February 26, 2014
Honeybees Get a 'Bailout' From The USDA

The USDA announced yesterday that the federal agency will spend $3 million to feed honeybees in the Midwest. The endeavor will reportedly aid ranchers and farmers in an effort to improve pastures. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, honeybees have been dying off in alarming numbers. Colony collapse disorder has largely been blamed on an increase in the planting of GMO crops and the use of chemical herbicides, like Monsanto's Roundup Ready.

Commercially used honeybees pollinate approximately $15 billion worth of producer in the United States annually. A host of beekeepers routinely relocate their hives to the Midwest in the summer in order for the insects to gather pollen and nectar. The bees are then transported by to California and other major growing states to pollinate a set of crops.

Colony collapse disorder plagues not only America, but nearly every nation around the globe. The decline of the honeybee population has often been blamed on GMO crops and chemical pesticides manufactured by Monsanto and other biotech giants. More than 90 crops grown in the United States require the aid of wild pollinators.

uropean scientists say they have discovered the problem behind the declining honeybee population, and pesticides seem to be the culprit.

The study by the journal Ecology Letters states that "extended periods of stress" can cause the failure of a bee colony. Scientists at the University of London believe that when bees are exposed to even low levels of neonicotinoids, behavioral changes occur and work inside the colony ceases. Neonicotinoids are one of the primary chemical ingredients in agricultural products manufactured by biotech giants Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, and Sygenta.

The bee colony collapse study also revealed that exposure to chemical pesticides like neonicotinoids in crop fields impact individual bees. The exposure to popular chemical herbicides and pesticides like Monsanto manufactures by even a single bee can cause a honeybee colony to fail.

Lead scientist John Bryden said:
"One in three mouthfuls of our food depend on bee pollination. By understanding the complex way in which colonies fail and die, we've made a crucial step in being able to link bee declines to pesticides and other factors, such as habitat loss and disease which can all contribute to colony failure. Exposing bees to pesticides is a bit like adding more and more weight on someone's shoulders. A person can keep walking normally under a bit of weight, but when it gets too much – they collapse. Similarly, bee colonies can keep growing when bees aren't too stressed, but if stress levels get too high the colony will eventually fail."
Ranchers and dairy farmers in Minnesota, Michigan, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota qualify for a share of the $3 million honeybee aid packaged offered by the USDA. The funds will reportedly be used to reseed pastures with clover, alfalfa, and other plants which appeal to honeybees and other common farming livestock.