* * *
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will consider allowing the bee-killing pesticide thiamethoxam to be sprayed on the most widely grown crops in the United States. The application, if approved, would allow the highly toxic pesticide to be sprayed directly on 165 million acres of wheat, barley, corn, sorghum, alfalfa, rice and potato.
The proposal by the agrochemical giant Syngenta to dramatically escalate use of the harmful neonicotinoid pesticide came last Friday, on the same day the EPA released new assessments of the extensive dangers posed by neonicotinoids, including thiamethoxam.
This article was originally published in March 2014
Scientists have recently reported that mass extinctions of marine animals may soon be occurring at alarmingly rapid rates than previously projected due to pollution, rising water temperatures and loss of habitat. Many land species also face a similar fate for the same reasons. But perhaps the biggest foreboding danger of all facing humans is the loss of the global honeybee population. The consequence of a dying bee population impacts man at the highest levels on our food chain, posing an enormously grave threat to human survival. Since no other single animal species plays a more significant role in producing the fruits and vegetables that we humans commonly take for granted yet require near daily to stay alive, the greatest modern scientist Albert Einstein once prophetically remarked, “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”
Since 2006 beekeepers have been noticing their honeybee populations have been dying off at increasingly rapid rates. Subsequently researchers have been scrambling to come up with an accurate explanation and an effective strategy to save the bees and in turn save us homo sapiens from extinction. Recent harsh winters that stay freezing cold well into spring have been instrumental in decimating the honeybee population in Iowa by up to 70% as well as the other historically high yielding honey states – the Dakotas, Montana, Minnesota. The northern Plains and Midwestern states that have regionally always produced the nation’s most honey have been severely hurt by the long harsh winters in the last couple years. Florida as the third largest honey producer and especially California always among the top producers have been hit especially hard by decreasing bee colony populations. In 2006 when the problem of bee loss first was noticed, California was right up at the top with North Dakota producing nearly twice as much honey as the next state South Dakota but its bee numbers have incurred such heavy losses that in 2011, though still second, California’s honey production fell by nearly half in just six years. The recent severe drought in California has become an additional factor driving both its honey yield and bee numbers down as less rain means less flowers available to pollinate.
America’s beekeepers watched as a third of the country’s honeybee colonies were lost over the last year, part of a decade-long die-off experts said may threaten our food supply.
The annual survey of roughly 5,000 beekeepers showed the 33% dip from April 2016 to April 2017. The decrease is small compared to the survey’s previous 10 years, when the decrease hovered at roughly 40%. From 2012 to 2013, nearly half of the nation’s colonies died.
Could aluminum be playing a role in the devastating decline of bee populations? There have been seemingly endless debates about what is killing off the species responsible for making honey. Everything from pesticides to pollution has been suggested as a possible cause for the dramatic decrease in bees.
Several species of bees have already been added to the endangered species list. In the fall of 2016, the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service announced that seven types of yellow-faced bees, native to Hawaii, would be deemed “endangered.” (Related: Stay current with the latest bee headlines at Bees.news)
And then came the plane…
“They passed right over the trees three times,” Stanley said to ABC 4 News. After the plane left, the familiar buzzing stopped. The silence in its wake was like a morgue, she said.
As for the dead bees, as Stanley told the AP, her farm “looks like it’s been nuked.”
Source: Dikran Arakelian
South Carolina honey bees have begun to die in massive numbers. Death of the areas bees has come suddenly to Dorchester County, S.C. Stressed insects tried to flee their nests, only to surrender in little clumps at the hive entrances. Dead worker bees littering the farms suggested that ‘colony collapse disorder’ was not the culprit.
In colony collapse disorder, workers vanish as though raptured, leaving a living queen and young bees behind. Instead, the dead heaps in S.C signal a more devastating killer. The pattern matches acute pesticide poisoning. By one estimate, at a single Bee Farm in Summerville, 46 hives died on the spot, totaling around 2.5 million bees.
Walking through the farm, one Summerville woman stated it was “like visiting a cemetery, pure sadness.”
Okay, maybe Monsanto didn’t actually set out to kill off the honeybees, but they’re doing a darn good job of it, if you ask me – and threatening the lives of the rest of us humans, as well.
And their recent tactics have included a clever propaganda campaign designed to paint a kinder, gentler picture of their devilish operations, but it’s just a thin veneer concealing a whole lot of ugly.
Not only that, but their efforts to pretend that they are actually trying to help the honeybees might unleash another Pandora’s box of reckless nature-meddling technology that could lead to even more disastrous consequences for the environment, the bees and everyone else.
