Bee All & End All

Honeybees, our most important food pollinators, have started dropping like proverbial flies! We needed to find out why, and research by scientists indicates that it is due to the increased use of a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. It is believed at least some of these pesticides have played a major role in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), decimating honeybee colonies.

It has been proven that one of the major reasons behind the decline in bee numbers is the ingestion of GM (Genetically Modified) proteins. The preservation of bees is obviously a global concern, and the long-term economical and environmental impact has yet to be completely understood should they continue to decrease in number.

Companies like Monsanto sell farmers genetically engineered crops, and we too must pay close attention to the seeds and garden plants we buy. We need bees in order to grow food, or at least some of it. Yet GMO foods, drenched in neonics, are killing the bees. It is strange, then, that in 2011 Monsanto bought Beelogics, the largest research company for bees. They stated that their primary goal was to investigate CCD – suggesting that they are aware of the impact their products have had on bee survival. The question is, do we really want them to be guardians of bee health care?

It is not just the bees which are dying. Butterfly and bird populations are also in decline along with a massive decrease in worms and spiders and it is also not just the neonicotinoids that are to blame. Other herbicides and pesticides, especially Monsanto's Roundup, (used to grow GMO crops and also to kill weeds in cities and home gardens) are causing irreparable damage to pollinator populations. We need to end the use of Monsanto's Roundup in urban areas, on our lawns, roadways, schools and parks. The reckless use of neonics and other toxins is destroying our food, soil, water, air and wildlife, when there are organic, sustainable and non-chemical alternatives available for tackling undesirable weed populations.

Organic farming is relatively untouched as far as the bee crisis is concerned. It maintains the diversity of the eco-system and preserves the quality of the foods produced, and so this has to be the way to go. The economic impact that the scarcity of bees will potentially have on our society as a whole is frightening. We need bees, not killer seeds.