Honey Bees

We don’t think of it much, but honey bees are vital to our own survival. They do their thing each year without direction from human beings. They pollinate all sorts of plants that we depend upon like tomatoes, apple trees, watermelon, Kiwifruit, nuts, cucumbers, cherry trees, and many more. The problem is that honey bees have been dying off in droves. Billions of bees have disappeared in the United States with estimated losses as high as 30% and counting.

Honey bees are crucial to the cultivation of a full 1/3rd of our food here in the USA. This means that with the loss of honey bees the security of our own food supply is at risk. What is the problem? It is called in scientific terms, “Colony Collapse Disorder”. One of the highly suspected causes is the use of pesticides called neonicotinoids.

One such chemical is “Clothianidin” which is produced by Bayer CropScience, a German Corporation. It is used as a treatment on crop seeds, including corn and canola, which happen to be among honey bees’ favorite foods. This class of pesticides needs to be banned if bee colonies are to survive. The EPA is dragging its feet on this matter.

France, Italy, Slovenia, and Germany have already banned Clothianidin. The United States needs to follow their lead. The EPA wants to wait until 2018 to finish their review of the pesticide’s safety but our honey bees cannot wait 6 more years. Stop the threat. Do the ban.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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