Honey Bees & Other Pollinators
Honey Bees and other pollinators are in sharp decline in the United States and around the world. There are many competing theories for these declines. And there are slow, ongoing investigations into these declines.
Honey Bee decline (called Colony Collapse Disorder CCD), has been increasing each year. And this decline, along with the decline of numerous other pollinators, will start to reduce food supplies from lower agriculture crop production, reduce the number and variety of herbs, flowers and tree crops. We depend upon pollinators for the wonderful variety of foods and colors which we take for granted most of the time.
We are introducing genetically engineered plants into our environment which may contribute to the declines. In addition, new herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides are also being used and each new untested generation of chemicals adds to the mix of those already in use. It is no wonder that our pollinators are in decline.
Many universities, government agencies, and others are investigating the declines. It is hard to determine if these investigations are underway to really determine the cause of pollinator declines. The reason is that powerful chemical companies that manufacture these chemicals have their own scientists set to refute any finding that show that the chemicals they make are responsible for any pollinator declines or death. They also are funding the scientific studies at many universities or are funding the univeristies themselves. Thus, it may not be possible to have any independing research being conducted where there is heavy pressure not to find against certain types of chemicals or genetically modified foods that may be causing these declines.
Bayer CropScience, Sygenta, Dow Chemcial, Dupont, and others are all in the business to make money and lobby for more chemicals to be used or more genetically modified plants to be produced. Heavy lobbying pressure is already seen in the halls of congress and at universities to exonerate their chemicals or genetically modified plants and to keep them from being regulated or taken off the market. Their money and lobbyists are everywhere they days to keep negative information about their chemicals and genetic engineering hidden.
Neonicotinoids showed up about the same time as the Honey Bee decline started. I have provided Bayer CropScience Neonicotiniods product labels below and MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheets), for your information and reading. You will find that the labels and the EPA information below show that there is reason for concern about all pollinators when you read the hazards and environmental health sections. And yet these questionable products are still on the market for sale not only in the United States but around the world. Some foreign countries have banned some of these chemicals.
(Please note that MSDS and label information is public record and each company has to provide this information to the public under U.S. Laws. The California EPA has a good search engine where you can look up health, studies, and other information on their site for each chemical.)
I encourage everyone to read about our pollinators below and to teach your children and others about their importance in our environment and why we should protect them. Without our pollinators there won't be as much food to eat and very little variety in foods, herbs and flowers available in the future.
(Below you will find the links to the 60 Minutes & Nature programs on the Decline of the Honey Bees. In addition, you will find the information on the chemical companies, the suspect chemicals, and other information about all the pollinators.)
The PDF Files below with the prefix #7 are about our pollinators and our food supply. Click here to find the documents with the prefix #8 which are about the chemical companies and their products.
Silence of the Bees
NATURE: "..In the winter of 2006, a strange phenomenon fell upon honeybee hives across the country. Without a trace, millions of bees vanished from their hives. A precious pollinator of fruits and vegetables, the disappearing bees left billions of dollars of crops at risk and threatened our food supply. The epidemic set researchers scrambling to discover why honeybees were dying in record numbers — and to stop the epidemic in its tracks before it spread further..."
"...Silence of the Bees is the first in-depth look at the search to uncover what is killing the honeybee. The filmmakers of Bees take viewers around the world to the sites of fallen hives, to high-tech labs, where scientists race to uncover clues, and even deep inside honeybee colonies. Silence of the Bees is the story of a riveting, ongoing investigation to save honeybees from dying out. The film goes beyond the unsolved mystery to tell the story of the honeybee itself, its invaluable impact on our diets and takes a look at what’s at stake if honeybees disappear. Silence of the Bees explores the complex world of the honeybee in crisis and instills in viewers a sense of urgency to learn ways to help these extraordinary animals..."
Silence of the Bees premiered on PBS October 28, 2007.
"...Exclusive Podcast: In this podcast, scientists and bee experts featured in the program discuss the crucial role that honeybees, a “keystone species,” play in our economy and ecosystems, as well as bees’ fascinating social organization and what we can do to reverse the decline of nature’s pollinators..."
CBS - 60 Minutes: "What's Wrong With the Bees"
This segment was originally broadcast on October 28, 2007. It was updated on February 21, 2008.
"...If you want to grow fruits, vegetables or nuts in the United States on a commercial basis you have to have soil, sun, seeds, water, and honeybees -- millions and millions of honeybees brought in from all over the country to pollinate the crops. As correspondent Steve Kroft explains, honeybees are the unsung heroes of the food chain, crucial to the production of one third of the foods we eat. So when billions of bees began to mysteriously disappear last year, there was plenty of concern and no shortage of theories, blaming everything from cell phones to divine rapture. None of the usual explanations seemed to fit. Some of the nation's top scientists are trying to understand this phenomenon, but no one is more immersed in the mystery than the man who is widely credited with discovering it..."
White-Nose Syndrome Impact on Bats
U.S. House Committee Natural Resources | Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
June 24, 2011 C-SPAN Video
HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES-SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES, WILDLIFE, OCEANS AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
White-Nose Syndrome Impact on Bats
- Dr. Gabriela Chavarria, Science Advisor to the Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accompanied by
Dr. David Blehert, Microbiologist, National Wildlife Health Center, U.S. Geological Society
- Mr. Jim Pena, Associate Deputy Chief, U.S. Forest Service
- Dr. Jonathan Gassett, Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
- Ms. Nina Fascione, Executive Director, Bat Conservation International
- Mr. Peter Youngbaer, White-Nose Syndrome Liaison, National Speleological Society
- Dr. Justin Boyles, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee
July 6, 2011
KCRA 3's Rich Ibarra reports from Gold River where thousands of Mojan Fischer's bees have mysteriously died.
Read more: http://www.kcra.com/video/28425621/detail.html#ixzz1RNnSv3b9
The bees are disappearing!
"The adults are simply gone. No corpses left behind, nothing out of place. They are just gone." - David Suzuki
EPA & Honey Bee Decline - Pesticides Clothianidin & Neonicotinoids
Is new form of pesticide to blame for catastrophic decline in honey bees?
US study shows latest nicotine-based sprays attack insects' immune systems:
By Tamara Cohen
Last updated at 8:07 PM on 29th January 2012
"...A new generation of pesticides may be to blame for the catastrophic decline in Britain’s honey bees. The contain chemicals, routinely used on farms and in garden centres make bees more vulnerable to disease, a study has shown. There have been concerns for some years about neonicotinoids, a family of chemicals based on nicotine, but a study by an expert based in the US finally confirms a link..." Other information about honey bees: http://www.bouldercountybeekeepers.org/toms-corner/