News & Notes

Honey Bee Die-Off Caused By Multiple Factors Including Pesticides

  • submit to reddit

A carniolan honey bee works the hyacinth in Washington Park in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A carniolan honey bee works the hyacinth in Washington Park in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

A federal study attributes the massive die-off in American honey bee colonies to a combination of factors, including pesticides, poor diet, parasites and a lack of genetic diversity. Nearly a third of honey bee colonies in the United States have been wiped out since 2006. The estimated value of crops lost if bees were no longer able to pollinate fruits and vegetables is around $15 billion.

The report comes on the heels of an announcement Monday by the European Union that they are banning the use of pesticides that may be harmful to bees for two years. The measure is being closely watched here because the insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, have been in wide use for the past decade. Many studies, including the study released today by the USDA, have made a link between the insecticides — which are used to ward off pests such as aphids and beetles — and honeybee deaths. European researchers will conduct further experiments over the two-year period to assess whether the chemicals are a contributing factor in “colony collapse disorder.”

U.S. beekeepers have been reporting annual hive deaths of about 30 percent or higher for much of the past 10 years, but this past winter marked the worst loss ever — nearly 40 to 50 percent or more. The loss was so bad that California’s almond growers had to scramble to find enough bees to pollinate the state’s 800,000 acres of almond trees this spring. Tim Tucker, vice-president of the American Beekeeping Federation and owner of Tuckerbees Honey, which lost half of its hives this past winter, told The Guardian: “Other crops don’t need as many bees as the California almond orchards do, so shortages are not yet apparent, but if trends continue, there will be. Current [bee] losses are not sustainable. The trend is down, as is the quality of bees. In the long run, if we don’t find some answers, and the vigor continues to decline, we could lose a lot of bees.”

In a “show of concern,” the Environmental Protection Agency sent three representatives to the San Joaquin Valley in California for discussions. A coalition of beekeepers, environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA last week for its failure to protect bees from harmful pesticides.

In Europe, the decision to institute the moratorium was not without controversy. BBC News reports that leading up to Monday’s decision, lobbying was “ferocious” on both sides. Nearly three million signatures were collected in support of a ban. Chemical and pesticide manufacturers argued that the science is inconclusive and that a ban could inhibit food production.

Experts at the USDA, EPA and others involved in the federal bee study concluded that there was not enough evidence to support a ban in the United States, and that the cost of imposing one could outweigh the benefits. They recommended further research be done.

Jay Feldman, the executive director of Beyond Pesticides, said in a statement, “we’re happy to see the EU take a leadership role to remove from the market these chemicals associated with colony collapse disorder and hazards to bee health. We’ll continue to push EPA through legal and advocacy means to follow-up with urgent actions needed to protect bees.” Find out more about the BEE Protective campaign and how you can protect wild bees in our Take Action section.

Watch Dance of the Honey Bee, a short film by Peter Nelson, narrated by Bill McKibben.

  • submit to reddit
  • Anonymous

    so… because we can not fix everything, we will fix nothing?

  • Anonymous

    Not to worry. Once the bee population is gone, there will be enough evidence to do something about it.

  • Anonymous

    “‘Experts’ at the USDA, EPA… concluded that there was not enough evidence to support a ban in the United States, and that ‘the cost’ of imposing one could outweigh the benefits (of saving the bees). They recommended further research be done.”

    that’s America for ya, always about the MONEY, and screw everything else.

  • Anonymous

    as David Brookbank commented the other day:

    “Said University of Chicago neoliberal economist Milton Friedman said: “The social responsibility of business is profit”. Period.

    Not a healthy environment. Not disclosure of chemical or environmental risks. Not clean water, Not clean air. Not a lead-free environment. Not education, Not free or even affordable health care. Not an educated populace. Profit. Period.

    This is the motto and the religion of this country. It is an illness that until eliminated will consume our planet and our lives and our humanity. Those seven words — the social responsibility of business is profit — explains the behavior of our corporations, or politicians, or media, and our military.

    What is Friedman’s phrase the definition of? Capitalism. Period. Privatize profit and externalize costs. I get rich, you get sick. I get rich, you get poor. I get rich, you get an oil spill. I get rich, you get a phony democracy. I get rich, you get a war.

    “The social responsibility of business is profit” Period.”

    cont… http://billmoyers.com/2013/04/29/your-body-is-a-corporate-test-tube/#comment-880197617

  • psycholib

    Think Monsanto might have a role in these policy decisions? Nah….

