Bees aren’t just one of those pesky insects that can sting you, they are quite important to growing many of the foods we eat. The bee population is responsible for pollinating 1/3 of the food we eat. Bee populations are declining at an alarming rate, largely because of pesticides used for agriculture. Nero-toxic pesticides are heavily applied to US crops, despite known harm to honey bees.
How Pesticides Affect Bees
Today we are discovering why the bee population has been mysteriously “disappearing” from their hives in the past years.
Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides designed to impair the central nervous system. Seeds are coated in these neonicotinoids which are absorbed into the plant. The original intent was for aphids, beetles and other plant eating pests to be killed. An unintended consequence was the impact to bees and other beneficial bugs.
Studies found that the insecticides impacted the bee’s brain, and internal navigation system causing them to be unable to make it back to the hive. Even low levels were found to be harmful.
Impact to Your Plate
Bees, be it honey bees or wild bees are necessary to pollinate many crops. Nature provided bees to pollinate crops, without them plants can not produce food. With the decline of the bee population, farmers will be unable to grow crops. Beekeepers have lost an average of 30 percent of their hives in the past eight years with some beekeepers losing all of their hives and many leaving the industry.
10 Foods In Danger of Disappearing
Seeds grown in the US continue to be coated in neonictonides, despite the fact that the EPA has confirmed the harmful effects of the neurotoxic pesticides.
The companies that sell neonicotinoids provided the safety claims, and got the approval for widespread use. Unfortunately the US has a bad history of leaving dangerous chemicals on the market once approved.
Europe made the smarter move and put restrictions on neonic pesticide use. This decision was based on strong evidence while ongoing research continues.
A study done by the EPA found that there was no significant benefit to using soybean seeds treated with neonicotinoids. Nature is complex, we should be working with it instead of against it.
What Can You Do?
Buy organic food and support farming without pesticides.
Buy local & raw honey from your local beekeepers
Stay connected, sign petitions.
Educate yourself and your children.
Boycott companies like Bayer who refuse to stop selling products produced with neonictonides.
Skip herbicides, pesticides and fungicides in your garden.
Plant native bee friendly plants in your garden. Beware even bee friendly plants may still be coated in insecticides.