Film Screening: Vanishing of the Bees Public Forum Group Broome Community College Communications Department
The newer systemic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, have become the fastest growing insecticides in the world. Two prominent examples, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are used as seed treatments in hundreds of crops. Virtually all of today’s genetically engineered Bt corn is treated with neonicotinoids.
Bee colonies began disappearing in the U.S. shortly after the EPA allowed these new insecticides on the market. Even the EPA itself admits that “pesticide poisoning” is a likely cause of bee colony collapse.
These insecticides are highly toxic to bees because they are systemic, water soluble, and very pervasive. They get into the soil and groundwater where they can accumulate and remain for many years and present long-term toxicity to the hive. They enter the vascular system of the plant and are carried to all parts of it, as well as to the pollen and nectar. Neonicotinoids affect insects’ central nervous systems in ways that are cumulative and irreversible. Even minute amounts can have profound effects over time. And the little bees are being exposed over and over again as pesticides become more necessary due to monoculture.
Monoculture is the growing of just one type of crop on a massive scale and is another variable contributing to CCD as there is no such thing as monoculture in nature!
Farmers used to be diversified… cows, pigs, chickens, and vegetables could be found on every farm. But today, fields of corn and soy stretch for hundreds of miles. Commercial bee farmers are no exception and have fallen prey to this agricultural model. Pests LOVE monoculture, so massive quantities of pesticides are required to crash the pest party. Beekeepers used to move beehives away from spray zones, but now this is nearly impossible. The chemicals seep into waterways, air, soil, and are incorporated into the plant itself, from the seed on up, as well as into adjacent fields.