Monsanto recently held a Honey Bee Health Summit to address colony collapse disorder. The bee population has decreased drastically around the globe in recent years. The biotech giant acquired Beeologics from an Israeli company in 2011. Monsanto is attempting to convince beekeepers that the GMO seed and pesticide manufacturer wants to be proactive in the fight to save the bees.
Even if you do not like honey or keep bees, the health and population statistics of the little buzzing creatures is still extremely important. Without bees to pollinate crops, the global food supply and human population would quickly perish.
When asked about the Monsanto bee summit, company researcher Jerry Hayes had this to say:
“The goal in my mind was pretty simple, to connect the beekeeping industry more closely to Monsanto, and to connect Monsanto more closely to the beekeeping industry. They’ve heard all the big scary stuff about the company. We want to raise their comfort level.”
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) first presented in 2006. Millions of beehives around the world lost more than one-third of their colonies. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, 37 million bees were recently found dead in Canada. Approximately 25,000 bees were found dead late last month in Oregon.
Scientists and researchers have surmised that insecticides, herbicides, parasitic mites, and viruses have all played a role in the bee population decreases. A new technology which will allegedly protect bees from the varroa mite was discussed during the Monsanto bee summit. A University of Kentucky report about varroa mites and bees stated that the external honeybee parasites attack not only adults in colonies, but the brood as well. A deformed brood is often a result after a varroa mite infestation.
An excerpt from the University of Kentucky bee report reads:
“They suck the blood from both the adults and the developing brood, weakening and shortening the life span of the ones on which they feed. Emerging brood may be deformed with missing legs or wings. Untreated infestations of varroa mites that are allowed to increase will kill honeybee colonies.”
Monsanto researchers at the summit denied claims that the biotech giant was planning to create genetically modified bees. Illinois beekeeper Terry Ingram’s story about having a Roundup Ready queen bee confiscated from his property along other necessary equipment, honey, and bees went viral. Ingram, like many other beekeepers, grew concerned about the impact of pesticides on declining colonies and had spent 15 years researching the issue. Ingram planned to raise the Roundup Ready resistant queen bee’s offspring to find out if the bee had somehow developed a resistance to the popular Monsanto product.
The bee population has been declining since 1997. In 2005, a significant colony reduction prompted alarm among both beekeepers and environmentalists. In 2007, apiaries noted losses which totaled between 30 to 70 percent of the colonies. Pesticides were labeled the primary suspect nearly immediately. Since that time, everything from climate change to cell phone signals have also been added to the list of colony collapse disorder possible causes.