Monday, 18 May 2015
There are myriad factors contributing to bee decline (other major causes including habitat loss, invasive species, disease, climate change and pollution) and we are fast approaching a point of no return. Ecosystems are extremely complex and fragile. If the insects & other pollinators who underpin them are no longer there, ecosystems will collapse and this will have a knock on effect like a pack of cards. If we don't treat this situation with the urgency it demands, there could soon be insufficient pollinators left to pollinate the planet's food crops…. never mind the 80% of Planet Earth's flowering pants that bees alone are responsible for pollinating. What is 'here' this year, might very well be 'gone' next year.
Do you eat apples? Tomatoes? Strawberries? Squashes? Meat? Would you be prepared to travel to where these crops (or the crops that are grown to feed them) are grown - and spend hours and hours hand pollinating them yourselves in order to have them produce their fruits for you to eat? If not, you really should make it your business to find out more about what's going on and do something about it, because once our pollinators have gone, they're gone. Extinction is forever….and forever is a very long time.
It is time now to wake up and take responsibility for what is happening in the world around us. Write letters to your MPs & MEPs asking them what they are doing about the situation…. boycott the companies that produce these pesticides and lobby the shops that sell them…. choose food that is grown without them… but above all, make it your business to become more informed! One of the main reasons these multinationals get away with controlling the food chain is because not enough people give a stuff. Knowledge is power; without it we are no more in control of our lives than a herd of sheep.
If you are reading this post, then you have access to a computer. If you are not already on top of the neonicotinoid issue, perhaps you could use your computer to google 'neonicotinoids and bee decline'. Or look up the scientific data that shows a single kernel of corn coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a song bird outright.
Then decide what you are able to do to help our beleaguered pollinators….whether it be planting the right flowers, creating more suitable habitat, or reducing the use of hidden pesticides in your food shopping. Whatever you do, no mater how small, you might just help tip the balance in favour of bees and other pollinators not becoming extinct!
Scientific and anecdotal evidence that neonicotinoids pesticides are killing bees - as well as other pollinators and wildlife - is now overwhelming. Yet I read today that the NFU are calling for the restrictions to be lifted so farmers can use these banned toxins on their oilseed rape crops. These crops do not even NEED to be treated with neonics.
As far as I can see, this has go nothing to do with feeding the world. It appears to be about £££££'s and $$$$$'s… greed… control… fear… and the hold the agrochemical multinationals have upon the world's food chain.
Ironically and alarmingly, whilst many counties are calling for more restrictions on the use of these highly toxic pesticides, the UK government actually opposed the current temporary EU ban….. and the National Farmers Union (NFU), who you'd have thought would care a great deal about the health of pollinating insects, have just submitted a request to the Government for a derogation that would allow farmers to use banned neonicotinoid treated seeds this Autumn. Yet these crops do not even NEED to be treated with neonics. See link below…..
NFU wants farmers to be able to use the banned seed treatments in oilseed rape crops sown this autumn
A few more important articles to save you having to trawl the internet….
Nearly one in 10 of Europe's wild bee species far extinction
Has Farming Lost Its Way?
The Drugs (Neonicotinoids) Don't Work
Bee die-offs are worst where pesticides use is heaviest