Shortly after 50,000 bees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot (read more here), a staggering 37 million bees have been found dead in Elmwood, Ontario, Canada. Dave Schuit, who runs a honey operation in Elmwood has lost 600 hives. He is pointing the finger at the insecticides known as neonicotinoids, which are manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. This also comes after a recent report released by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) that recorded its largest loss of honeybees ever. You can read more about that here. The European Union has stepped forward, having banned multiple pesticides that have been linked to killing millions of bees. You can view the studies and read more about that here.
The loss comes after the planting of corn. Neonicotinoid pesticides are used to coat corn seed with air seeders. This results in having the pesticide dust blown into the air when planted. The death of millions of pollinators was studied by Purdue University. They discovered that Bees exhibited neurotoxic symptoms. They analyzed dead bees and found that traces of thiamethoxam/clothiandin were present in each case. The only major source of these compounds are seed treatments of field crops. You can view that study here (1).
Bee deaths are increasing exponentially. An international team of scientists led by Holland’s Utrecht University has concluded that, “large scale prophylaxic use in agriculture, their high persistence in soil and water, and their uptake by plants and translocation to flowers, neonicotinoids put pollinators at risk. This is some of the research that led to the European Unions ban of the pesticides, as mentioned and referenced earlier.
Can we really debate this much longer? The evidence linking pesticides to bee deaths is overwhelming. It’s not only bees, but an array of other insects as well. The last thing we need is more events to occur that companies can use to push the manufacturing and development or more genetically modified foods. One reason that has been used for justification of GMO’s is a food shortage, and we all know how critical bees are to our food supply. There is a huge conflict of interest here, the pesticides used to spray the crops that are killing the bees are developed by biotech corporations such as Monsanto.
Time to make the connections, time to speak up!