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Why Honeybees Matter

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View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
06 December 2013, 9:43 AM
Collapsed colonies spell disaster for our food system, and toxic pesticide is to blame
Honeybee visits a mountain mint blossom. (Photo courtesy of Penn State)

Want to know what else disappears if honeybee colonies continue their alarming rate of collapse? Our food.

According to Time Magazine, honeybees, which pollinate crops like apples, blueberries and cucumbers, are responsible for one-third of the food we eat.

Which is why a lawsuit brought by Earthjustice is so important. We're representing the Pollinator Stewardship Council, American Honey Producers Association, National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, and beekeepers Bret Adee, Jeff Anderson and Thomas R. Smith. In the opening brief just filed, groups argue that the EPA failed to measure exactly what risk a toxic pesticide, sulfoxaflor, poses to bees.

At issue is the fact that this potent pesticide—so poisonous that EPA classifies it as “very highly toxic” to honeybees and other insect pollinators—was approved by the EPA despite evidence linking it and similar “neonicotinoid” pesticides to the widespread and massive bee colony collapse. And now, an entire industry is being wiped out, and beekeepers are rightfully angry. As a result, beekeepers enlisted Earthjustice in July as their final recourse to save their struggling industry.

Here is what beekeeper, farmer and Earthjustice client Rick Smith said about this case:

Native and managed pollinators are a national resource providing an irreplaceable service in the production of high quality fruits and vegetables for our families.

Pesticide application is a stewardship responsibility farmers take seriously. The EPA neglected to provide mandatory label instructions which would protect pollinators and allow farmers to proudly live up to that stewardship responsibility.

And if you missed it, listen to an August 2013 interview about the lawsuit with Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie, who discusses what's at stake, alternatives to sulfoxaflor and what consumers can do to help bees:

i _ am _ working agaist ' global'warming'...i created the 'mantra 'OM H 2 O NAMAH for this issue...join me

What a shame the EPA won't stand up to these corporate crooks. These pesticides are killing more beneficial insects than only honeybees. On the bright side: some CEO gets to live in a nice mansion and earn a $200,000 a month pension.

The EPA has been hijacked via corruption. Monsanto lobbyists and former chiefs are now heading up the EPA and USDA. that's how they roll. We need to fire or close the current EPA for coMplete failure in their duties and start over. Reset, new EPA no chemists allowed. Breaking Bad.

Most of these persons that allow toxic materials to be legally and commercially used do not care for the environment. It seems their concerns are with the amount of profit they can make through lobbyists and manufacturers of chemicals. This is my opinion.

I think the reason for pesticides companies to do this is simple, kill the natural pollinators so that there is no challenge to their laboratory grown products, which we must pay.

Protect or bees stop the destruction

This is truly a no-brainer. Due to a lack of properly studying the potential side effects of a pesticide, Mother Nature and people will once again suffer. This chemical should never be allowed to be tested, let alone used regularly.

This has to be stopped and we need to stand up against it in our capacity,,,

Our flowers and especially our food need bees as pollinators.

The bees are also important for the health of other living creatures that include HUMANS

I agree , all these pesticides are lethal and must be stopped. Make a stand against their legality.

Look for these chemicals on the shelf in your local mega-mart and DESTROY them where they stand(on the shelves). Punching a hole in the plastic container will send a message. If everyone did this every time these poisons are offered for sale it wouldn't take long before they would not be carried. Not only would they be losing profit but they get to clean up the toxic spill.

We seem to forget the importance of bees and what their function is for the earth. If we kill them-we have no flowers,vegetables,grasses,honey
and so much more.

And Bayer, who is making big money on these chemicals, is not allowed to use them in enlightened
European areas because a sharp decline in bees has occurred where they were used.

The FDA is owned by the chemical companies and doesn't care about the public at all. They let the chemical companies write their own laws and take their payoffs.

You are so right Robert, and now we, as a country, have to figure a way FAST to let the American people what's going on. The FDA, besides the USDA, is the biggest "administration" that allows its people to be poisened on a regular basis. Unfortunately, if we, as a people, get anywhere in the fight against the injustices of the FDA, we will probably be killed in some way. Sound like science fiction? Think about it. I'm just glad that there are other people who see what's going on. Sincerely!

I believe EPA & environmental biologists are still trying to determine the cause of CCD killing bees, WWS killing bats, frogs born deformed, etc., etc. & don't have answer yet.

When it comes to something as important as our food supply, and it's effect on human health and the environment, scientific evidence should be trumped by something called "common sense". If there is any apparent connection between a pesticide and a problem, such as the disappearance of bees, then that should be justification enough to ban that pesticide. Enough of this corporate favoritism BS.

It is KNOWN. Research and many studies have proven insecticides are killing honey bees. This is not rocket science. Stop thinking (that it isn't known what's killing honey bees) and take positive action. Get your head out of the sand.

I believe the chemical industries are very well aware of the detrimental effects on bees -- and other suffering species -- wrought by a number of chemicals on the market. I don't think anyone credible is still in the dark about this. I believe Big Chem simply doesn't want to withdraw hot sellers like "Roundup" because Heaven Forfend that should decrease their profits; I believe it is either naïve or colluding with Big Chem to not recognize all the blatantly obvious evidence.

Furthermore -- if there is even a suspicion of toxicity here -- these products ought to be removed from retail stores until their lethal effects on bees and other species including our own species. Where there is we want to let poisons kill us all and only then say, "uh...wait a minute...I see it was "Roundup" done the dirty...ooops?"

