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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:

Thank you, Earthjustice, for all you do. I really wish that governmental agencies, which I wrongly assume would act in the public's best interest, did not need to be sued in order do the very best they can to protect the environment.

Please look further into the issues I this chemical for future generations

Please look further into the issues I this chemical for future generations

We need our Bees!

Clearly many at the EPA don't have anyone in their own Families
that they care about more than $$$.

~Message to those who DO care~
Please step up and be heard!
Stop the political prostitutes within the EPA, from continuing to side with Pesticides!!!
NOW, before it's too late.
Be Brave.
Thanks a Billion~

What's wrong with the EPA? What do they think their mission is if not to protect the environment? If they can't see the vital roll bees play in the natural environment then they are not really qualified to serve in the EPA! It's time they wise up.

The EPA should be appointed by an agency other then congress. Just like Monsanto, they're board of directors are made up of ex- members of congress so little will be done.

Come on, there's no money to be made in anything that's natural. If all pollinating bees are eliminated,monster company's like Monsanto's will prosper in profit.

We must save the bees, this pesticide killed tens of thousands of bees this year in Oregon.

Ma sono pazzi o cosa ?

Do your job and protect us from unnecessary chemical toxins. It is in the best Heath interest of the people to have no pesticides. This is also in line with Sustainable Development. Stop the poisoning of our pollinators by eliminating all pesticides and banning GMOs.

I wholeheartedly agree!

I wholeheartedly agree!

Can we just rename the EPA the Corporate Profits Intensifier, and then we can have an actual agency created that is concerned about Environmental Protection??

The greed and corruption in this country staggers my imagination, and sadly I think their actions (and those of the masses which allowed these kind of behaviours to continue) demonstrate humanity deserves to breed our own extinction.

Do your job and protect us from unnecessary chemical toxins. It is in the best Heath interest of the people to have no pesticides. This is also in line with Sustainable Development. Stop the poisoning of our pollinators by eliminating all pesticides and banning GMOs.

Do your job and protect us from unnecessary chemical toxins. It is in the best Heath interest of the people to have no pesticides. This is also in line with Sustainable Development. Stop the poisoning of our pollinators by eliminating all pesticides and banning GMOs.

Do your job and protect us from unnecessary chemical toxins. It is in the best Heath interest of the people to have no pesticides. This is also in line with Sustainable Development. Stop the poisoning of our pollinators by eliminating all pesticides and banning GMOs.

Do your job and protect us from unnecessary chemical toxins. It is in the best Heath interest of the people to have no pesticides. This is also in line with Sustainable Development. Stop the poisoning of our pollinators by eliminating all pesticides and banning GMOs.

I am saddened that one day I will lose the foods I love to eat because poison is a farmers only answer. There are too many smart people in this world and there has to be a better way.

Please stop the use of this pesticide

We need to focus on saving the honeybees and the environment, not add more toxins to it.

I have been a gardener for several decades now. In recent years, I noticed fewer and fewer honey bees in my garden. We need to do everything we can to eliminate chemicals and sprays that kill the honeybees. What the epa did is bow to the chemical industry again. Enough is enough!

It is time to save our national treasure from wind farms!!!!!!!!!!

The EPA should be appointed by an agency other then congress. Just like Monsanto, they're board of directors are made up of ex- members of congress so little will be done.

Please get serious about your job and protect the environment and the honeybees. How are crops going to get pollinated without the honey bees? Please get big business out of your back pockets and do what you know is right.

I saw video, showing people hand pollinating fruit trees in China because there were no bees. Maybe U.S. Govt. (EPA)is allowing bees to die off in order to create jobs here.

God Bless our Mother Earth and keep her bees protected!

I feed the bees because they are dying out already in our part of the world (Arkansas)

So how many people in the EPA BEEN BOUGHT? HOW MUCH OF A BRIBE DID THEY GIVE TO GET THEIR WAY WITH POISON?

