activism, Eco-Conscious

The Buzz From Europe Could Save Our Food Crops

Food Crops

Germany and France have banned a class of pesticides linked to Colony Collapse Disorder, even though scientists don’t believe it’s the whole reason for the problem. On the other hand, when heaps of dead bees coated in clothianidin were found beside corn fields, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the pesticide wasn’t a bee’s best friend. Ditto for imidacloprid another pesticide which causes bees to become disoriented.

So when will the EPA realize that these pesticides are killing bees? And why aren’t more people concerned about the bees’ disappearing? It might be because so many people regard bees as a nuisance – just another bug that stings you or buzzes you when you’re out trying to enjoy your yard. There are traps for bees at my local hardware store and I know plenty of people who’d just as soon swat bees as attract them to their gardens.

I wonder how long it will be before people realize how closely our survival is tied to the survival of bees? It’s estimated that bees are responsible for one out of three bites of our food. Some of the many crops that they pollinate are corn, berries, peaches, soybeans, cucumbers, cherries, pears and pumpkins. Bees are entirely responsible for the pollination of apples, so if they disappear pollination will have to be done by hand – a very labor intensive and maybe impossible process.

Bees contribute billions of dollars to agriculture and also pollinate animal-feed crops, which would deeply affect the beef, pork, and poultry industry. Actually, no one knows what would happen if bees disappeared completely, although Einstein said that – if bees disappeared –  all life on earth would disappear in four years – and who am I to disagree with Einstein?

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I don’t want to find out what the loss of the world’s bees would do to our planet. As I type this, swarms of bees are humming in the giant comfrey plants outside my window and I want to hear that sound throughout the summers that I have left on earth. I want to know that my children and their children will see and hear bees in their gardens and yards after I’m gone.

I’m going to do everything I can to support bees and get pesticides that harm them – and us – out of our food chain. I’m going to support research that is investigating other possible causes of Colony Collapse such as cell phone and wi-fi. Some researchers say that bees refuse to go near a beehive that has a cell phone near it and that cell phone and wireless signals are confusing their navigation system. While this needs more research, it’s definitely not going to be a popular finding if it proves to be true. Who wants to give up the convenience of our wireless techie toys, eh?

But while we wait for other solutions and research to point to all the reasons for CCD, it’s reasonable to support a ban on the pesticides that have obviously killed bees, like Europe is doing. After all, my theory is that anything that isn’t good for bees, isn’t good for us. Here are some links to organizations that are working to curb pesticide use:

And for more information on Colony Collapse and how to help save bees you can buzz on over to the National Resources Defense Council’s site. Save the bees and the sweet life they provide for us.

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Author: Nelle J. Hussey from

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