Simple Version Bee Issue

Honey bee on salvia black knightSo the previous article was a bit long winded.  That is the problem.  If you simplify it you just sound like a simple greenie and that is where agribusiness gains traction.  Also making assumptions without showing where you got it from may end up with the writer in court against some major multinational company.  Not something I relish.  Funnily enough, I don't have the budget. 

To make it as simple as possible.  Bees are dying off in mass numbers, called Colony Collapse disorder.  And this decline  has paralleled the growth of a new type of systemic pesticide, called neonicotinoids.   What systemic means is the chemical will take up the pesticide in its sap and this same pesticide will end up in the flower nectar. So for example a corn seed dipped in the neonicotinoid clothianidin (Yes I know corn is wind pollinated but there is evidence of CCD near cornfields) will contain the pesticide in its nectar.  And again when the corn is cropped, the pesticide is contained in its sap that oozes out of the cut stalks.  Nice to drink.  Then the bee takes it up and takes it back to the hive.

Now the tricky bit is, as written below, scientists are finding that bees that have been in contact with this stuff are more likely to drop dead when another 'weakening variable' hits them (nosema fungi has been proven to work simultaneously with the systemic pesticide, also bacteria and fungi play a part).  Like all of us, when we are not well we are more likely to become ill from other factors.  Our immune systems are compromised.  Their immune systems are compromised.  They are not strong enough to battle minor illnesses.  This is happening almost on every continent (Yes there are hive losses here in NZ).  Hive losses throughout the world are staggering.

Of course there are other factors out there.  The varroa mite is a massive problem and has caused enormous losses,  but with observant  beekeepers,  can be detected and managed. 

 I am however, fascinated by the countries that have had the guts to  limit/ban the systemic pesticides, and the consequent growth in bee colonies that have followed.  Interestingly, these countries also have the loudest bee lobby groups.

Because companies make so much money from these agrichemicals, they will defend their ground staunchly.  As we all know, advertisers to pay their bills of the media companies.  So a major agrochemical company may have the power to pull advertising spend in a variety of ways, either with a particular newspaper or other newspapers/magazines under the same umbrella ownership.  Of  course they have to make budget.  Who doesn't?

So journalists on the more right wing (and highly influential papers) may have their hands tied by senior management.  Papers may be reluctant to publish negative publicity about major advertisers.  Is that why don't see that many articles on the bee issue in the major right wing papers, in particular in the USA?

Like the UN said – 90 out of 100 crops most used by humans are pollinated by bees.

So why the heck is this seen as a green issue?  Its a food issue!  And why can some countries move quickly, and see the resultant bee recolonisation, and other countries not even mention it in the mainstream media?

About Jodie

It is only by questioning and discussing and attempting to view the world our childrens children will live in, that we start to understand that life isn't a linear process - it is a room of dominoes falling. Our world has a lot of special interests and stakeholders that by default, keep science undone, and economics hooked in the 1920's - resulting in governments that don't address the complexity that is challenging our world. From pollution to mental health (and the cost of food) to the health of our freshwater - it's complex and dynamic. What equilibrium do we want to reach - a healthy vital one or a suffering one?
This entry was posted in Environment. Bookmark the permalink.