids (sulfoxaflor) is causing these collapses.
Essentially even a minute amount of neonics can cause colony contamination, weakened immune systems in the bees, can interrupt the navigation of bees causing them to be unable to locate their hives and when those bees don’t return to the hive with food the hive starves. Neonics stay in the plants as they mature and in the soils where they have been sprayed for years.
The makers of these insecticides are claiming that their products aren’t killing bees despite the research provided by the HSPH. I’m not buying it.
Wikipedia has a general list of plants that bees pollinate and if our bees all dies we can kiss the ones we eat goodbye. We’ll also lose a natural sweetener because we will lose the honey that bees produce.
The companies that make the neonicotinoids are in the business of making money, pure and simple. They are defending their product on social media outlets and Bayer has created a web site called Bee Care which looks like a poor attempt to say they care about the bees.
They come down on beekeeping practices too, so it’s like “let’s blame the beekeepers instead of taking responsibility”. What kind of idiocy is this? Looks like passive aggressive deflection to me. Beekeepers know what they are doing and have known for a long time how to take care of their bees.
Again, I am not buying it.
A few tweets from Bayer:
Umm, what good does it do for the bees or the honey they make if they collect sawdust when no other pollen is available?
They go on and on about Varroa mites but neglect to say that the neonicotinoids weaken the immune systems of bees which they need to fight off the effects of the mites.
Monsanto wants to sweep the effects the GMO’s have on our bees under the rug too. Why? Profit margins of course.
Want a little dash of pesticides with your veggies? No thanks.
There is a great infographic at EarthJustice.org about “Bee’s Toxic Problem” and at the bottom of the page more information on the die off of bees.
The European Union banned three widely used neonicotinoids last year, but they are still used in the United States. Even the USDA reports that the honey bee death rate is too high for their long term survival.
Despite that information chemical giants Dow and Syngenta have asked the Environmental Protection Agency to authorize the expanded use of two highly toxic pesticides that could have deadly consequences for bees. I signed the petition at NRDC’s BioGems to let the EPA know I think this puts our bees in danger.
These neonicotinoids and other pesticides aren’t just killing our bees, they are also killing butterflies and other beneficial insects. This toxic soup also has effects on humans, especially the young and those with weakened immune systems.
Remember DDT? That was supposed to be safe. It wasn’t.
Bees need our help because the manufacturers of these poisons and GMO crops only care about profits. Don’t let their “Bee Care” web sites fool you.
If they truly cared they would acknowledge the damage the poisons have already done, they would voluntarily remove their products from the shelves and they would get off their butts and take action to help the world save the bees.
But that would make their profits drop.
I’ve always felt it was my responsibility to speak for and defend those who can not speak. I feel that way about our bees survival and I know that many of you do too.
These photos were taken at a dear friend’s bee hives in Florida.