Bayer and Syngenta criticised for secrecy after unpublished research obtained under freedom of information law linked high doses of their products to damage to the health of bee colonies
Unpublished field trials by pesticide manufacturers show their products cause serious harm to honeybees at high levels, leading to calls from senior scientists for the companies to end the secrecy which cloaks much of their research.
The research, conducted by Syngenta and Bayer on their neonicotinoid insecticides, were submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency and obtained by Greenpeace after a freedom of information request.
Neonicotinoids are the world’s most widely used insecticides and there is clear scientific evidence that they harm bees at the levels found in fields, though only a little to date showing the pesticides harm the overall performance of colonies. Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013, despite UK opposition.
No, “they” have not lost their mind. They know exactly that Zika is a harmless virus.
‘Have we lost our mind,’ one beekeeper wrote, ‘spraying poison from the sky?’
- ‘It kills everything’: conservationist warns over threat to other animals
- Regulators: ‘clear and public health crisis’ allows use of Naled chemical
Huddled around their hives, beekeepers around the south-eastern US fear a new threat to their livelihood: a fine mist beaded with neurotoxin, sprayed from the sky by officials at war with mosquitos that carry the Zika virus.
Earlier this week, South Carolina beekeepers found millions of dead honey bees carpeting their apiaries, killed by an insecticide. Video posted by a beekeeper to Facebook showed thousands of dead insects heaped around hives, while a few survivors struggled to move the bodies of fellow bees.
“This is what’s left of Flowertown Bees,” a despondent keeper says in the video. Company co-owner Juanita Stanley told the Associated Press her farm looked “like it’s been nuked” and estimated 2.5 million bees were killed.
In another Facebook post, South Carolina hobbyist Andrew Macke wrote that he had lost “thousands upon thousands of bees” and that the spraying had devastated his business. “Have we lost our mind,” he wrote, “spraying poison from the sky?”
Snow patches across Scotland are the most reported and the thickest since the 1800’s. Bees are dying at an alarming rate due to pesticides and groups are starting across the world to help save the bee population. All Hives Matter. A quick look at drought and wet cycles across North Africa.
New data revealed today shows bees can be exposed to more pesticides from contaminated wildflowers than from crops on farms. The research, discussed at a scientific briefing in London on 28 April 2016 organised by the Soil Association, showed a staggering 97% of the neonicotinoids brought back to honeybee hives in pollen could come from wildflowers – not oilseed rape. (1)
The briefing looked at the latest scientific research and its implications for the environment and the future use of neonicotinoid pesticides in the UK. The panel included three leading experts on the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on our pollinators – Professor Dave Goulson, Dr Lynn Dicks and Dr Penelope Whitehorn. Peter Campbell from Syngenta responded to the presentations from the three scientists.
German supermarket chain Aldi, has become the first major European retailer to ban pesticides that are toxic to bees, including neonicotinoids such as imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam. All suppliers of produce sold in Aldi stores across Europe and the U.S. are now required not to use those pesticides during production.
The announcement came on January 1st, and was a great way to start the New Year, with the retailer expecting fruit and vegetable suppliers to comply with their new policy ASAP. The decision comes after a great deal of public pressure, and coincides with the German retailer’s decision to ban the herbicide chemical glyphosate from its produce.
California beekeepers have reported “unprecedented levels” of hive theft in recent months, just in time for the state’s almond pollination season. As the US bee population continues to decline, the hives have become much more valuable.
The state’s hundreds of thousands of acres of almond orchards – which produce about 80 percent of the world’s almonds – are served by hives that are rented and trucked in on easy-to-steal pallets by beekeepers from all over the US. Mobile hives are increasingly important, and valuable, as the bee population in the US has decreased rapidly in recent years.
“A single seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to kill a songbird.”
United States — A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence through a study that backs what activists and environmentalists have asserted for years: one of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides can, indeed, cause declines in honeybee populations. But the agency’s findings are too little, too late for many farmers and food safety advocates, who consider the EPA neglectfully responsible for widespread employment of neonicotinoids.Driving the urgency of the point even further, researchers with Sussex University discovered something far more alarming: wildflowers growing near neonicotinoid-treated crops play host to a “chemical cocktail” which has an impact on bees 1,000 times more potent than previously believed.
– 100,000 beekeepers urge Germany to ban GMOs as biotech industry destroys their livelihood and environment (Natural News, July 2, 2015):
Nearly 100,000 German beekeepers are calling for a nationwide ban on the cultivation of GMO crops. The beekeepers are represented by the German Beekeepers Association (DIB), which is pursuing the ban after the introduction of legislation allowing member states to opt out of GM planting schemes that have been approved at the EU level.
