The Bayer-Monsanto Bee Killing Team
Where have all the bees gone?
Several years ago bee keepers noticed something drastically wrong with their bee hives. They were empty. No worker bees. No drones. Just a dying queen and her young. There were no signs of what may have happened, no dead carcasses lying strewn about the hive or even inside. There was no clue of where the honeybee population had gone. The dramatic loss was experienced in both North America and Europe. It was estimated that between 50% and 90% of the bee population was MIA.
It was an alarming situation, one that needed to be remedied quickly. Bees are a linchpin in the food chain. Cross-pollination is done by birds, bats, beetles, butterflies, and especially bees. More than 30% of the world's crops are cross-pollinated by bees, in addition to 90% of the world's wild plants. In the United States, alone, more than $15 billion in crops, per year, are pollinated by bees. These crops include almonds, cucumbers, berries, apples, and alfalfa. Bees also produce more than $150 million of domestic honey annually. It's been estimated that the bee decline has cost the US over 5.7 billion per year. No bees mean fewer crops and lower crop yields which translates to ever higher prices the consumers must pay to put food on their tables.
When the missing bee phenomenon was first noticed in 2006, there were several theories put out to explain their disappearance. Termed Colony Collapse Disorder, since 2006 more than one third of all bee colonies in the US have vanished. It was surmised that global warming might have something to do with it, causing flowers to bloom earlier than usual. This would leave bees coming out of hibernation without the pollen necessary for survival. Some speculated that a loss of habitat brought on by land development or abandoned farms. Some even thought it might be caused by gardens planted with flowers not friendly to pollinators. Parasites such as mites were considered. All of these possibilities were studied in finding answers.
Bayer pesticide and Monsanto adhesive is known to be toxic to bees, now 1 billion dead
There was another possibility, a possibility that had previously already done damage to other species of wildlife. A possibility that was more than just possible. It was more than likely. Pesticides. There are some toxic pesticides designed to kill pests that are equally as deadly to honey bees. In fact some of the pesticides have already been banned in other countries but the US is always slow to take action.
In the years since the vanishing was first noted, the other theories have been ruled out. It's been proven that their disappearances are actually a result of pesticide poisoning. The two pesticides blamed for the deaths are clothianidin (known as Poncho) and imidacloprid (known as Gaucho, Advantage, Amigo, Premise, Admire, Merit, Prothor, and Winner). They are manufactured by Bayer.
Corn is our most important crop and is in just about everything, but it has an adversary known as root worm. The worm attacks the roots of the plant and causes withering and eventually death. Entire crops can be wiped out by the pest. Though the problem can be countered through crop rotation, such practices can be costly to the farmer through lowered profitability if the crop alternated in place of the corn isn't a high demand crop.
Bayer tackled the problem of root worm and presented two new pesticides classified as neonicotinoids in 2003. They are now Bayer's top agricultural products. They work by coating the corn seed with the insecticide, but getting it to stick was solved by none other than Monsanto and an adhesive they developed. Even though both Agro giants were aware that the pesticides are toxic to bees, they justified their use because the seeds would be buried beneath the soil. They reasoned that it would be out of the reach bees and other wildlife.
Then, a year after the first disappearances were noticed with no explanation, Germany was suffering from severe root worm infestation which threatened their entire crop. The government ordered all steps be taken to eradicate the problem, including the use of neonicotinoids. Not long after the seeds were planted that spring of 2008, more than 300 million bees suddenly died. The result of continued use in this country is over a billion dead bees.
When the German government investigated the deaths it was discovered that the coating on the seeds didn't simply stay in the ground where it was buried. Abrasion caused by rubbing the seeds together during storage and planting caused the pesticide to become air borne. Germany was quick to bann the pesticide and issued strong warnings against its use, and according to a study completed, it was reported that 29 out of every 30 bees had been poisoned by direct contact.
The FDA gave approval though they KNEW of the dangers to the food chain!
It's unbelievable that the EPA knew of the dangers regarding clothianidin as early as 2003, yet allowed it to be marketed and used. “Clothianidin has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other non-target pollinators, through the translocation of clothianidin residue in nectar and pollin.”
The same report stated that the toxic substance is persistent and mobile and has the potential to leach into ground water, as well as runoff to surface waters. They acknowledged the pesticide is highly toxic to honey bees, killing 50% of the populations during testing. They acknowledged the lethal effects to larvae and the reproductive effects in the queen. They knew the dangers. They had to recognize the effects on the food chain and on the costs of foods as a result of killing off the bee population. They approved it anyway.
Interestingly enough, not only are the bees exposed through the nectar from plants, but through the high-fructose corn syrup they are fed by beekeepers. Almost all corn in the US has been treated with neonicotinoids, and therefore the pesticide is in the corn syrup, too. Bees that aren't being affected through corn pollen can be affected through the contamination on other plants left behind by an affected bee.
Neonicotinoids interfere with the bees' navigational ability in coming and going from the hive. It's believed they become “disoriented” and can't find their way back, often mingling with bees from other colonies, who will become affected by the contact. The higher the concentration of pesticide, the more quickly the bees die. Some who make it back to the hive only manage to then expose the entire colony.
When the truth became known due to the German crisis, Bayer gave lip service by claiming they had held discussions to develop measures for monitoring the seed coatings as well as...get this.... “technical optimization of pneumatic sewing machines.” I'm assuming they were implying that the problem was coming from dysfunctional seed storage bags.
Bayer's duplicity is rooted in history. Back in 1925 they joined forces with four other major American corporations to form IG Farben, a supporter of Hitler and the Nazi forces. IG Farben held the patent of Zyklon B, the pesticide used to kill millions of Jews in the Holocaust gas chambers. They owned 42% of the company that manufactured the poison. They also used Auschwitz prisoners to test their chemicals in human testing.
Monsanto is a company comprised of more of the same kind of greed and avarice. Their history is in suing small farmers over issues with their GMO crops. Their goal has been to squeeze out the small farmer who prefers to use traditional seeds and farming practices. By patenting their seeds, they are able to demand that farmers buy new ones every season. The traditional method of saving seeds from crops for next year's planting is banned because such seeds are protected under the patent.
For years farmers planted Monsanto's genetically engineered BT Corn which is supposed to produce a toxin that will cause pests to stop eating and die within hours of ingesting anything from the corn plant. However, Mother Nature has struck back, and now a new “super breed” of root worm has taken over the BT Corn devouring it rapidly. Year after year of corn being planted with no rotation has caused a new generation to be born which is resistant to the built in pesticides. Monsanto already controls more than 60% of the US corn market. With the recent addition of a GM sweet corn, Monsanto has a very high stake in the outcome of the honeybee question.