  • Anonymous

    oh well, the predatory capitalists have come up with a novel ‘solution’:

    ‘RoboBees’ http://www.activistpost.com/2013/04/robobee-robotic-pollinators-to-replace.html harbinger of a world so toxic that you’ll need to be imbued with nanotechnology & mechanical enhancements just to survive breathing the air. A Machine World.

    “Madness on the cusp of insanity. It amazes me how mad scientists squander money on expensive and useless technology when nature at its finest is irrefutable. What is more genius than a Bee? It will not be replaced by expensive junk science. This is all the result of an Age of Usury doomed to crash and burn like hell fire. Dr. Frankenstein would be proud.”

    “By rights, Harvard should have earned a reputation as a source of stupidity and corruption, from early investment in GWB to the latest presidential poser, an endless stream of its globalist lackeys are hired to be the Deciders. Brilliant. Don’t ask if bees are the proverbial canary, if collapse in the food chain might await us if we turn agriculture into an industrial-military operation. Don’t question how ugly life is becoming under the new regime. Just keep on turning life into a machine.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1722985431 Pat Conway Crocker

    They just banned a class of pesticides in the EU shown to be a cause of the problem …. waiting for what here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1722985431 Pat Conway Crocker

    And we’ll be importing our food from the EU because we can no longer polinate our crops! Smart!

  • texasinnie

    Did you read the article at all? I will never understand people that comment without reading.

  • The Grey Mouser

    Don’t believe the hype people! This article is a runaround!

    This scientific paper shows strong evidence that feeding bees High Fructose Corn Syrup to replace the harvested honey is killing them!

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/04/26/1303884110

    Look at that image with all the spiraling arrows , meant to distract you from the veiled reference to the real problem: In the ‘bee food supply’ box: ‘less variety’

    It’s clear who’s paying for this article, and they got the message they paid for.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1396573904 Rick Venturi

    The fact is anywhere they have banned pesticides containing “neonicotinoids” the honeybee population has come roaring back. If it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, IT’S A DUCK!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dam.spahn Dam Spahn

    Human stupidity, greed, and hubris. Honeybees aren’t the first casualties from this genetic defect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.elgee.5 Pat Elgee

    I haven’t seen a lightening bug for years. In FL during a heavy rain, the sounds of tiny frogs is louder. After a rain, puddles are filled with pollywogs. Then trucks come and spray. We get poison for the mosquitoes, pollywogs, frogs, birds, people. Stupid.

  • Anonymous

    The EPA says that there is not enough evidence to support a ban on the neonicotinoids. That translates in plainspeak to: the EPA says there is not enough money being paid counteracting the money being paid by the insecticide lobby to support a ban. EPA also said there was not enough evidence to support banning asbestos for almost three decades after Europe had banned its use, before they finally banned it. Our government is corrupt, bought and paid for top to bottom. This is certainly no longer the country I signed up to fight for.

  • The Mousetrap

    Incorrect.

    The bee-keepers feeding the bees high fructose corn syrup only decreases their immune systems, making them more susceptible to poisoning from the pesticides.

    That argument is like saying, oh, don’t move away from the radioactive waste dump, just eat more vegetables. That argument is trash and in my mind, probably industry lobbyist dis-information. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if YOU are an industry plant, with your nonsense logic trying to trash real science.

    Get the hell off my internet.

  • Anonymous

    Its terrible and I agree with you, but its also why we don’t have Malaria in the South… I don’t know which way to lean. Its a terrible thing

  • Evelyn Perez

    FIU alumn Stephany Alvarez-Ventura ’09, MS’11 studied colony collapse disorder and the effectiveness of different methods for controlling Varroa destructor mites, the parasite that spreads viruses in the colony that causes them to disappear. Stephany made some great recommendations for sound farming and beekeeping practices and policies to better honeybee colony health and, subsequently, long-term food security. Check out this video: http://news.fiu.edu/2013/04/researcher-finds-answers-for-food-security-with-honeybees/59175

  • Anonymous

    even the Honeybees are clever enough to know that feeding them CORN SYRUP—instead of THEIR HONEY—is bad for them, and certainly not what nature intended. high-fructose corn syrup is also extremely unhealthy for humans, yet it’s in almost all processed foods we buy.

    in the end, most of our problems are the result of human GREED and stupidity, for the sake of short-term profits. predatory capitalism is killing the planet, and us.

  • Anonymous

    “We’ve been stealing the bees’ honey and instead feeding them high fructose corn syrup. The problem isn’t so much the fructose as the absence of chemicals in the honey.

    Bees are exposed to a huge variety of plants because they gather nectar from the spring through the fall. The honey they make from these diverse nectar sources varies according to locality (leading to the unsubstantiated belief that eating local honey can alleviate seasonal hay fever). And bees’ “immune systems”—detoxification enzymes used to rid the body of foreign chemicals, like pesticides—are known to be induced by different stimuli than those of other insects. So scientists decided to check whether any components of honey can induce bees’ detoxification enzymes.

    They started by separating honey into four different fractions and feeding each individually to different sets of bees to determine whether any induced a known detoxifying gene. The most active fraction contained p-coumaric acid, a structural component in the outer wall of pollen grains. Then they looked to see what other genes p-coumaric acid might induce and found twelve more detoxifying genes as well as two antimicrobials.

    Commercial beekeepers feed bees high fructose corn syrup instead of honey for the same reason that commercial food manufacturers feed it to us: it’s cheaper. But it’s only one of the problems the bees face. In the 1980s the varroa mite, Varroa destructor, started attacking bees in the US, so pesticides were introduced into beehives to kill the mites. This research suggests that swapping out honey robbed the bees of things they need to rev up their detoxification systems just when they needed it most—as they were exposed to an increased load of both pathogens and pesticides.”

    continue reading… http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/05/feeding-bees-corn-syrup-may-leave-them-vulnerable-to-colony-collapse/

  • Anonymous

    USA Inc. is a corporation, not a country

  • Anonymous

    Nice to know we (the US) does not need more time to decide to do nothing.

  • Dano2

    Precautionary Principle be d*nmed! Profit Principle is how we roll here.

    Best,

    D

  • rwcoons

    Pesticide use in the Hudson valley has declined dramatically since about 1980 because very few orchards are left. Yet native honey bees have disappeared since the varroa mite appeared.

  • Fozz

    Not a word about GMO’s?

  • http://twitter.com/robin_solis Robin S

    The pesticides can lower immune systems -thus the graduated decline. So the other factors –including mites–can have an increased effect on the bee that would not normally (in the last millenium) happen.

  • LizNOLA

    Urban beekeepers! Help us by letting us keep our hives in your neighborhoods. I had to move one small hive from a urban farm because one of their staff members was afraid of a hive tucked in a corner off in the back of the composting area. She wanted a six foot wall built around it. This was an urban farm! They have that level of misinformation and ignorance… imagine the day-to-day conversation with other people. Help by letting us keep hives in the back of big yards or on top of roofs. True allergy is not common (0.5%, and people know it and usually carry epi-pens). And unless you are swatting and messing with the bees you will rarely be stung. Feral hives, all over cities, are the ones people stumble into, get stung, that swarm uncontrolled…

  • LizNOLA

    This is just a video press release. Where is the study. I keep bees and I go to peer-reviewed studies and listen to the long-time keepers for advice. Have her publish where we can read her science. That would be helpful.

  • Guest

    I live in the middle of about 2000 acres and I can grant permission to house hives on 23 acres, which are accessible. These acres have access to water and have never been sprayed in as long as I have been here. I can not speak about the aerial spraying by our government nor will they speak honestly about it, either.

    Directly off Hwy 140 on the way into Yosemite National Park.

  • Guest

    NO< NO<NO!!!! The problem is with stupid or lazy human beings who buy High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Spend more time in the store and make sure everything you buy is free of ALL crapola and then go home and COOK.

    Lazy people equal Fat People and who needs that pollution? On the other hand, we need healthy, happy bees.

  • Anonymous

    This is not an answer. Saving bees does not necessarily mean just keeping more of them. We are in London. In the UK we do not have CCD.