The new law allows a member state to ban GMO agriculture in all or part of its territory. The legislation is strongly opposed by GM proponents and has become a controversial issue throughout the EU.
– Suicide By Pesticide (Chris Martenson, May 22, 2015):
As you are aware, honey bees have been suffering from something called Colony Collapse Disorder. In practice, what this means is that the bees simply vanish from their hives, leaving behind their most precious worldly possessions: honey and larvae.
What causes these mysterious vanishing acts has been something of a mystery. But because the phenomenon began really ramping up in 2006, we can focus in on some suspects.
– Bees: How Their Deaths Are Linked To Pesticides According To A Harvard Study (Thought Pursuits, Jan 17, 2015):
The human race is beginning to realize that actions have consequences. One area that demonstrates this clearly is the effects of the huge amounts of pesticides humans spray on food and other crops. In many countries, particularly the United States, pesticides are used extensively on crops. Scientists have known for many years that spraying some pesticides onto food crops can cause some human health problems and they long thought that it may be related to a the huge numbers of bee deaths in recent years. There have been particular concerns over the neo-nicotinoid pesticides, which are in widespread use right across the world.
A recent Harvard University research study published in the Bulletin of Insectology confirms scientists’ worst fears about bees and neo-nicotinoid pesticides. It shows clearly that they are the cause of colony collapse disorder. The study’s results not only match the findings of a previous study but they also echo the conclusions of that study that bee exposure neonicotinoids, even in doses smaller than that necessary to kill them, is very likely the main cause of colony collapse disorder CCD. (Bulletin of Insectology)
– EPA knew pesticides were killing honeybees in the 1970s but punished those who spoke out (Natural News, Sep 25, 2014):
For decades, top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (PEA) were aware that a compound approved for agricultural use in the United States was wiping out the honeybee population, but they chose to ignore the compound’s effects in deference to pressure from agri-giant corporations.
Worse, the agency reacted harshly to anyone within the EPA who attempted to bring the issue to light, including through firings, forced reassignments and other actions.
– Beemageddon: Syngenta Wants Increase in Pesticide Levels (The Daily Sheeple, Sep 19, 2014):
Syngenta is asking federal regulators to increase the allowable levels of some pesticides, even though experts have linked the chemicals to massive bee die offs.
The company wants the Environmental Protection Agency to pass an increase of 4.9 parts per million of thiamethoxan. The current allowable level is 0.1ppm, Syngenta wants it increased to 5.0ppm. You can read the details on the regulations.gov website which published the request on September 5th. The request itself was filed on August 22nd.
Tiffany Stacker of E&E reports:
– Beyond honey bees, neonicotinoid pesticides now found to be killing baby birds (Natural News, July 20, 2014):
A class of pesticides widely blamed for a worldwide collapse in pollinator populations is also devastating populations of birds, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the Centre for Field Ornithology and Birdlife Netherlands, and published in the journal Nature on July 16.
The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, have increasingly come under fire for widespread destruction of organisms other than agricultural pests.
– Approval of Bee-Killing Pesticides Challenged in Court (EcoWatch, July 9, 2014):
Environmental and food safety groups yesterday challenged California’s illegal practice of approving new agricultural uses for neonicotinoid pesticides despite mounting evidence that the pesticides are devastating honey bees.
Pesticide Action Network, Center for Food Safety and Beyond Pesticides, represented by Earthjustice, filed the legal challenge in the California Superior Court for the County of Alameda, urging the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to stop approving neonicotinoid pesticides pending its completion of a comprehensive scientific review of impacts to honeybees. The DPR began its scientific review in early 2009 after it received evidence that neonicotinoids are killing bees, but five years later, the DPR has yet to take meaningful action to protect bees.
Meanwhile, the DPR has continued to allow increased use of neonicotinoids in California. Yesterday’s lawsuit challenges the DPR’s June 13 decision to expand the use of two powerful neonicotinoid insecticides—sold under the trademarks Venom Insecticide and Dinotefuran 20SG —despite the agency’s still-pending review of impacts to pollinators. The case underscores these larger problems with the DPR’s unwillingness to comply with laws enacted to ensure that pesticides do not threaten human health, agriculture or the environment.
– New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada (Friends of the Earth, June 25, 2014):
Washington, D.C. – Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot (NYSE: HD), Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies.
The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers’ pollen and nectar. Further, 40 percent of the positive samples contained two or more neonics.