– Bees: How Their Deaths Are Linked To Pesticides According To A Harvard Study (Thought Pursuits, Jan 17, 2015):
The human race is beginning to realize that actions have consequences. One area that demonstrates this clearly is the effects of the huge amounts of pesticides humans spray on food and other crops. In many countries, particularly the United States, pesticides are used extensively on crops. Scientists have known for many years that spraying some pesticides onto food crops can cause some human health problems and they long thought that it may be related to a the huge numbers of bee deaths in recent years. There have been particular concerns over the neo-nicotinoid pesticides, which are in widespread use right across the world.
A recent Harvard University research study published in the Bulletin of Insectology confirms scientists’ worst fears about bees and neo-nicotinoid pesticides. It shows clearly that they are the cause of colony collapse disorder. The study’s results not only match the findings of a previous study but they also echo the conclusions of that study that bee exposure neonicotinoids, even in doses smaller than that necessary to kill them, is very likely the main cause of colony collapse disorder CCD. (Bulletin of Insectology)
The scientists studied 18 bee colonies at three different locations in Massachusetts for a year. There were six colonies at each location; four were regularly given a typical dose of neo-nicotinoid pesticide, such as they might receive under real life conditions. The other two colonies at each location were left alone. Among the twelve hives dosed with pesticides, six of the colonies completely collapsed and died out.
Seed planting machines throw out dust, when they are planting seeds. When such machines are planting seeds pre-treated with neonicontinoid pesticides, the dust thrown out contains extremely high levels of the pesticide. The industry claims that the pesticides biodegrade. Yet pesticide chemicals are found in soil and also in fields that have not been sprayed or otherwise treated. Pollinators such as bee carry contaminated pollen from treated crops to their hives plus when moving from plant to plant they transfer the pesticides to untreated plants and crops, which is very bad news for organic farmers and growers. These chemicals persist in the environment. (Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields)
Numerous research studies show that current pollinator protection regulation is totally inadequate. Many peer reviewed studies published in reputable science journals show that many widely used pesticides are damaging bees. One research paper published in Nature shows that of bees exposed to pesticides 66% die. Unexposed bees are twice as successful at gathering food as exposed bees.
Bee populations have fallen alarmingly in many countries. In the United States, honey bee populations have fallen by around 30%, some US beekeepers have lost 90-100% of their bees. Honey bees are great pollinators and they are the chief pollinators for more than 100 crops. In Europe, recent figures show the largest ever bee loss.
United States Department of Agriculture and University of Maryland scientists published a research study linking chemicals, which included fungicides, to the widespread bee deaths across the world. The study found at least 9 different chemicals, including fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, in fields in various US states from Maine to Delaware. In some field samples the scientists found 21 different agricultural chemicals.
Not only do-neonicotinoid pesticides cause human health problems, they are also killing bees worldwide. What is more worrying is that they are not just killing bees. Monarch butterflies are disappearing to and that disappearance has been linked to a particular branded herbicide.
Perhaps it is time to ban these unnecessary chemicals and realize that the way that we currently do things is unsustainable. How humans treat nature is a symbol of how the human race treats everything. Money is the all-important factor in the unnatural way humans are living and working. The human race needs to be more concerned about their planet and well-being than with maintaining the current economic model. Now humans are threatening their own survival in fighting to maintain an economic system that the vast majority abhor and get little benefit from.
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein