• CCD is Only the First Alarm Bell from Bees

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    If you care about food, you should care about bees. Or, put another way, if you care about food, you should care about what’s happening to bee populations, which, according to recent estimates from the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists, dropped by 25% percent in the past year, and have been on the decline for the better part of a decade.

    Researcher and Harvard professor, Chengsheng (Alex) Lu,  has been outspoken about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and their contribution to colony collapse disorder. Especially so, since conducting his own tests for a number of years now.

    A lot of farmers appear to be happy with what neonicotinoids offer – less pesticide use, less work. However, this is because they are treated on seeds and become a part of the plant. Unfortunately, they cannot wash off and are non-discriminating when it comes to friendly pollinators.

    Lu finds a vicious cycle: not only do neonicotinoids wind up in the whole part of the plant (pollen) but he finds that they show up in end products like high fructose corn syrup which is fed back to bees through unsuspecting beekeepers. (Findings like this makes one wonder what the additional implications are for human health)

    I wrote about his work previously here:

    Similarly, a different study in April recreated HFCS feedings; …

    With alarm bells sounding throughout the food and agricultural industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a US$3-million program to help farmers in the northern and Midwestern states that produce the most honey bees, to reseed pastures with alfalfa, clover, and other plants that support bee populations. Europe has gone so far as to ban neonicotinoids for two years, while the Ontario government is considering regulating their use (only the federal government can ban the use of a pesticide), which is commonly used for corn, canola, soybeans, as well as some vegetables and flowers.

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