Posted 16 May 06
Where Have all the Honey Bees Gone?
(The amazing story of dairy industry culpability)
"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years left to live."- Albert Einstein
This from the Penn State Agriculture Magazine, Spring 1998: "In the spring of 1993, entomologist Maryann Frazier encountered a mystery. 'Beekeepers began calling to report that they had no bees in their colonies,' she recalls... They had seen bees making flights in February, but by April, there were no bees. What happened to them?'
Frazier's investigation into the reasons the bees disappeared continues today. If she and her colleagues can't unravel the mystery of why bee colonies are dying, beekeepers, fruit and vegetable growers, and consumers all are likely to feel the consequences."
I live in New Jersey, America's Garden State. Believe it or not, we have a state insect, the honey bee. Honey bees pollinate crops. It's actually a big business. Pollinators travel America, leasing their bees to crop growers. Beekeepers keep the honey. During World War II, there were over 6 million commercial beehives in America. By the mid-1980s, that number had dropped to 4 million. Today, there are 2.5 million remaining. America's honey bees are disappearing, and those who best know bees have a number of theories, but no one conclusive reason. The one universally accepted fact is that bees are in trouble.
Could an aspirin manufacturer be the cause of the bee's demise? The Bayer Aspirin Company may be giving our environment an incurable migraine headache.
My first hint came from an ad in the April 10, 2006 issue of Hoard's Dairyman. There, on page 270, a full colour advertisement proclaims:
"Bayer supplies the technology to fix the milking machine on the right."
On the right side of the ad is an enlarged photo of a most grotesque fly with large red eyes and appendages containing end-to-end cactus-like spurs.
In smaller text, Bayer informs prospective customers:
"Bayer understands how much profit flies suck out of your entire operation. That's why we developed QuickBayt Pour-On insecticide...put the high-tech tools from Bayer to work." (Bayer is owned by the IG Farben Company, and no, I will not be getting into that controversy here...)
I began to search the Internet for the secret ingredients to Bayer's miracle fly solution. Gobs and gobs of this high-tech gunk are slathered onto dairy cow's bodies. What's in QuickBayt that makes life so very dangerous for the honey bee?
Imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide that has environmentalists extremely concerned. Apparently, scientists have known for many years the impact that imidacloprid has on wildlife. Here are some of the recognized hazards of using imidacloprid:
Imidacloprid has raised concerns because of its possible impact on bee populations...it is also acutely toxic to earthworms...
Imidacloprid has raised concerns because it causes eggshell thinning in endangered bird species...it is highly toxic to sparrows, quails, canaries, and pigeons...
Imidacloprid can be toxic to humans, causing epileptic seizures, diarrhea, and lack of coordination...
Imidacloprid is extremely toxic at low concentrations to some species of aquatic fish and crustaceans...
Can food be contaminated with imidacloprid? You tell me whether this is comedy or tragedy at work. Neither the United States Department of Agriculture nor the Food and Drug Administration includes imidacloprid in their food monitoring programs.
Two European studies have shown that vegetables tested with imidacloprid were contaminated, one week after exposure.
It seems clear that imidacloprid use on dairy farms should be closely monitored by regulatory agencies. The Bayer Company is making lots of money on this drug, but the true cost might become America's newest headache. My advice to FDA and USDA regulators who refuse to regulate: Take two imidacloprids and call me in the morning.
"Even bees, the little almsmen of spring bowers, know there is richest juice in poison-flowers." - John Keats
Synthetic honey and GMO bees? (2 July 2003)
France - In a harrowing article, Michel Dogna, health journalist from France, sounds the alarm about what may be one of the biggest ecological catastrophes developing right under our own eyes - and no one seems to be watching. As the bees are being decimated by a toxic seed coating agent, our entire food supply is threatened. Plants need bees for pollination, especially the plants we grow for food. Obviously, our busy friends are not part of the equation of the global chemical and food cartels. What a pity - good bye bees - good bye humanity!
The Bees Die... The Planet Dies
The bees die... and the planet too! The planet is the common good of humanity. Taking care of it gives life a meaning. It is necessary to make the farmers understand what their responsibility is, but they seldom have Internet. The bees are the second factor of life on our planet. There is nothing left but our awareness which can act on the totalitarian power of money. It is necessary to react, to transmit this important message to all and to find solutions because it is as serious as the war of Iraq. This poisoning is a planetary genocide. The scandals that are appearing everywhere are nothing compared to the untold catastrophes which are being prepared because of the criminal unawareness of some world lobbies specialized in the massive poisoning of nature. The extermination of the bees by products officially declared as being non toxic is another example of this lack of responsibility. I am speaking about the extermination of the bees - on which depends 80 % of the pollination of cultivated plants - by Imidacloprid which Bayer sells under the name of Gaucho to the farmers to coat seeds and to protect them from certain diseases...This product paralyses insects such as bees which cannot return to the hive and they therefore die. When they do succeed, the honey which results from it is toxic (because it's poisoned). In less than three years, 450 000 hives were thus lost and production of honey fell from 45 000 tons to 25 000 tons in France. CLIP