YES I AM EXTREMELY ANGRY WITH THIS GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR ENTIRE REGULATORY PROCESSES

HOW MANY PEOPLE IN TH EPA DOES MONSANTO OWN?

You don't even have to be a scientist to see this is ULTRA STUPID!

It's a no-brainer! If honeybees are essential for our food supply, how does it make sense to kill them?

So how many people in the EPA BEEN BOUGHT? HOW MUCH OF A BRIBE DID THEY GIVE TO GET THEIR WAY WITH POISON?

YES I AM EXTREMELY ANGRY WITH THIS GROSS MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR ENTIRE REGULATORY PROCESSES

HOW MANY PEOPLE IN TH EPA DOES MONSANTO OWN?

You don't even have to be a scientist to see this is ULTRA STUPID!

This is crazy that the EPA is setting forth more toxic chemicals that are killing the bees! These guys must be taken out of office now! It is obvious they are just getting paid off by the pesticide and chemical corrupt lobbyists!

The Obama administration appointed a former Monsanto executive to the FDA...which gives Monsanto and Bayer better representation than pollinator supporters. This new poison can only allow further decline of precious pollinators of all kinds. These toxic concoctions are designed to increase crop production only, at the expense of a healthy environment.

Stop attacking the environment using chemicals unless you can eat them raw - use natural methods which have worked for thousands of years!

Monsanto RoundUp is a huge failure and so are a lot of the chemicals mega corporations use on the land and gets into our food system causing dementia, ADHD...

We already know that bees are essential to pollination of flowering plants to produce crops and reproduce. Why are we allowing pesticides that are toxic to bees to be used in any way?

It is inconceivable that selling pesticides is more important than the food supply.
Poison the food you are spraying with pesticides.Get rid of a third of our food supply because honeybees are dying everywhere. Get rid of the honeybees, poison people. water, the environment. Just a lose lose all around.
Why would any sane person want that?

Please think of our future and get rid of these highly toxic pesticides. You're the EPA, ACT like it.

We need our pollinators . please stop killing them with pesticides

What does EPA actually stand for?? Protecting the ENVIRONMENT!!!! We can no longer afford to allow the fate of humanity to remain in the hands of evil profiteers who care about nothing other than big business. Put a stop to this product and all the other products that threaten our future food systems and survival.

We need our pollinators . please stop killing them with pesticides

Do these government employees know what the initials stand for? EPA, the P is for Protection.
Just as the Fish & Wildlife Service has a key word, Service they ignore, and work for the cattle and oil men.
So sad we have no representation in government, its all good old boy networking....and the common person is helpless as are the beings the agencies are in place to protect. And do not.

Stop and reverse the rise of fascism in America! Stop and reverse the rise of the American fascist military/police state!

Why would a corporation insist on killing pollinators for profit? Suicidal ideations?

Our leaders manifest a seeming death urge regarding the human race's (and everyone and everything else's) place on this planet . . .

Everything in life is interconnected, like a web...we must take care of our bees, if we want food...toxic pesticides must be eliminated so that bees can survive and do their job as pollinators.

Everything in life is interconnected, like a web...we must take care of our bees, if we want food...toxic pesticides must be eliminated so that bees can survive and do their job as pollinators.

Has profit become so skewed as to breed a world of insanity that would kill off the very host that sustains us? This is more a statement, not a rhetorical question. It is a challenge to those sane and educated and forward thinking humans. It is a pointed finger to those that would benefit by killing our food supply and our pollinators.

Simply put, stop killing our world. You, who try to destroy earth and her nature for greedy profit, do not own her, but; we all live here and need to start by protecting her and her many amenities.

So, when the pollinators no longer exist, and the wild flowers no longer bloom, or the trees grow and the wild creatures no longer have food to eat.....what will become of us?

If the honeybees disappear, wouldn't that be a great opportunity for GMO companies to "save" the day (not to mention profit greatly) from all their self pollinating franken-seeds?

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