There are about 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of food globally and, of these, 71 are pollinated by bees. In the US alone, a full one-third of the food supply depends on pollination from bees. I mention this to stress the full ramifications of bee die-offs, which continue unabated.
Last winter, beekeepers across the US reported losing anywhere from 40 percent to 90 percent of their hives, and many of the 6,000 almond orchard owners in California could not find enough bees to pollinate their almond trees, at any price, this year.
According to Friends of the Earth, 50,000 bumblebees were recently found dead in a Target parking lot in Portland, Oregon. The pesticide dinotefuran, a so-called neonicotinoid, was found to have been applied to nearby trees prior to the “massacre.”
In July, tens of millions of dead bees were found on a farm in Ontario, Canada. In this case, the deaths were thought to be linked to the dust coming off neonic-treated corn seeds that were being planted.
A general consensus among beekeepers is that the bee die-offs are most definitely related to toxic chemicals, and nicotine-related compounds called nicotinoids in particular.
Lawsuit Filed and Bill Introduced to Protect Bees…
Nicotinoids were initially introduced as a new form of pesticide in the 1990s, as widespread pest resistance rendered many older pesticides useless. The disappearance of bee colonies began accelerating in the US shortly after the EPA allowed these new pesticides on the market in the mid-2000s.
Today, they are the most widely-used pesticides in the world. In California alone, there are nearly 300 registered neonicotinoid products available. In addition to foliage applications, many seeds are now also pre-treated with neonicotinoids, which are water-soluble and break down slowly in the environment. Virtually all genetically engineered Bt corn crops grown in the US are treated with neonicotinoids.
By Dr. Mercola
Mercola.com, September 3, 2013