    I am the Secretary of the London Beekeepers Association and a beekeeper. This post represents my own personal view. Everyone is right to be
    concerned about bees and there is a broad range of interconnected complex reasons affecting their survival. To add to the debate I’d like to outline our experience of London’s urban beekeeping movement. Firstly, there is no denying that this is a fabulously challenging and rewarding hobby and it rides high on the needs of urbanites to counter the stresses of modern life, the desire to reconnect with nature and learn about the provenance of food. Through the last five years there has been an unchecked growth in the number of hives here. The National Bee Unit (NBU)records a doubling of hives in the last four years with about 5000 colonies in the Greater London area. Self appointed ‘saviours’ of
    the bees have profited from setting up hive maintenance schemes which big
    businesses subscribe to thinking they are ‘saving bees’. In London this
    practice of rooftop beekeeping is now thought to be misguided by beekeeping associations, environmentalists and academics. Correspondingly,there has been a upsurge in the public becoming beekeepers. A good thing, right? Yes, in some ways and as the main beekeeping association in London we have been very busy
    meeting this interest with training new ‘wannabees’. What this interest has
    also meant is that many crash into the hobby without training .. 34% start
    without ANY training at all which is a worry given you are taking on a box of
    60,000 stinging insects. We have seen many well-intentioned projects promote beekeeping push out ill trained keepers and an enormous strain has been put on local associations as we mop up the mess of those who lack the husbandry skills to care for their bees with many losing bees to disease or swarming in just a few months. This is not saving bees. Big businesses should be cautious about jumping onto the bandwagon. Head of Nature at Friends of the Earth coined the phrase ‘bee bling’ for firms simply wanting to ‘get’ bees to save them. In very central London the NBU records 1800 hives in a 10sqkm radius where only 20% of the space there is green space much of which is of zero value to bees. Research is about to suggest that the city cannot sustain this number of bees and whilst piling bees into cities the question ‘is there enough for them eat’ has to be asked. Businesses here have done a sharp reverse turn in
    the last few months with many now focusing on planting for bees which benefits pollinators and people. Saving bees doesn’t necessarily mean keeping them and we are all beekeepers whether we keep them or not. Plant for bees is the message from London and if you want to become a beekeeper get trained. Businesses would be far better advised to donate money to research and improve the environment for bees. But ‘having’ bees is ‘sexy’ and there is many a media mile to gained but firms would be well advised to think about whether this really is helping the honeybee. It certainly isn’t helping the bumblebee who are crowded out of ever scarce pollen and nectar supplies in cities as they compete with millions of introduced honeybees. Habitat loss, the use of pesticides and the commercialization of pollination (where bees are moved about
    the country)maybe areas to consider before getting ‘bee bling’.

  • Leia

    Well, how about we start trying to solve the problem by banning the known pesticide problem?! a good start, no? better than listening to all the chemical companies and finding out too late that all the bees are dead which equals a severe shortage of food for the human population.

  • Hooymans

    When Europe’s bee populations rebound while North America’s continues to slide the proof will be irrefutable. Lobbyists have so thoroughly ensnared the political process that decisions to make sensible changes are next to impossible to get passed. Corporate interests need to reigned in severely, when it comes down to toxic trespass.

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile, here in the US, the Petro-chemical lobby is so strong, that we can’t even get a list of these pesticides in articles like this one… I remember how the Tobacco Industry argued for years how there was no conclusive evidence that cigarettes caused cancer! Ban these products until their manufacturers can PROVE they Don’t cause colony collapse.
    Monsanto and Bayer should be ashamed of themselves!!!

  • Peter L Borst

    I wish the media would get the story straight just once. A third of the hives are lost in an average winter, these days. But the numbers are brought back up in the summer so there is no net loss. In nature, this number is often far higher, populations can rebuild after even a 90% loss. The bees are OK. It’s the beekeepers that are fretting over the loss of profitability.

  • LizNOLA

    No, that wasn’t a complete answer – I get something out of it, I educate people, take classes, care for my few hives and it helps to keep diversity because I don’t ship our hives to CA for the almonds or WA and OR for the apples. There is not that density like London’s problem, where I live. By having a few bees we educate people, get people thinking, have a fabulous hobby, feel connected, have something for ongoing education.
    I feel the same thing about the density of hives. I am going to put all of mine in a rural area and leave only one in the city. I would like people to not be afraid of a hive nearby. I really enjoy taking care of them.

  • Anonymous

    Good for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerie.goodness Valerie Goodness

    Mr. Borst, it would be advisable to produce peer reviewed journalistic reputable sources to verify your post. Otherwise it will be perceived as what it is, garbage. Definition of a blog troll: one who posts vitriol argumentative lies for the purpose of division.

