Tag Archives: bees

Industry Battles to Deny Contribution to Bee Disorders (CCD)

6 Sep

The chemical industry that generates the chemicals designed to kill insects is denying their activity (products) affects bees. To protect their revenues from neonicotinoid sales losses, Syngenta and Bayer filed suits against the European Commission who placed a two year ban on these pesticides.


The FDA in the US is under pressure to take action against the use of neonicotinoids for the same reasons the European Commission took action.

More than a year ago, three “new” studies associated neonicotinoids to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

  1. “researchers found that exposure to small, sublethal doses of a neonic called thiamethoxam significantly affects bees’ ability to find their way back to their hives—”at levels that could put a colony at risk of collapse.”” Science
  2. “Given the scale of use of neonicotinoids, we suggest that they may be having a considerable negative impact on wild bumble bee populations across the developed world.” Science
  3. Experimental results show that the environmental release of particles containing neonicotinoids can produce high exposure levels for bees, with lethal effects compatible with colony losses phenomena observed by beekeepers. US National Library of Medicine

The use of these pesticides could place the US food supply in jeopardy, yet the punishment for violating the bans does not offer much of a deterrent. In Florida, a Corporation violated state law twice, killing millions of bees and was fined $1,500. The economic impact to the beekeeper was placed at $240,000, mostly due to loss of honey sales.

“it’s estimated that commercial beekeeping adds up to almost $16bn in value to US agriculture every year.”

This week it was announced that a pilot study reveals that more than half of garden plants attractive to bees sold at Home Depot and Lowe’s have been pre-treated with pesticides that could in fact be lethal to the bees.

The legal system could very well delay the suspension of the use of neonicotinoids. The Guardian has set up a Question and Answer site just for the subject of Beekeeping, colony collapse disorder and the future of bees. It is moderated by Allison Benjamin, author of A World Without Bees.

Genetically Modified Bees to Save the Bees

29 Jul

Worldwide there are concerns about the health of bee populations. The threat to the bees is tied to neonicotinoids among other things. Monsanto in 2012, purchased Beelogic and apparently plans to genetically modify bees in order to save them from the chemicals.

In a related development, the Agriculture Department of Illinois took the bee population from a renowned naturalist who had been developing bees that naturally were resistant to RoundUp/ Glyphosate. Of particular note is that the bees were taken without a warrant or a court hearing. It is suspect that Monsanto had made the request although the State of Illinois claims they were taken due to a routine inspection that uncovered bacteria in the colonies. Terrence Ingram, the naturalist, can be seen on this YouTube video.

Terrence had his day in court, but was convicted and fined $500. The only problem was that he was unable to defend himself, by proving the bees were not infected with foulbrood, as the bees had been confiscated and (apparently) destroyed.

On another note, in Europe, Monsanto has decided to give up their push into genetically modified seeds and limit the sales of seeds in Europe to those that are not GMO. The popularity of GMO seeds was not being met with enough business success, especially with the beekeepers in Poland.