To Bee or not to be?
Bees are very essential to our food supply and more than 87% of plants are pollinated by bees. One third of the plants directly pollinated by honeybees are the main source of our diet. Honeybees pollinate many of our fruits and vegetables including apples, almonds, onions, cherries, avocados, oranges and honey. In the last few years scientists and beekeepers have been studying to find out what’s causing the disappearance of bees also known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Many researchers and scientists believe that there is a combination of factors that’s resulting in CCD and the main one is the increase in use of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
Based on several recent studies, pesticides called neonicotinoids used since 1990 is a major factor contributing to killing honeybees. Neonicotinoids kill pests and insects by disrupting their central nervous system. The toxins in nectar and pollen result in disorientation and death of bees.
Even small exposure of bees to neonicotinoids can weaken their immune system and that’s why the European Food Safety Authority is seeking to ban neonicotinoids for crops that produce nectar and pollen.
These toxins can weaken bees immune system and long term exposure of bees to these pesticides can be fatal for honeybees. Pesticides have been directly related to CCD of bees and recent studies have shown that bees are two to three times more likely to lose their homing ability due to even small exposure to pesticides.
Did you know that 80% of world’s almonds are supplied by California? However, in 2012 California almond growers didn’t have enough bees to plant 800,000 acres. California relies on 1.6 million colonies to plant almond, but there are only 500,000 colonies left in California so they had to bring over one million more colonies from North America which led to economic loss for California almond growers and higher price of almond for consumers.
The food and environmental activists in US are asking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put a ban on neonicotinoids and other pesticide however the agency wants to delay it till 2018 knowing that just in 2006, the beekeepers lost 90% of their hives and most of seeds and food supply of the world depends on bees.
Please sign the petition below and ask FDA to ban insecticide producing genetically modified crops, clothianidin and neonicotinoids: