Give A Damn: What’s Happening To The Honey Bees?

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From the beginning of restarting my blog, I knew that a big key of what I wanted was to find a certain balance between fantasy and reality. Yes, it’s nice to ignore the world for a second and talk about things that are a little less-pressing, but there is only so much of that I can take before starting to actually feel…guilty. It’s like, you’re going to take time out of your day to only write about that? You know those blogs. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I think with any communication channel you kind of need ‘the best of both worlds’, so to speak. So I think it’s a must to become a little more… conscious. My head is constantly spinning with everything our generation has to swallow, so it’s only natural to feel like maybe we should seek all the information we have out there these days. To never be in the dark, I suppose.

For starters; Reality. My reality at this moment is the anger I feel on how some overly important issues are pushed into a tiny holes in the media, like that little scrolling box at the bottom of the news- meanwhile they’re talking about…lamas?! I fucking hate that. Which is probably why I haven’t had cable in like two years (celebration!). Anyhow, today’s post is about a pretty serious issue for my whole generation, whether you know it or not (which is okay, you’re about to, so you’re in the clear). In other words: Hey young people! Like me! This is actually really important to us! You’ll like reading about this current issue, it’ll make you want to do something about it! Right?! 🙂

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Honey bees. You know, those little guys that are basically our lifeline for producing, oh ya’ know, most of our food. They are dying at alarming rates and not even scientists who study them regularly know why. It has gotten to be so bad, in fact, that we have a name for the masses dying off- “Colony Collapse Disorder” (CCD), which was coined in 2006.

The stamina of this issue has been slowly gaining more and more coverage, but interests currently seem to have hit a peak. The data of how quickly this issue should be tackled by the USDA and Environmental Protection Agency is pretty alarming; In years before CCD’s occurrence, commercial beekeepers were expected to lose around 10% to 15% of their colony, however, in the past five years, commercial beekeepers have reported losing around 28% to 30%. That’s a pretty alarming increase to say the least. Obviously, a lot of ideas are swarming around what could be the cause. Here’s a thought, maybe the fact we didn’t use pesticides (genetically modify crops beyond recognition, etc.) so heavily in earlier days. Just a small, fragile, idea of mine as to why these little guys are becoming so sick. No biggie.

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The catch, you ask? Pesticides, namely neonicotinoids, have been reported in the prestigious Journal of Science most recently as having a pretty big staple on bee’s health. So you would think this would make a big impact on the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency’s opinion, right?

Well, Bayer CropScience, the pro-pesticide guys (namely because they make the stuff), are saying it is completely safe- based on scientific evidence…(ready?!) that we let them conduct! Awesome!

So, as the US is currently sluggin’ the review of evidence on the harmful effects of this pesticide that may, indeed, be killing our bee population- the Europe Union (who is also dealing with this epidemic) said fuck that last week and formally enacted a two-year ban on the neonicotinoids until scientists had cold, hard, evidence that they do not cause CCD. Also, they aren’t letting Bayer conduct the research, so smart of them!

It a classic love story between the US and the EU, really. The EU’s love for the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ policymaking- for the greater health of their citizens, and the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ policymaking- for the guys who would rather pay big pesticide companies for their citizens (and bees) to get sick.

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The part that makes me so angry is that the EU has no greater evidence than the US government- yet they are taking a proactive stance towards this issue. So, I suppose if Europe’s bee population is thriving two years from now, and the American bees are still dying…we’ll know then, with 75% less food here in the US. Perhaps then we’ll have no choice but to cover this issue.

So, what do you think should be done?

Wanna’ know more or try to help? Here ya’ go.

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