The Plight of the Bee
I became aware of the plight of the bee 27 years ago. I avidly read all kinds of environmental, gardening, and wildlife articles and books, and it makes me sad that it’s only now becoming a widely recognized issue. The large bumblebees were becoming extinct over 28 years ago, because the genetically engineered plants apparently had flowers that didn’t have any nectar. I read that the bees were literally starving to death. Over time, I noticed that more and more flowers in the florist shops and in gardens didn’t have a fragrance. No fragrance, no nectar. What a shame. I love the fragrance, and I love the bees.
The intricate web of our lives depends on every little aspect of life, and when one is taken out, it can start a downward spiral effect. I find this situation alarming.
Bees are natural to our earthly environment, and our very lives depend on them. The world’s production of food is dependent on the pollination provided by honey bees. Some estimates range from 50-80% of the world’s food supply being directly or indirectly affected by honey bee pollination. Honey bees have been managed and have sustained farming practices as far back as 4500 years. Without the honey bee, food prices would be astronomical, with the little food that would be available.
I also recently became aware that the bee colonies have become threatened by the widespread use of a pesticide-coated seed, used for many of the corn and soy crops. It is a seed that has been coated with an neonicotinoid insecticide. Studies are showing that the bees are actually drawn to the nectar of this plant, and that colonies are in volatile situations because of this toxin. Seed producing companies are allowed to make and sell seeds that are coated with this pesticide, which has been shown in numerous research studies to contribute to bee and bee colony deaths, even though the Environmental Protection Agency says the product doesn’t increase yields.
How much evidence will it take before the EPA, or other companies involved, stop the use, and protect our fragile web of life?
Do we really need a more catastrophic sign than 37 million bees being found dead, after the planting of a corn crop in which they used this type of toxic seed?
Isn’t it a moral obligation of industry to stop making things they know are harmful to the environment and therefore to humanity? Isn’t it the job of the EPA to protect us from companies that don’t voluntarily stop doing things that are harmful to the environment and/or humanity?
In addition to the pesticides, an article in Forbes magazine in 2012, stated that it’s not surprising bees are dying off in huge numbers, because of the increase in genetically modified foods. “As of 2012, it is estimated that over 70 percent of the food on the U.S. market contains genetically modified organisms, which are ingredients that have been scientifically engineered in laboratories.” (1)
I also understand that genetically engineered plants are escaping into the wild, and interbreeding with our wild plants. The repercussions of this alarm me too. The future of our earth, and the future of food for our children and grandchildren is at stake.
Why are GMO foods harmful?
Tests using three types of GMO corn that was fed to rats, showed these results: “Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, which are the dietary detoxifying organs, although results were different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. (The haematopoietic system is the bodily system of organs and tissues, primarily the bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes, involved in the production of blood). We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, (or kidney failure), possibly due to the new pesticides, which are specific to each GM corn.” (2) During the tests, the rats also developed large tumors.
The combination of GMO plants, the decline of the bee, and the resulting health risks alarmed me so much, I raised money for an organic hummingbird and butterfly garden at my son’s elementary school (this was 15 years ago!). I wanted to help educate the community about the importance of our pollinators. Today, the Science, Art, and English departments are still using that garden. In fact, they have recently added an organic food garden—all organic and free of GMOs (genetically modified organisms)—and they are teaching the children to be “master gardeners.” Chip Clint (the organic gardening expert who designed the hummingbird and butterfly garden for me at the elementary school), and I have continued to be consulted concerning the garden. I am blessed to have been instrumental in this school program that is now in place.
I understand that elementary schools that have a garden in which children can work, report that students have much higher math and science scores than schools without gardens. It makes the children happy to have an outdoor hands-on type of learning experience.
Bees and the future of our environment are in need of protection from these toxic and harmful poisons.
Given the enormous number of bee deaths already, the enormous amounts of neonicotinoid insecticide-coated seeds that are already being planted, the fragile state of the bee colonies, and the mounting evidence that shows this neonicotinoid insecticide-coated seed is a danger to the bee colonies, don’t you agree that the EPA should stop the manufacturing and planting of this toxic seed? What can we do?
Please join me in calling for an end to the manufacturing, selling and planting of this neonicotinoid insecticide-coated seed. Please boycott the purchase, use and selling of this seed. Please sign my petition to the EPA, calling for action to stop the manufacturing, selling and use of the neonicotinoid insecticide-coated seed, or any other type of toxin that can cause death to pollinators in our environment. The next life you save may be your own.
Please leave a comment and also sign the petition!
Watch this talk on TED talks by Maria Spivak. Click here.
Nancy Addison talks with Richard Kemp on the Farm & Ranch USA Report
KLGD 106.9fm, The Country Giant about the bees – Click Here to listen to the Radio Show Segment on the Bees.
(1) Rachel Hennessey. “GMO Food Debate In The National Spotlight.” Forbes 11/03/2014. http://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelhennessey/2012/11/03/gmo-food-debate-in-the-national-spotlight/2/
(2) Joël Spiroux de Vendômois et al. “A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health.” Research paper. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):706-726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.706.