First hearing about the decline in population of honey bees, I thought there must be a fairly simple fix for creating better environments or finding a new feed for the bees with enough research. But the more I looked into the epidemic, I realized it’s more complex than made out to be. Changing how agricultural chemicals are labeled could be the explanation.
“In the last four years, the chemical industry has spent $11.2 million on a PR initiative to say it’s not their fault, so we know whose fault it is.” – John Cooksy
A misconception can be made that these bees only go ‘missing’ due to CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder). CCD is defined as, “the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen, plenty of food and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees and the queen.” (EPA). This issue is still relevant, but we first saw a spike in the winters of 2006-2007. But now, the toxicity of neonicotinoids, a dangerous form of insecticides, are killing colonies at a time. This is not a matter of bees abandoning their colony; they’re being forced out by harmful chemicals that are sold to be pesticides.
Think about the nuts, fruits, and veggies that you and your family consume on a day to day basis. Without bees, those along with 70 of the 100 human food crops wouldn’t be pollinated. With the vital role bees play in the environment, there is no doubt we need to work together to save them. What are some steps we can take?
One of the most important things we can do is study up on pesticides. Greenpeace states, “Biologists have found more than 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen”. Although the chemical companies say they haven’t changed what they’re selling to farmers, the statistically ‘great jump’ in deaths of bees says otherwise. The neonicotinoids have gotten so bad that a Harvard study found pesticides present in 70% of their honey samples. This is not only dangerous for the bees who are pollinating, but alarming to us as humans because of the health risks that eating these pesticides presents.
I believe that putting a stop to the harmful effects these chemicals do and regulating a standard that every company must follow. The mislabeling of chemicals that will go into an animal’s habitat should be taken seriously. Greenpeace presents the idea of ecological, organic farming for bees to prevent them from unhealthy conditions and restore a more natural habitat. By doing this, it could restore the bee population and raise them healthier than ever before in a more natural environment.