Tag Archives | Colony Collapse Disorder

United Nations Sounds Alarm Over Vanishing Bees

vanishing bees smalldisinformation readers have been aware of the frighteningly rapid onset of Colony Collapse Disorder for some time, and indeed here at disinfo we’ve allied with filmmakers George Langworthy and Maryam Henein to help distribute their superb film Vanishing of the Bees. The United Nations will be supporting the release of the film including screenings around World Environment Day (June 5), and are putting the word out on what is a very, very serious issue (as a reminder, commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables). From AFP via Yahoo News:

GENEVA (AFP) – The UN on Thursday expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops.

Much of the decline, ranging up to 85 percent in some areas, is taking place in the industrialised northern hemisphere due to more than a dozen factors, according to a report by the UN’s environmental agency.

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The Bee Crisis

Over a million people have signed this petition calling on governments to ban pesticides that kill bees:
We call on you to immediately ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides until and unless new independent scientific studies prove they are safe. The catastrophic demise of bee colonies could put our whole food chain in danger. If you act urgently with precaution now, we could save bees from extinction.
If you are curious as to just why this is so important, here's Tom Theobald, the whistleblowing beekeeper who "leaked" an EPA memo about the systemic pesticide Clothianidin. EPA scientists do not approve of the use of this toxic poison because of the damage caused to honeybees and other insects and invertebrates. Yet the EPA proposes the sale will simply continue. Here he discusses the EPA and the bigger picture problems that allowed this toxic chemical to be released onto the market - despite concerns of the EPA scientists.
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U.S. Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide

Bees_Collecting_PollenCould this be the answer to the mysterious case of the disappearing bees? It could certainly be one reason for colony collapse. Report from Fast Company:

The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined–electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup Produces Toxic Chemical “HMF” When Heated

Mike Adams writes in NaturalNews:

If you know anything about the food supply, you know that honey bees are a crucial part of the food production chain. In the United States, they pollinate roughly one-third of all the crops we eat, and without them, we’d be facing a disastrous collapse in viable food production.

That’s why, when honey bees started to disappear a few years ago, scientists scrambled to find the root cause of the phenomenon, which has since been dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

The name is a bit of a misnomer, though. It’s not really a “disorder.” It’s more of a poisoning. Or at least that’s what we may be learning from new research that’s just been published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

It’s been difficult, of course, trying to determine the cause of colony collapse disorder. Some of the suggested theories for explaining the phenomenon included chemical contamination from pesticides, genetic contamination from genetically modified crops, changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, climate change and air pollution.

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