Our Precious Pollinators Are In Big Trouble– Meaning We Are, Too

bees

Growing up, I never liked bees. If I even so much as heard a buzzing in my ears, I would be out of there before that bee’s knees could get anywhere near me. After all, whenever I encountered one, I’d leave with a severe allergic reaction and a pair of wet cheeks.

But at least I always got the upper hand– he’d (or she’d, if that was the case) always end up dead.

But that’s just the way it is if you’re a buzzing bee that relies on your stinger staying attached to your backside for survival– maybe you shouldn’t have stung me then, huh?

Unfortunately, I’ve found that we need them for environmental survival just as much as they need those awful stingers– and considering researchers uncovered evidence that neonicotinoids (a kind of insecticide) are killing off bees globally, it’s time I started fighting for them, rather than against them.

Because we either both win– or we both lose.

Neonicotinoid pesticides slowly break down, allowing them to accumulate in environments where they are administered. They pollute bodies of water as well as soil, while also endangering both pollinators and other valuable life forms that inhabit our global ecosystems. Aren’t neonicotinoids just so sweet? They pollute all of the ecosystems, instead of just a few of them. 

Sadly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that as many as 10 million beehives have been lost in less than ten years (since 2006)– which represents a whopping two billion dollar cost to beekeepers! The USDA believes that pollinator services are worth somewhere around $20-30 billion each year(!), the Center for Food Safety claims.

According to organic farming advocate Maria Rodale, “Researchers are starting to see extremely disturbing trends in fertility rates, gender, and general resilience of certain species (including ours).” But what’s responsible for the colony collapse disorder phenomenon, which has led to the complete disappearance of honeybees from their previously-normal habitats? These insecticides are one of the leading culprits at fault– meaning the insecticide has gotsta go, and soon. “Aside from the fact that these animals are essential to our survival on this planet,” Rodale continues, “they are also indicators of the viability of life for us.”

So I’d like to offer an apology to any and every bee that I’ve ever killed firsthand (pun intended): I never meant you any harm to begin with, and I certainly don’t now. If I would have known you were in trouble, I wouldn’t have swatted you down: scout’s honor. It’s time we joined forces to defeat this vicious insecticide that’s driving you from your natural home– and really put the sting in battling GMO proponents!

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Bob Peterson

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