The environmental biologists and politicians in Europe have considered to evidence sufficient to ban at least some neonicotinoids. Perhaps it is wiser to hold off with permits until everything is fully understood rather than to grant permits and wait until the damage is done. Not bringing the next pesticide to market speedily will not result in starvation or a serious environmental crisis, but doing so is likely to lead to massive disruption and damage for everyone. Why not wait in the name of greater safety?

Why not prohibit ALL chemical insecticides and see if it helps?

Lady bug beetles are very effective in protecting many plants from many pests and a border of marigolds is likewise protective against may insects. Of course these natural remedies provide no profit for Monsanto, Bayer and other irresponsible money grubbing bastards - LIKE YOU

There is only one environment and there are no do-overs when it has been compromised.

You are an idiot!

You are an idiot!

If you will not put your name to your post it does not carry any weight. You are just a shill, deliberately or accidentaly, for the chemical industry and government departments that deny evidence from the rest of the world and refuse to act.

That's what they want you to believe, studies after studies are presented to the public but the big players always try to discredit them.

That is just another stalling process by the corporations to prevent action. Unless we get these corporatists out of government, we ourselves are going to become extinct.....ALL LIFE IS CONNECTED !

Your comment indicates that you are blind to the EPA's corruption by the chemical industry. Wake up!

The honeybees need our help, now. One example of something that can be done that is in the control of human hands to reduce these pollinators' colonies' collapse is to stop spraying the almond crop before sunset. There are other small scale adjustments that can be made. The honeybee Apis mellifera is an indicator of what is happening to biodiversity. The manmade pesticides clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, only in use since the early 1990s, have not been judiciously used, and now sulfoxaflor is being added? It is obvious that these synthetic, neo- (new) nicotinoids, that affect the honeybees' receptors, are cumulatively largely to blame for honeybee colony collapse disorder (CCD). The EPA must continue to use its authority to ban an unnecessary pesticide, or an anthropocentric viewpoint will actually lead to the collapse of humans' food supply. The bees are now showing us this.

I don't understand how some people are not making the connection between poor environmental decisions and environmental degradation. Bees are responsible for us having much of the food that we eat. If they take care of us, why aren't we taking care of them?






Justice for all does not mean destruction of life-giving and life sustaining so more money can be made by one or many corporations. Stop the approval of this pesticide save our bee colonies so we too can survive.

The EPA is just another government agency that has been "bought" by Big Business. They do not do the job they were formed to do, to protect the environment. Instead, they protect the profits of business. We, as voters, have to fight to bring a change away from greed and back to actual protection for the greater good.

Bees need to be protected. Without them we will have no one to pollinate the crops we need to survive.

Please STOP this insanity for profit.

I am not a fanatic 'tree hugger', if you will, however I am keenly aware of the role people play in making this world a sustainable place to live not only for ourselves but for future generations to come. If there are ANY alternatives to the insecticids that threaten honey bees, why in God's creation would that not be used? Please do not let this issue get so bad that it's almost impossible to correct. So many, many species of animal and plant life have gone extinct at the hands of human beings. Let us not further endanger these very necessary creatures. Whether or not we realize it, these bees play such a crucial role in our everyday lives, unbeknownst to most. Please let us collectively do all that we can to keep them safe.

What will you do when all the honey bees and other pollinators are gone from this world? What will your children eat for food? When will you stop this insanity? Flora can flourish without all the chemicals, our bees and our bodies can not flourish with your chemicals. It's time to stop this nonsense of trying to control everything in nature and start learning once again how to live in the world as it was divinely designed. It all works well when you just let it.

Two thoughts come to mind. The Bible is pretty clear that one of many signs of the beginning of what are called "the end times" is world wide famine. This can be be caused by many things but the destruction of the honeybee is one of them. Changes in the reliability of the weather, global cooling and global warming, is another. Doesn't mean the world is going to end in our lifetime but based on many other things mentioned there we can expect many many changes, many of them not good.

Additionally, I was praying on Saturday November 19, 2011, and I clearly heard in my spirit, "My hand of judgement will stretch forth and ALL will feel it, some much more than others. Fear not!" So all these people who don't care about the 500% increase in Alzheimer's, and the skyrocketing rates of Autism, and infertility, and 40% increase in I.B.S. ALL since glyphosate resistant GMO was introduced over 20 years ago (never tested on humans - WE ARE THE TEST) who care only about money and profit will soon see the value of that too destroyed. We may not be able to stop disease enabling GMO but we can fight to have it labelled as in most foreign countries, and we can do all we can to save the honeybee and the the more than 50% of our food that bees pollinate. Remember the old saying, the life you save may be your own.

Thank you. Excellent post.

The haarp project is also at least equally responsible for killing bees has yet to be addressed..they need this to navigate and find their way back..please investigate emf.
Electromagnetic frequency

If we don't stop using these types of pesticides we will reduce the bee population to the point where crops, flowers, virtually all plant life will decline. Much of our food source relies on the pollination provided by bees. Great care must be taken to protect these tiny, irreplaceable food producers.

WE MUST save our honeybees! They are responsible for our food among other things!

Our hives are in peril!

Thank you!

I agree we need to help our Bee's. They do take of care of us. Now it's time for us to help them.

Let' all take a stand on this matter!!

I am a retired federal scientist with an extensive background in using various toxic chemicals such as pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.

With the current entomological research showing clearly that pollinating insects such as bees are being killled off by the millions by highly toxic neonicotonoid insecticides, it's preposterous that the EPA and relevant state agencies are allowing these chemicals to be be sold and used in the US.

Europe has already put a ban on these pollinator killers and we should do the same thing immediately. We cannot wait another five years-by then we may lose most of our pollinators just so these already wealthy chemical companies can make more billions of dollars!

AMEN! How can we fight this thick-headedness?

Stop approving pesticides that destroy bees and endanger our food!!!

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