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerie.goodness Valerie Goodness

    The fact that was watered down is that the cause of bee decline is anthropogenic. Instead of trying to change the bees, we must change ourselves. Bees are not the canary in the cola mine, those species have already been killed off and we are still not learning from our mistakes. The only way to stop these companies is through their bank accounts. Stop buying their products and products for which their investors invest.Who matters more, bees or Bayer, Monsanto, and Dow?

  • Mr Rash

    Monsantos Roundup amoung other chemicals and there God Like image AKA Mr seed (they own the seeds) Ya just don’t f*#@ with mother nature. Lets talk about GMO’s.

  • Dave

    It is a serious issue. As a hobby beekeeper I have been struggling with 50-90 percent losses for 10 years. Mites are the biggest challenge in our area in my opinion but I expect the stresses are higher in heavily farmed regions. I think the article is good, but there is an error in the caption. The bee working the hyacinth is Italian not Carniolan. Carniolan’s are darker color.

  • David Spahr

    How many beehives do you have?

  • Anonymous

    I remember when Obama first got elected, all of the liberals going on about how he was going to “take care” of Monsanto. Well, he “took care” of them all right. They own him just like they own every other politician.

  • Airknocker47

    I have raised bees on and off my entire life. I am 65. I live in the corn belt, and have been keeping only one hive. I have lost the hive each year now for the last three years. The bee population simply dwindles in the late fall, a time when they should be setting up for winter. I have witnessed erratic behavior of my bees, bees that were healthy and vibrant one day, and falling on their backs, spinning around on the hive alighting board the next. This accompanied by aggressive rubbing of their legs against their abdomens, as if trying to remove an irritant. What changed from one day to the next? The only notable difference was that farmers were planting corn in neighboring fields. I’m not saying this is the cause. I am saying that I believe it to be. If it is, I’d wager that the frames of wax in my hive contain the contaminants which will affect the next colony.

  • Airknocker47

    This response I posted previously. I need to add – I feed my bees no corn syrup. I leave them their own honey.

    I have raised bees on and off my entire life. I am 65. I live in the corn belt, and have been keeping only one hive. I have lost the hive each year now for the last three years. The bee population simply dwindles in the late fall, a time when they should be setting up for winter. I have witnessed erratic behavior of my bees, bees that were healthy and vibrant one day, and falling on their backs, spinning around on the hive alighting board the next. This accompanied by aggressive rubbing of their legs against their abdomens, as if trying to remove an irritant. What changed from one day to the next? The only notable difference was that farmers were planting corn in neighboring fields. I’m not saying this is the cause. I am saying that I believe it to be. If it is, I’d wager that the frames of wax in my hive contain the contaminants which will affect the next colony.

  • Rick and tired

    Thank Monsanto and the infamous EPA for their lack of reverence for life

  • Happy Wanderer

    Which peers reviewed your post? I found it much more general and uninformative than Mr. Borst’s anecdotal information.

  • mike

    Monsanto must bee stopped before we all starve

  • Nikster

    i dont like this. its not good

  • Diane H

    Please consider wireless radiation as the cause of the bee die off:

    http://thefullertoninformer.com/the-end-of-the-birds-and-the-bees/

  • Charles Shaver

    So here’s where the main conversation is. As previously written about but not yet addressed on this page, I recall hearing of colony collapse disorder about the time I heard of toxic free monosodium glutamate (MSG) containing Auxigro being federally approved for spraying on crops in fields and groves. Since the U.S. FDA approval of the expanded use of added MSG in foods prepared commercially for human consumption in 1980, not only do we have a healthcare crisis in the U.S. we also have CCD. Just read this morning that Auxigro is no longer being sold in the U.S.; good news for the bees I think, with other very important factors to address, still. ‘Time will tell’ us, if there are any of us

  • RAY FRISTROM

    we have no one to blame but ourselves….get off your asses and get involved with what we can do to stop the carnage of the planet. It’s a living thing and we are killing it. get involved get going and kill your tele

  • carter

    oh man….Obama can be worked into ANY conversation it seems

  • RAY FRISTROM

    It is also sugar that is killing us. The food manufacturers have about 12 different sugars they name and all our food is contaminated with it. This substance is addictive and we all are hooked. do some research and you will see that the food industry knows about this . The FDA needs to do something because there is a pandemic here in the good ole USA

  • PeterfromMI

    Not sure “all of the liberals,” but yes, many of us liberals thought he would take steps to improve the EPA and USDA and decrease the influence of Monsanto and yes, many of us are disappointed.

