Worst bee die-off in 40 years
Condensed by Native Village
Bees are a keystone species.
One out of every three bites of
is pollinated by honeybees. In
fact, bees and other pollinators
are necessary for
of our global food crops. From nuts and
soybeans, to squash and
cucumbers, from apples, oranges,
cherries and blueberries, to
avocados, peaches and melons, bees play a critical role in
producing the food we eat.
of all flowering plants
on earth rely on
pollinators to reproduce. If we
lose bees we will lose other important species.
Today, these critical pollinators
are in huge trouble, victims of
Colony Collapse Disorder --
or CCD. CCD is a phenomenon in which
bee colonies mysteriously
adult bees abandon
their hives. Last winter,
beekeepers reported bee die-offs
of more than
the worst loss in more than 40
CCD has pushed the
beekeeping industry in the U.S.
to the verge of collapse. This
could spell trouble for the
world's food supply.
Scientific evidence is pointing
to a key factor: neurotoxic
pesticides called neonicotinoids,
or neonics. In fact, a
European Food Safety Authority
report labeled them as
an 'unacceptable' danger to
bees. And a
new report from the American
Bird Conservancy offers
strong evidence that neonics
also harm birds.
Neonics are the fastest-growing
class of synthetic pesticides in
history. One, Bayer CropScience's
top-selling product, is
the most widely used
insecticide in the world.
Used as seed
treatments on more
crop varieties, as
well as on termites,
cat and dog flea
Persistent and last
for years in the
Permeate the entire
plant and are
expressed in pollen,
nectar and guttation
Canít be washed off
food, meaning that
we are all eating
Even worse, neonics
are used outside
plants and seeds
sold in U.S.
nurseries have been
neonics at much
higher doses than
used on farms.
So when we
plant our gardens we may
unwittingly be harming bees!
The EPA approved Bayer's
products based on the company's
own studies. Despite growing evidence,
public comments, and
a memo by the EPA scientists
that discredits Bayerís original
the EPA has delayed action on neonics
governments havenít been so slow
Germany, France and other
have already taken action to
limit neonics. Beekeepers
there are reporting recovery.
is considering a
two-year ban on three popular neonics.
Northern Ireland, and major home and garden retailers
in the UK have
pledged to stop selling neonics.
new USDA study shows how we
can drop chemicals for a system of ecologically
friendly agriculture and
continue to produce enough food
for us all.
In the meantime,buy organic food
as much as possible, and choose
certified organic seeds and
plants to help protect bees and
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