Farewell to the Bees and Other Pollinators


When I was little, we used to drive through the San Joaquin Valley in California where cotton and alfalfa and almonds grew abundantly. At the end of our trips, there was always a thick layer of insects on the front of the car and windshield. Now you can drive across America and maybe one or two insects adhere to a car.

Every year I see fewer and fewer bees and other pollinators in my yard, which has plenty of lonely flowers.

From a May 15, 2014 Salon article:

Neonicotinoids (manufactured by corporations such as Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto) is a type of insecticide chemically related to nicotine. It’s a nerve toxin that affects the brains of bees and all other insects and other forms of wildlife as well. It’s really toxic to insects, much more than almost anything else anyone has invented before.

Nerve toxins affect the brain of the bee. The bee becomes less able to navigate and it can’t learn or associate. It becomes confused, intoxicated. And bees need to be able to navigate; it’s one of the key things that they’re really good at. It’s essential for what they do because that’s how they find flowers and get to or from their nest. So with a honeybee or bumblebee, the workers go out and forage all day long and they can fly miles to find patches of flowers and bring food back. But if they’ve been given a dose of the nerve toxin, they can’t navigate, and they get lost, and that’s going to cut off the food supply to the nest.

To illustrate the toxicity of these pesticides, a fifth of a teaspoon is enough to kill 250 million bees. In the U.K., which is a pretty small area, people buy 80 tons of these chemicals every year — the U.S. figure is much, much higher. So we’re putting tons and tons of stuff into the land which is persistent, it’s systemic, it gets into plants, it gets into pollen and nectar. Read the entire article here.

Read the 7 PR Tricks Pesticide Companies Use to Spin Bee Crisis.

The chart below shows the total losses (red bars) of managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. over the past eight winters. The acceptable loss range (blue bars) is the average percentage of acceptable loss declared by honeybee colony managers for each of the eight winters. Roughly one-quarter of U.S. crops depend on honeybees for pollination. “Yearly fluctuations in the rate of losses like these only demonstrate how complicated the whole issue of honey bee heath has become,” said a USDA researcher, citing factors such as viruses, pathogens, and pesticides.Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture, which reports that the honeybee death rate is too high for long-term survival.






5 thoughts on “Farewell to the Bees and Other Pollinators

  1. This is more important than people seem to realise. No pollinators and we are reduced to corn, soy and other wind pollinated plants! Who benefits from that?

    • Corn, soy, wheat — all highly hybridized and all grown in a sea of GMO chemicals that get into the intestines of insects, animals, amphibians, fish and human beings and wreaks havoc. Who benefits indeed? Profit over life is the overwhelming force for the most powerful agricultural lobbyist in Washington, where our “representatives” sell out. And woe to any farmer whose fields are down-wind from the GMO fields. When cross-pollination happens, the unfortunate farmers are sued by these GMO companies for “theft.” These corporations, so filled with hubris, are outrageously criminal. Now that our government has turned a blind eye, the planet is in a deep crisis.

      • It’s more than a little ironic, I think, that as I was writing my previous reply to your comment, my neighbor’s yard service was busy spraying huge amounts of Roundup to kill her overgrown back yard. It’s a windy evening and only a low chain-link fence divides our properties. I love my garden, which has a diversity of plants, many there to attract pollinators. The air was so thick with the stench of Roundup that I couldn’t be outside. She’s never done that since I’ve lived here. I went and told her about my concern and she said she didn’t care, that she wanted her yard “cleaned up.” And that was that. She has a right to do whatever she wants on her property, irregardless of whether her pesticides fall on my yard, or if my animals come into contact with it, or my family breathes in the fumes. And now, after all my work to try to attract bees and other insects to my yard, they will be dying. And there is nothing I can do to change this situation. The damage is done. I’m heart sick.

  2. Pingback: The North American Bee Care Center In Raleigh | Raleigh bug/pest control by Bulwark Exterminating

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