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Pesticide Kills Over 100 Billion Honey Bees…Who’s Responsible?

Pesticide Kills Over 100 Billion Honey Bees…Who’s Responsible?

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pollen_honey_bee(OrganicJar) A microscopic pathogen and pesticides found in honeycombs are two major contributors to the bee disease known as colony collapse disorder, which has wiped out billions of bees throughout the world over the past three years, new research at Washington State University has confirmed. "One of the first things we looked at was the pesticide levels in the wax of older honeycombs," Sheppard said. Using combs contributed by the USDA, Sheppard found " high levels of pesticide residue." Bees raised in those hives "had significantly reduced longevity," he said.

What Is This Pesticide?

In 2008 the German Organization Coalition accuses Bayer CropScience (who works with Monsanto) of "marketing dangerous pesticides and thereby accepting the mass death of bees all over the world."
The coalition filed the charge in cooperation with German beekeepers who claim they lost thousands of hives after poisoning by the Bayer pesticide clothianidin and imidacloprid. Since 1991, Bayer has been producing the insecticide imidacloprid, which is one of the best selling insecticides in the world, often used as seed-dressing for corn, sunflower, and rape (bees love this plant). Bayer exports imidacloprid to more than 120 countries and the substance is Bayer's best-selling pesticide. The coalition alleges that the start of sales of imidacloprid and clothianidin coincided with the occurrence of large scale bee deaths in many European and American countries. Up to 70 percent of all hives have been affected. In just France alone, approximately 90 billion bees died over the past 10 years, reducing honey production by up to 60 percent. "Bayer's Board of Management has to be called to account since the risks of neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid and clothianidin have now been known for more than 10 years," says Philipp Mimkes, spokesman for the Coalition Against Bayer-Dangers. The coalition is demanding that Bayer withdraw all neonicotinoids from the market worldwide. "With an annual turnover of nearly 1 billion dollars, neonicotinoids are among Bayer's most important products," said Mimkes. "This is the reason why Bayer, despite serious environmental damage, is fighting against any application prohibitions."

Bayer CropScience’s Response

Bayer says the pesticide entered the environment because farmers failed to apply an adhesive agent that affixes the compound to the seed coats. Without the fixative agent, Bayer says, the compound drifted into the environment from sown rapeseed and sweet corn and then affected the honeybees. "Seed treatments are one of the most targeted and environmentally friendly forms to apply crop protection products. We regret the recent bee losses and the situation they have created for the beekeepers in Baden-Württemberg," said Dr. Hans-Josef Diehl, head of development and registration at Bayer CropScience Dr. Richard Schmuck, an ecologist at Bayer CropScience, said "When used correctly," he said, "this crop protection product is safe for operators, consumers and the environment and fulfills the international criteria with regard to ecological systems."

US Government Not Releasing Research

In the United States, the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC to force the federal government to disclose studies it ordered on the effect of clothianidin on honey bees. Studies on clothianidin were ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from Bayer CropScience in 2003 when the EPA granted the company a registration for the chemical. You have to think, if the studies revealed it was not responsible, then the USDA would have released that information. There silence can only indicate the results they found were shocking. NRDC attorneys believe that the EPA has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country called colony collapse disorder that it has not made public. Colony collapse disorder has claimed more than one-third of honey bees in the United States since it was first identified in 2006.

Leave a Comment and Tell Us Your Opinion On The Disappearing Bees?

Source: ens-newswire.com ens-newswire.com

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  1. A shame that this article has so selectively reported on what is an important issue. Steve Sheppard at WSU did find fairly high levels of multiple pesticide residues in beeswax but did not particularly single out any one product as an issue of concern. Similarly, Maryann Frazier from Penn State University looked at residues found in beeswax and bee bread (pollen stored in combs) and found many samples containing multiple residues. Her work identified acaricides used by beekeepers to control the important & devastating varroa mite as those pesticides most frequently found. But both focussed concern on the unknown combined sub-lethal effects of these multiple residues on honeybees.
    The panel of US research scientists have found no evidence for any one product (incl. imidacloprid) being responsible for CCD.

  2. American honeybees pollinate some 90 different crops that bring in more than $15 billion annually. We need to find out what is making the hives collapse and do something about it now.

  3. Notice the use of the evil M word, Monsanto. Just to be precise, Monsanto works with almost everyone. And whoever doesn’t work with them probably works with Pioneer. Do you think that even the evil Monsanto Conglomerate would gloss over the loss of honey bees, considering that their loss would devastatingly crush agriculture all over the world? There is NO cost effective alternative to this natural process. This article completely misses the point in a deliberate fashion designed to stir up fear and anger and not to improve the situation or our understanding of it.

  4. Monsanto is a chemical company greedy for profit as it wars on the earth and the people. In part responsible for Agent Orange used in Viet Nam. PCB’s later and the current GMO’s have all been to the detriment of the environment and the people in that environment. There own reasearch shows how toxic they are. Just part of doing business???

  5. Yes Brian. I think our corporate bottom line of profit has blinded people to the atrocitys they do. While 80% of bee’s are gone from conventional farms. 100% are still on Organic farms. It helps to co-operate with nature (not try to control???)

  6. If I wasn't so concerned about Monsanto buying Xe (Blackwater) I would say lets burn these guys at the stake. But I better bite my tongue otherwise a sniper might be sitting on the roof of the house next door when I get home.

  7. Corporate Chemical Killers still at work. What shall we do?

  8. How old is this article? While I do feel that Bayer/Monsanto are likely the cause of colony collapse, Here is a link to the lawsuit you refer to:


    This information^ is from 2008. Where's the current stuff? Every other theory has been raised and discounted. This connection keeps coming up and being swept under the rug.

  9. I have an idea.. how about we start growing real food again and heal. Removing this Monsanto pesticide dependent sterile dna mutating “food” being forced on us from our ecosystem is the only answer. Corporatism is killing us.

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