The Plight Of The Pollinator
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 EPA just released a report saying that these poisons are the cause of catastrophic bee deaths, but yet they are still not making them illegal to make or use! Click here to read the EPA report.