by TripleJ Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 02:13:12 PM PDT However, in Germany where they still teach science they published an article about the toxic nature of Monsantos Triple Hybrid GM corn and it's effect on bees in '05. Why won't the media here mention that GM corn is the likely cause of the bees disapearing? Could it be that Monsanto is a massive multinational corp with a market capitalization of 30 billion dollars?? Of course insects are seen as pests by most people. Most people who passed Earth Science class in highschool understand that every part of the food chain is important and some, but not most, understand that bees perform a task that vital to our survival.
TripleJ's diary :: :: Albert Einstein once predicted that if bees were to disappear, man would follow only a few years later.
That hypothesis could soon be put to the test.
Now in Spain, hundreds of thousands of colonies have been lost and beekeepers in northern Croatia estimated that five million bees had died in just 48 hours this week. In Poland, the Swietokrzyskie beekeeper association has estimated that up to 40 per cent of bees were wiped out last year. Greece, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal have also reported heavy losses.
The depopulation of bees could have a huge impact on the environment, which is reliant on the insects for pollination. If taken to the extreme, crops, fodder - and therefore livestock - could die off if there are no pollinating insects left.
German bee expert Professor Joergen Tautz from Wurzburg University said: "Bees are vital to bio diversity. There are 130,000 plants for example for which bees are essential to pollination, from melons to pumpkins, raspberries and all kind of fruittrees - as well as animal fodder - like clover.
"Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition. Bees from one hive can visit a million flowers within a 400 square kilometre area in just one day.
"Bees are not only working for our welfare, they are also perfect indicators of the state of the environment. We should take note." -from www.dailykos.com by triple
Current situation of bees' decline In 2001, Bayer also brought a judicial case against Maurice Mary, one of the leaders of the French association of beekeepers for disparagement of the chemical Imidacloprid. The action was dismissed by the judge in May 2003.
In 2003, agricultural Minister Jean Glavany again extended the suspension of the use of Imidacloprid on sunflower seeds.
In spite of a 4 year ban already on sunflower seeds treatment, a significant drop in bee individuals is still observed. Beekeepers were cited as saying the measure was insufficient, as studies found that Imidacloprid left a residue which meant that even after two years, plants sowed on the same spot as the crop originally treated contained traces of the product.
Some also suggest that the bee colony losses could also be due to the use of imidacloprid on corn as well, or by the replacement of it by another systemic insecticide called Fipronil. Indeed in May 2003, the DGAL (Direction Générale de l'Alimentation du ministère de l'Agriculture ) indicated death of bees observed in the south of the country had been caused by acute toxicity by Fipronil (as the active chemical in the systemic insecticide called Regent), while it was recognised Imidacloprid had no responsibility in the bees death. Some national field studies are currently under way (2003) to assert the responsibility of Imidacloprid.
A similar battle is occurring in Nova Scotia, where beekeepers are accusing Imidacloprid used on potatoes for massive losses of bees needed for blueberry pollination.
Have you heard anything about possible effects on bees of plants genetically engineered to contain Bt? I went to a lecture on genetically engineered trees and one of the issues discussed was the development of trees engineered with Bt, which had Bt (used as a pesticide) in every cell of the organism. I started thinking about possible implications of this for bees--if a plant has Bt in every cell, it will be in the pollen and nectar too, won't it? Which bees carry/eat. Seems like this might be another possible culprit but haven't heard it mentioned yet among all the possible causes being discussed for the disappearance of bees.
Other problems with the whole genetically engineered w/ Bt thing included Bt leeching from the roots into the soil and ground water (eeeeeek), also selection for Bt resistant insects which is bad news for organic farmers, since Bt is commonly used in organic farming.