  • Rose Westwood-Merrick

    We should be gathering info from the long-time beekeepers like Airknocker47, who know how to keep their hives health and have observed changes in their environment that seem to be adversely affecting their bees. I do not trust studies that are set-up by the pesticide companies because of their obvious bias. Bees are an essential part of one-third of our food production, including many “super foods”. The USDA scientists should be getting involved in tracking and fixing this problem all over the country, but Congress has to be funding this research and taking this problem much more seriously.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, he can. The liberals all beamed about how he would “take care” of evil Monsanto, but all he did was hire their executives and line his pockets with their campaign contributions. Might not be what you want to hear, but it’s the TRUTH.

    But, I guess the liberals are OK with Monsanto and their poisoning of the environment as long as Obama is OK with it……..

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’ll bet you were sooooooooo “disappointed” that you voted for him again, right?

  • Kat Hay

    Largely because there was no one else to vote for.

  • Kat Hay

    Really wonder what you’re talking about. You’re assuming a monolith on the left that parallels and equates to the monolith on the right, and it doesn’t exist.

  • Kat Hay

    Documentation? There is lots of divergent information and opinion on the bee die-off, but in my experience you’re alone in believing the bees are okay.

  • Anonymous

    Also in that term, “beekeeper practices” are the practices of forcing different queens into hives; and scraping and dumping frames as honey is harvested mechanically while and putting frames into different hives. I am sure that they can work for a percentage of hives but when so many are treated like that, it will destroy the cohesion of the species. I harvest my hives by hand and try to use the queens from the hives. Not as productive as the mass processes but I think we need to have a portion of all hives like that. My hives are urban and I think we need to support these different kinds of beehive keeping practices.

  • Anonymous

    What, Barry? Do you think that GOP would be move to protect us? What do you think – Romney would understand this issue?

  • Anonymous

    We will see when we watch what happens in Europe vs USA.

  • David Cleinman

    The almond issue would be solved by populating the area near the trees with bee-friendly flowers. Growers would not have to import millions of bees from thousands of miles away, via truck, which kills about a third of them before they ever get there! Only greed and laziness prevents such a simple solution from being implemented. The cost of planting wildflowers and perennials would be offset over time when bees are no longer needed via truck!

  • Anonymous

    Good, but it’s telling that in every article purporting to analyze this “disorder” the first red flag is that it’s “worth umpteen zillion dollars”. And how many almonds, oranges, brocollis, et al is that? and is there a replacement? [by the way, is murder a 'disorder'? death?]

  • Anonymous

    “a ban could inhibit food production”. So what about losing bees? this is so Republican logic…

  • carter

    I can go on any American site, read any article, and in the comments I will read – ‘blah blah blah…blah blah blah, Obama, blah blah blah’

  • Skeptic

    Not to worry. You can be certain that Dow or Monsanto is working on a genetically modified bee to resist the effects of RoundUp and other pesticides. Of course, bee keepers and farmers will have to pay a license or lease fee to keep the bees or have them pollenate the crops.

  • Anonymous

    Monsanto holds the patent for artificial/robotic pollinators.

  • Anonymous

    Yields are actually higher with ecologically sound farming than with strip farming practices. I have a cousin with a Masters in Organic Agriculture, because it makes more money. They are just being facetious, or ignorant because of short term gains on labor savings.

  • Ruth Choudhury

    Oh my gosh no!!! We had a swarm land on the the huge tree out-front of our apartment building early this year, thankfully our building manager was able to get them moved and not destroyed.

  • Gdave

    No, we are not okay with it, and I would have voted for a better alternative. There wasn’t one.

  • Anonymous

    So betty, I’ll assume that you are OK with Obama rewarding Monsanto for poisoning the environment and ruining the world’s food supply with GMOs, right? You talk about the “evil rich” but fail to mention all of the money that Obama received from Monsanto and big oil and how he keeps hiring their executives for high level administration positions.

    That you were good drone and voted for him doesn’t surprise me at all. The very fact that you vilify the “rich and powerful”, but look the other way a while Obama prostrates himself before them and takes their money makes you laughable. Just stay in line and shuffle along.

  • Anonymous

    hehehehehe……another Obama apologist who can’t face the truth: Obama is an utter FAILURE.

  • Anonymous

    hehehehe…..another liberal who is OK with Monsanto because Obama is OK with them.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, you’re right kat: if Obama is OK with Monsanto, then they must be OK……..

