In Germany the giant chemical corporation, Bayer, attempted to sue Friends of the Earth over its claims that pesticides manufactured by Bayer were harmful to bees. The company failed in its bid to sue the environmental group. Bayer and other chemical manufacturers like Syngenta and Monsanto are continuing to lobby the European Commission to lift the ban on neonicotinoids (NNIs). The pesticide maker point the finger at the Varroa mites as the reason for bee colony decreases in Europe and North America.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a New York based environmental advocacy group, has filed a legal petition with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking for the withdrawal of its approval of the use of NNIs.
The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is an international coalition of NGOs and people who are all fighting against the use of pesticides in some sixty nations around the world. Decades ago it was people marching in the streets to save the whales, the largest creatures on the planet, and now people are marching in the streets to save tiny little honey bees; perhaps, we are progressing in our care and stewardship of the earth. Nobel Prize winning author Maurice Maeterlinck wrote in his, The Life of the Bee, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” Are we seeing the beginning of this terrifying scenario, only time will tell? This quote has been wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein but like a lot of things on blogs in the digital sphere there is much hot air blowing around without guidance.
Beekeeping associations in Canada have filed legal proceedings to prevent the uncontrolled use of pesticides like NNIs in their country.
Charles Benbrook, a research professor out of Washington State University’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources, recently estimated that NNIs are being used on around seventy five percent of agricultural crops. These pesticides are killing bees, which are the natural pollinators on the earth.
It is wild bees that are being most affected by the pesticides in canola seeds and other crops, their numbers are dropping far faster and in far greater numbers than those of honey bees.It is these wild bee pollinators which will be greatly missed by almond growers, watermelon growers and the like. The Xerces Society is a group concerned with the conservation of native bees and insects.
Other concerned environmental groups are the World Wildlife Fund, ACM Group Conservation Monitoring, Greenpeace, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the National Bee Unit, the Stinging Truth and Americans for Bees.