Bohemian Mojo has been following the nightmare unfolding in our fields, pastures and orchards with the terrifying collapse of the honeybee population.
Like others we’ve watched it happening with a sense of despair and disbelief. How could mankind do this we ask ourselves? We realize the implications this collapse holds for the human food chain will be dramatic. After all around a third of our fruits, vegetables and cereals depend on bees for fertilization. A third is a lot; a hell of a lot. But here we are again.
Man biting one of the many hands of nature that feeds him as he sprays the land with toxic chemicals that poison the environment in the name of Big Ag. Seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides are planted then sprayed with glyphosates like Roundup. Deadly. Then there are the other poisons thiamethoxam, chlorpyrifos, clothianidin, cypermethrin, deltamethrin, fipronil, imidacloprid and sulfoxaflor.
The names are a lexicon of devastation straight out of a horror story and that’s just what it is being as the scientific community blame these dreadful, test tube concoctions for the drastic decline in bee populations worldwide.
Bee society is harmoniously organized, their instinctive honeycomb geometry is a wonder and their unfailing navigation skills a miracle. All this is being devastated by chemicals. Surely these magical and traditionally sacred creatures deserve our respect, admiration and protection.
In the USA the bee keeping community (they have a very special way of life) are battling with Colony Collapse Disorder a phenomenon laid at the door of glyphosate sprays like Monsanto’s Roundup.
It’s an incredible devastation. Bret Adee, the world’s largest beekeeper, saw his empire of queens collapse from 70,000 hives to 40,000 with a loss of an incredible two billion bees.
No surprise the US the beekeeping and sustainable farming communities have begun a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency who failed to enforce insecticide legislation on neonics.
The EU, terrified at the prospect of losing their bees, have banned the three nastiest neonics and Poland has banned Monsanto products from the country entirely. Meanwhile 150 million acres of US soil are being ‘dressed’ with neonic seeds while 42% of the nation’s bee colonies have been killed.
Science reckons neonics are 10,000 times more powerful than DDT and French researchers say where they don’t directly kill bee colonies they enfeeble them and make them vulnerable to fatal attacks by the varroa mite.
They also poison birds, bats and butterflies – all vital pollinators in their own right. Neonics have even been found present in the liver of deer. Oh, I nearly forgot, they kill worms too and the fungal microweb of the mycelium; both so vital to the health of our soil.
All these thoughts came to mind when Food Fight saw that European supermarket giant Aldi was banning all produce treated with any chemicals harmful to bees. Bravo Aldi! We don’t care whether it’s conscience or enlightened self-interest and the bottom line behind your decision. You’re doing the right thing.
But what, we wondered, has Monsanto done to address this problem of bee decline? It didn’t take long to find out they’d bought their way into the opposition. Monsanto are leading members of the Honey Bee Health Coalition. Yes, that’s right the Honey Bee Health Coalition!
They proudly proclaim it on their website and state that ‘a US Department of Agriculture report confirms there a many causes that compromise bee health, including pathogens or diseases, poor nutrition and pesticides.’
The mention of pesticides is an afterthought and certainly no mention they affect the immune system allowing pathogens and diseases to take hold and impairing feeding.
But Monsanto went further and in 2011 they bought out the world leader in bee decline research – an Israeli company called Beeology.
At this point I begin to get a cold chill of fear and the tropical disease Zika which is currently big news comes to mind.
It’s sweeping across the Americas carried by mosquitoes and causing a global panic but what you may ask has Zika got to do with bees? I’ll try to explain.
Zika was first discovered and indeed patented by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1947 at Uganda’s Zika Forest where they were looking for Yellow Fever samples.
Since then, believe it or not strands of Zika DNA, have been sold commercially to GM companies around the world. Is this how Zika got it got into the Brazilian environment so far away from its African home? Someone in authority needs to investigate.
Add to this Frankenstein mix the release of 100 million genetically modified mosquitoes into Brazil and you can only expect trouble. They’re supposedly loaded with a fatal mutation to disrupt the breeding cycle of the natural mosquitos in the country.
Their natural counterparts however are already developing resistance to the planted (currently about 3% of them in field trials) and we have the foundations of yet another GM nightmare. What are these unrestrained GM scientists doing?
And so I come back to the humble honey bee and my profound fears for what may be going on unseen on some scientist’s DNA chopping board.
Monsanto is a GM company. They make their enormous profits by genetically engineering seed DNA to make it tolerant to Roundup There is a world wide problem with bee decline linked to the pesticides they and other corporations produce. How do they respond?
Surely they wouldn’t try to engineer resistance to pesticides into the DNA of the honeybee? But maybe they would. Gene scientists in general have positioned themselves as the arrogant Master of Creation.
They may have released Zika into South America. They certainly played God with mosquitoes. Why wouldn’t they take proprietorial rights over the honeybee? It’s what they do.
This is pure speculation on my part. I have no evidence this is happening but it is a genuine concern given the record of gene corporations in the environment.
Bohemian Mojo's FoodFight believes the public is entitled to assurances that a GMBee is not being created and never will. If you read this Monsanto tell us you’re not experimenting with bee DNA to make hives tolerant to Roundup and neonics!
Let’s pray gene corporations will stop short of such a profound interference. Once such a chimera were released into the world no bee would be ever be the same again. A dreadful sting in the tail.