  • Anonymous

    So you were a good drone and did what you were told……..

  • Cynthia Davis

    apparently there was someone that developed a pesticide resistant bee. his home was raided and the bees confiscated. When he won in court to regain his bees he was told they had been “destroyed”

  • Liz

    For those asking about starting a honey bee colony – consider planting a garden with plants native to your area, and attract NATIVE bees which are even better! And you’ll benefit other important pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, etc. Reduce the amount of lawn you have and eliminate the use of pesticides and other chemicals in your own yard. The grass and non-native exotic plants that so many have in their yards amount to nothing more than an ecological desert. Plant native, and the pollinators will come!

  • jabyssal

    Anna, I think the pesticide genes, that are inserted into the GMO corn DNA, come from Bacillus thurningiensis. Monsanto assures us that it is safe. I can assume it is good for their stockholders. I wonder what it does for people? It is evidently not too good for the bees!

  • Lesley Kupferer

    There is a way!!! Find your local agriculture center! More likely than not there is a Bee Keepers’ Association in your area. I joined the one in my area and found that not only can you learn from other bee keepers, but many Ag centers offer free classes. My advice to anyone just learning is to start your first hive in the Spring. Winter is hard on bees (especially in colder environments) and can be especially challenging to a new Bee Keeper. Best of Luck!!

  • Anonymous

    The Bt toxin is an insecticide which is in every cell of the plant, and poisons anything that tries to eat it. It is also an antibacterial/antibiotic which has been shown to destroy friendly flora in human guts, leading to leaky gut syndrome, allergies and disease.

  • jabyssal

    Isto, do you have any references you could share? My understanding is that the greatest threat from GMO’s is the potential loss of genetic diversity, especially with wind pollinated crops such as corn. I have a masters in molecular genetics and can understand most of the generalities involved. Monsanto is only worried about their bottom line…$$$

  • Anonymous

    Please, please, please do not let the EPA do anything!!! They kill anything they regulate!

  • Anonymous

    I just read tons of articles that are saying bees are making a massive comeback. Its difficult to do research online because the articles are not edited or verified to be factual or false. I have noticed more bees over the last couple of years. I had a wild flower and herb garden, which attracts many bees among other things, and I have seen many more honeybees over the last couple of years.

  • hypnotoad72

    Is this issue not serious enough to address, given the stated economic cost and repercussions of that… Never mind people and the environment. Can’t the economy adapt in favor of big issues like this?

    Or is all this just a big scare devised by liberals?

  • hypnotoad72

    And companies can regulate themselves which is why trickle-down has been an increasing utopia for the working class since 1982…

    why not defund the EPA and then gripe it can’t do its job too…

  • hypnotoad72

    So gets job there after outcompeting competition. Solution is simple!

  • hypnotoad72

    If it’s proven then we need real change. These aren’t worthless ants being wiped out…

  • hypnotoad72

    Or Nostradamus or any other Wanda Worrier(tm)… Just write it as vaguely as possible and it will fit. Simple.

  • hypnotoad72

    What does racism have anything to do with this?!

  • hypnotoad72

    Sticker price vs net cost. The casino known as wall street (where your retirement money resides safely) prefers sticker prices.

  • hypnotoad72

    Now there is an example of a regulation that could be rmoved.

  • hypnotoad72

    Like they know how or want to?

  • hypnotoad72

    Have you ever heard the expression, “the lesser of two evils”?

  • hypnotoad72

    You mean, the lesser of two evils?

  • hypnotoad72

    If he did something, you would whine about cost – despite every tax cut in the name of “companies can regulate themselves” that helped create the deficit problem, right along with corporate welfare given to companies that offshore. Get real and get over your hubris.

  • woodguy11

    I guess a good place to start would be your home.Plant bee friendly flowers……compost……turn off the lights when not in use…..consume less ….half the stuff we have we don’t need…..anyway ,most of it is made in china …wal mart hobby lobby etc.,etc.

  • Anonymous

    I guess you are OK with former Monsanto executives running the Agriculture Department and the FDA, right? I guess you are OK with Obama taking millions of dollars from Monsanto and their interests, right? The liberals are OK with Monsanto and their poisoning of the environment as long as Obama is OK with it…….

    hehehehehehe…..the part of your post that is the most hilarious (although predictable), is where you blame Bush for problems unrelated to this article without saying his name. Classic liberal deflection.