The intricate web of life, on this planet, depends on every aspect of life, all the way down to the fragile bee. Every part of this web has a particular role on the earth, and when one element of this web is removed, it starts a downward spiral effect which is difficult to foresee and which can be catastrophic. We are at serious risk of losing the bees now, and we need do something about it. I have a petition for the EPA in hopes they will take action.
Bee colonies are seriously threatened by the widespread use of pesticide-coated seeds currently used by farmers, particularly on corn and soy crops. These insecticides are called neonicotinoids. Studies show that bees are drawn to the nectar of neonicotinoid plants and become addicted to them in the same manner that humans become addicted to nicotine. For this reason, bees become addicted to plants grown from these toxic seeds and gorge themselves on these plants, seeking them out and returning to them in the future. Because nectar is brought back to the hive by individual bees, neonicotinoid toxins are also brought back to the hive, where they spread to and kill the entire colony. They achieve this by destroying the nervous systems of bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies. This has led to what scientists have dubbed “colony collapse disorder.”
Why should we care? Bees are important because we need them to pollinate food crops and wild plants. Bees are also an essential part of our economy as they pollinate over 15 billion dollars worth of crops a year. Some crops that won’t grow without honeybees include: apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, pumpkins, carrots, avocados, almonds, and many more. If we lose the honey bee our fragile web of life will be devastated, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has so far failed to aggressively seek out a solution. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that neonicotinoids don’t even increase crop yields, although that is the purported reason for their use in the first place.
In-depth studies from Purdue University (http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2012/120111KrupkeBees.html), Harvard University (http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/04/pesticide-tied-to-bee-colony-collapse/), and Oxford University, Trinity College Dublin, Newcastle University and Lund University (http://marketbusinessnews.com/bees-crave-neonicotinoid-pesticides-like-humans-with-nicotine/58089) concerning the danger and harm of neonicotinoids towards bees and other pollinators confirm that this is a grave concern. Overwhelming research conducted on the effects these products have on the environment has led the European Union to presently ban the use of neonicotinoids across the entire continent of Europe. In the United States and Canada, seed-producing companies are allowed to make and sell seeds coated with this pesticide, which has been shown in numerous research studies to contribute to bee and bee colony deaths.
“We know that these insecticides are highly toxic to bees; we found them in each sample of dead and dying bees,” said Christian Krupke, associate professor of entomology at Purdue University and a co-author of the findings.
The United States is losing about one-third of its honeybee hives each year, according to Greg Hunt, a Purdue University professor of behavioral genetics, honeybee specialist, and co-author of the Purdue findings. Hunt said no one particular factor is to blame for this loss, though scientists believe that other factors such as mites and insecticides are all working against the bees as well. “It’s like death by a thousand cuts for these bees,” Hunt said.”
In 2014, 37 million bees were found dead in Ontario, Canada after neonicotinoid-laced corn seeds were planted in the area. (http://naturalsociety.com/37-million-bees-found-dead-canada-large-gmo-crop-planting/). “Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” stated Dave Schuit, a local honey producer. This catastrophe is a powerful sign of the harm these seeds affect on our environment.
Furthermore, the effects of these toxins are not limited to the fields where these crops are planted. Genetically engineered plants are able to escape into the wild, where they interbreed with natural plants and continue to spread throughout the environment. The repercussions of this are alarming for the future of our earth, the future of food, and the futures of our children and grandchildren.
“The bees we should also be concerned about are the “3,999 other bee species living in North America, most of which are solitary, stingless, ground-nesting bees you’ve never heard of. Incredible losses in native bee diversity are already happening. 50 percent of Midwestern native bee species disappeared from their historic ranges in the last 100 years. Four of our bumblebee species declined 96 percent in the last 20 years, and three species are believed to already be extinct. A little part of me despairs when I read in a scientific paper: “This species probably should be listed under the Endangered Species Act if it still exists.” These bees nest in the ground and when the neonicotinoid seeds were planted in the fields, the mason bees did not make one single nest.” Source of quote: (Source: http://www.wired.com/2015/04/youre-worrying-wrong-bees/)
“In watermelons, native bees do 90 percent of the pollination.
Native bees improve fruit production in apples. Native bee pollination creates twice as much fruit as honey bees in blueberries. In tomatoes, native bee species increase fruit production significantly.” (Source: http://www.wired.com/2015/04/youre-worrying-wrong-bees/)
How much evidence will it take before the EPA, or other companies involved, stop the use, and protect our fragile web of life? 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 currently being planted, the fragile state of the bee colonies, and the mounting evidence showing neonicotinoid insecticide-coated seed is a danger to bee colonies, don’t you agree that the EPA should stop the manufacturing and planting of this toxic seed?
I move that the EPA ban the manufacturing, sale and use of these toxins, poisons and coated seeds in the United States.
Don’t you think companies should have a ethical and moral obligation to humanity to stop doing and promoting things that are proven to be harming the environment and humanity? Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Crop Life America and Bayer all make these seeds and sell them. These companies apparently aren’t doing anything to halt this situation. Why? We need to ask ourselves this question. I pose a question: Do you have investment money supporting companies that do this type of thing? Is this the type of investment in your future, that will sustain the life of your children and their children?
If they are not voluntarily stopping their production, sale and use of seeds and toxins that have been shown to be doing harm to the environment, then isn’t it the responsibility of the EPA to make them stop harming the environment?
Please sign this petition and join me in helping to stop the use of toxins that are proven to be harmful to bees ( all types) and other pollinators (example: hummingbirds & butterflies), to the environment, and to the human population. These toxins put our fragile web of life in jeopardy.
Please sign my petition to ban and outlaw the manufacturing, sale and use of harmful neonicotinoid coated seeds and pesticides by companies and farmers.Update! We have 139,786 supporters signatures! Let’s get 100,000 more! Please share this with your friends and family! Even the federal court system is saying the EPA is wrong! http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/09/federal-court-nixes-epa-approval-pesticide-known-be-highly-toxic-honey-bees
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.