Honeybees: Population Declines Continue, Neonicotinoids Blamed By Some Scientists

Honeybees are once again declining in alarming numbers. The tiny insects play a huge role in the safety and security of the food supply. Honeybees pollinate approximately 71 percent of the global food supply. The bee population in America is at an historic low. Almost one-third of the bee colonies in the United States died each year – triple the rate of losses once deemed typical.

Neonicotinoids, a chemical used in commercial pesticides by biotech giants like Monsanto, are “dangerous” to bees, according to a more than 30 scientific lab studies. Due to wind, rain, and transfer from other roving insects, neonicotinoids sprayed on one lawn or farm can travel into other adjacent yards or onto organic crops. Wild dandelions, a staple for the honeybees, can also become covered by neonicotinoids when sprayed neotoxins are transferred due to weather or insect transfer.

Despite the neonicotinoids reports from multiple U.S. and Europe lab tests, the debate over the possible dangers of neonics products, such a Monsanto’s Roundup Ready, rages on. Approximately three-quarters of American farms are sprayed with the chemical pesticide annually. According to a USA Today report, half of the garden plants sold at Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe,s have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids.

The chemical insecticides might be addictive to bees, according to the USA Today report. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a 2014 Harvard study maintained that neonicotinoids are to blame for honeybee colony collapse disorder. The Harvard honeybee study, which was published in the Bulletin of Insectology, reviewed 18 honeybee colonies in Massachusetts for a one year. The honeybees research project revealed that even low doses of two types of neonicotinoids, clothianidin and imidacloprid, have an impact on healthy honeybee hives.

In March, President Obama was swarmed by four million environmental activists who converged upon the White House to push for more protections for honeybees. The coalition concerned coalition included food safety activists, beekeepers, citrus growers, farmers, environmentalists, and business leaders eager to submit a save the bees petition.

The honeybees rally outside of the White House occurred just before environmental protections were to be considered by the Pollinator Health Task Force. The task force was created by the White House in 2014. The Pollinator Health Task Force was reportedly created to develop new ideas, partnerships, and possibly regulations, to protect the honeybees.

Whole Foods Market hosted a “human bee-in” event to highlight how important the honeybees are to the continued growth of of the food supply and the survival of the human race.

“Imagine a world with no milk, yogurt, or butter. No cheese? No chance. Without pollinators, the dairy aisle would be a lot less plentiful. That’s why the Whole Foods Market Lynnfield store in Massachusetts demonstrated to shoppers how many of their dairy department favorites would cease to exist without bees. One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators, and pollinator populations are facing massive declines.”

What do you think should be done to help save the honeybees and protect the food supply? Should neonicotinoids be banned in America?

[Image via: Shutterstock.com]

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