Monsanto Killing Bees?

Monsanto Killing Bees

While Monsanto is celebrating increased profits and earnings results, those concerned about the health and well-being of bee colonies remain troubled about the company’s track record of killing bees. We all depend on bees to pollinate our plant food, as does Monsanto. Yet the agribusiness colossus continues to undertake activities which appear to be decimating bee populations throughout the world.

Colony Collapse Disorder is a major threat to all of us. Studies estimate that nearly one-third of the honeybee population has been wiped out. These bees are important to agricultural production worldwide. Without the bees, the pollination necessary for plant harvesting does not occur. At the very least, lower crop yields potentially hurt grocery prices. At worst, our access to fruits and vegetables diminishes. The honeybee population is a concern for all of us.

A feverish debate rages between those most interested in preserving the bee population. Organic farmers and some bee keepers allege that the neonicotinoid insecticides produced by Monsanto, among others, are killing vast numbers of bees. Major commercial farmers and other beekeepers counteract those assertions with their own claims that agribusiness depends on the insecticides for good crop yields and that bees have died from other causes.

Scientific research backs up the claims of health minded individuals that the crop sprays developed by Monsanto is killing large numbers of bees. The neonicotinoid based bug killers also appear to harm butterfly and bird populations as well. Agribusiness champions state that the studies are flawed and introduce the insecticides to the bees using methods inconsistent with typical farming practices. They also point at the absent effective insecticides the crop yields we enjoy would diminish. After all, the insect killers are used for a reason.

Monsanto has purportedly stepped up its efforts to use more bee friendly insecticides. The company even held a summit with beekeepers last June to outline its activities. The agribusiness supporters assert than instead of insecticide induced honeybee decimation, the real culprit is a small insect called the varroa mite. The mites do not directly kill the bees, but are a source of germs for bee killing viruses when the mites are present among bee populations. The insecticide supporters point out that neonicotinoids are widely used in Australia and the bee populations remain stable there. The difference is that Australia does not have a varroa mite population.

Many organic farmers and alternative medical practitioners remain skeptical of Monsanto and other large commercial farmers. They are concerned over the impact of genetically modified food products in addition to pesticide fears. The combination of genetically modified organisms plus liberal use of neonicotinoids raises fears of cancer and other long-term health disorders. These types of concerns will take years, or even decades, to determine whether an increase in today’s crop yields justifies the possible decimation of bees and cancer deaths in the future.

Whether Monsanto is killing bees through its use of neonicotinoids remains open to debate. What is not debatable is the decimation of the bee population. The jury is still out as to its cause. Health minded individuals prescribe safer insecticides as the answer so that we can attempt to keep our crop yields while alleviating long-term health concerns.

By William Costolo

Organic Consumers Association
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

5 Responses to Monsanto Killing Bees?

  1. André Hegge August 16, 2014 at 6:08 am

    We might need to bang our heads into the wall a few times intil we understand its wrong about what we are doing on this planet as human race. Many humans start realise this and understand that what we are doing wont work for to loong esp not If we want to keep the natural flow of life on this planet. wich alrdy has gone to a situation where ppl are so brainwashed to think that we are nothing more than a body doing its job for money to survive in this hellhole. As more and more humans gets informed about our situation on earth. It will make it possible for humans to make another choice, so they act in their own way or work with other humans towards something better that will work better four our childrens to come!

    IF you do nothing, Nothing will change, and if youre not even trying to inform other ppl or learn about it yourself. Then you are part of the problem itself. Our world is korrupt and ruled by some sick enteties who only works towards their own benefit and control. We lost our control and gave it away, More or less it was taken and on one level we brought this on ourselfs!, But there is a way to reclaim our planet our balance. And it starts with ppl to get aware of our situation on earth on whats happening here and now and around us!

  2. em June 5, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Monsanto does not make neonicotinoids. It produces other products, like Roundup Ready seed, that may cause other problems, but they don’t make neonicotinoids. Bayer and Syngenta do.


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