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Save the honey bees
the poison, save the Bees
bees, and even as billions are dropping dead across the world,
researchers are scrambling to find answers and save one of the most
important crop pollinators on Earth.
What is called "colony
collapse disorder" hit bee keepers all over the world including
half of the US last spring. Now it has spread to all but a handful of
Hives can go from healthy and active to dead and
"In the Australian story, researchers have
dissected bees that have died, and they have found that their immune
systems have "totally gone to pieces".
global collapse of honeybee populations threatens the sustainability
of the world food supply, some European organizations are at least
trying to do something about it. Today, Britain's largest agriculture
co-op announced it would ban eight pesticides thought to be causing
colony collapse disorder. (One of them is called imidacloprid.)
Germany's Baden-Württemberg state, 500 million bees died in
Spring 2008, due to the insecticidal seed treatment agent
clothianidin. Another example is the case of a Swabian beekeeper, who
destroyed his whole honey harvest because it contained pollen of the
GM corn MON810, after an administrative court declared the honey as
So far, there are few answers, but there is
a long list of possibilities, which include pesticides and
genetically modified crops, also known as GMOs or GMs.
I have been learning that not much is known about the accumulating
impact of pesticides on insects, animals and even people when you
consider, in this modern world how many combinations of pesticides
are used. One pesticide by itself might not destroy honey bees, but
what happens when farmers spray herbicides, fungicides, insecticides
and rodenticides on land that also has genetically modified crops
with pesticides built-in?
The United States grows nearly
two-thirds of all genetically engineered crops. Last year about 130
million acres were planted with GMs. Much of the soy, corn, cotton
and canola have had a gene inserted into their DNA to produce
pesticides systemically throughout the plants created and patented by
Monsanto. Monsanto also produces genetically modified crops designed
not to die when herbicides are sprayed on them. In a perfect biotech
world, only the weeds would be killed. But Mother Nature has a way of
outwitting human designs. So, now the weeds are becoming resistant to
the herbicide sprays and frustrated farmers are putting on more and
What this genetically engineered trait does is
allow a farmer to spray the herbicide right on the crop, which would
have killed the crop, would kill the soybeans, prior to introduction
of this gene. The gene comes from a type of bacteria that is found in
the soil and it makes the plant immune to the herbicide.
consequence of this is that glyphosate and Roundup, which is sold by
Monsanto - the same company that also sells the seed of the type of
soybeans that are immune or resistant to the herbicide - that
herbicide has become the most widely used herbicide in the world. The
consequence of that is you have one particular herbicide used on a
tremendous amount of acreage in the U. S. and elsewhere, especially
Argentina and Brazil.
As any biologist would expect, when you
have such tremendous pressure on weeds to try to survive this
herbicide, some of the weeds that are resistant are selected for and
all their competition is killed off. The resistant weeds then
proliferate and can no longer be controlled by glyphosate. Then you
have a situation where the use of this herbicide has gone up, and on
probably millions of acres, other herbicides are having to be used as
well as glyphosate in order to control the resistant weeds.
what we've been seeing in the past few years is that the overall
level of herbicide use is increasing, and it will almost inevitably
continue to increase. In this case, it's causing the rise of these
resistant weeds and the increased use of herbicides and potentially,
may be harming amphibians to boot.
The active ingredient in
Round-up is the isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. Glyphosate's mode
of action is to inhibit an enzyme involved in the synthesis of the
amino acids tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylalanine. It is absorbed
through foliage and translocated (moves through plant sap) to growing
points. Weeds and grass will generally re-emerge within one to two
months after usage. Because of this mode of action, it is only
effective on actively growing plants. Round-up is not effective as a
"pre-emergence herbicide." Monsanto also produces seeds
which grow into plants genetically engineered to be tolerant to
glyphosate which are known as Round-up Ready crops. The genes
contained in these seeds are patented. Such crops allow farmers to
use glyphosate as a post-emergence pesticide against both broadleaf
and cereal weeds. Soybeans were the first Round-up Ready crop, which
was produced at Monsanto's Agracetus Campus located in Middleton,
Wisconsin. Current Round-up Ready crops include corn, sorghum,
cotton, soybeans, canola and alfalfa.
So here we have it:
GMO's Round-up and other pesticides are killing our Bee's, without
them the whole world will face starvation!
It is the big
pharmaceutical companies that need to be stopped. In the end, they
will not only be killing bees, they will be killing us.
time we do something!
Kill the poison, save the Bees!