Native bees in North America and Europe are dying in droves, due, according to scientists and environmental groups, the unrestrained use of pesticides in agricultural crops. In particular, they have pointed the finger at neonicotinoids (NNIs), which are produced by the chemical giants Bayer, Monsanto and the like around the globe. In Europe these chemical pesticides NNIs have now been banned; much to the consternation of the corporations making them. Wild bees and honey bees are dying along with the pests that these chemicals were designed to kill.
The pesticides affect the fertility capabilities of the insects, thus eradicating them from areas which have been treated or sown with crops that contain the treated seeds. The unforeseen outcome is that native bees which are essential for the pollination of plants are being wiped out. Dramatic and disastrous consequences are being predicted by green group spokespeople and concerned environmental scientists. It has been quoted by some that humanity will be destroyed if the bees are exterminated globally. People are marching in the streets to protest against the profiteering pesticide makers and demanding the banning of these chemicals in the US and in Australia. Canada has recently instigated much more rigorous controls on the use of NNIs by farmers in that country.
In the US where the profit motive has legendary status in this the modern home of capitalism, environmental groups are pointing the finger at the massive decreases in bee colony numbers. In some areas up to forty percent of bee colonies have been lost. Bayer and Monsanto say that it is the fault of the Varroa mites and that their products are innocent of any bee slaughter; honey bee or wild bee. Environmental scientists disagree and numerous recent studies show that a large body of evidence exists for the catastrophic effects on bee colonies. Infertility in bees poses serious problems for the natural cycle of life.
This seems to be another example of humankind’s technological meddling with nature, albeit hoping to improve the performance of what nature can produce, but not realising the unintended consequences to the rest of the food chain. The humble bee, a tiny little creature, has a huge role to play in nature in pollinating plants and flowers. If things do not get fertilised when they flower, fruits will not bud and there will be no food production from these plants and trees. Money making is a dangerous sole motivation when driving the food industry; a case of not being able to see the forest for the trees.