“37 Million Bees Found Dead in Ontario”, GMO Corn Field The Cause?

The Harvard study, led by noted environmental health researcher Chensheng Lu, is the first to suggest that neonicotinoids don’t simply ‘play a role’ like all the others. Instead, Lu and his team show that hives of bees exposed to levels of neonicotinoids that simulate agricultural conditions were 50% likely to be abandoned come winter time, with individual members dying from symptoms resembling CCD. These hives were not repopulated by young bees. Just in case you’re wondering, abandoning their hives for winter is not something bees do.

37 million bees were found dead in 600 hives in Ontario, Canada. The news spread like wildfire because people thought it was because GMO corn was planted nearby.

The Harvard study, led by noted environmental health researcher Chensheng Lu, is the first to suggest that neonicotinoids don’t simply ‘play a role’ like all the others. Instead, Lu and his team show that hives of bees exposed to levels of neonicotinoids that simulate agricultural conditions were 50% likely to be abandoned come winter time, with individual members dying from symptoms resembling CCD. These hives were not repopulated by young bees. Just in case you’re wondering, abandoning their hives for winter is not something bees do.
The Harvard study, led by noted environmental health researcher Chensheng Lu, is the first to suggest that neonicotinoids don’t simply ‘play a role’ like all the others. Instead, Lu and his team show that hives of bees exposed to levels of neonicotinoids that simulate agricultural conditions were 50% likely to be abandoned come winter time, with individual members dying from symptoms resembling CCD. These hives were not repopulated by young bees.
Just in case you’re wondering, abandoning their hives for winter is not something bees do.

Turns out millions of bees are dropping dead due to pesticides, (namely neonicotinoid pesticides) not so much GMO corn. Snopes.com (the urban legend debunking site) has found that the story of 37 million bees dying is in fact true, however, it’s not directly related to GMO corn.

“…The rumor started after OrganicHealth.com published an article titled 37 Million Bees Found Dead in Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field:

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives. 

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said…”

37 Million Bees Found Dead in Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field Read more at http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/gmobeedeaths.asp#9SCwGFr1G7cBIoxg.99
http://www.snopes.com/food/tainted/gmobeedeaths.asp

*** Original Article by Organic Health ***

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Two of Bayer’s best-selling pesticides, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The marketing of these drugs also coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European countries and the United States.

Nathan Carey another local farmer says that this spring he noticed that there were not enough bees on his farm and he believes that there is a strong correlation between the disappearance of bees and insecticide use.

In the past, many scientists have struggled to find the exact cause of the massive die-offs, a phenomenon they refer to as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). In the United States, for seven consecutive years, honeybees are in terminal decline.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. “We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies,” said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS’s bee research laboratory.

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute over 30 billion to the global economy.

A new study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that neonicotinoid pesticides kill honeybees by damaging their immune system and making them unable to fight diseases and bacteria.

After reporting large losses of bees after exposure to Imidacloprid, banned it for use on corn and sunflowers, despite protests by Bayer. In another smart move, France also rejected Bayer’s application for Clothianidin, and other countries, such as Italy, have banned certain neonicotinoids as well.

After record-breaking honeybee deaths in the UK, the European Union has banned multiple pesticides, including neonicotinoid pesticides.

SOURCE: Organic Health

It’s important to realize that the facts are the facts only when backed by evidence. There are numerous scientific studies which have linked chemical pesticides to large populations of bees dying. Bee deaths are being caused by pesticides. Pesticides that should be banned if they are causing this much devastating damage to bee populations. For without the bees to pollinate our crops we run the risk of food shortages and higher food prices. Now this might be a good thing for business in the short term, but long term it causes more damage than good and could usher in a famine the likes of which humankind has never seen.

It’s not fearmongering to tell the truth, even if it is scary or uncomfortable. This is alarming, as well it should be. Billions of bees dying is alarming. It should be a major concern, especially for farmers because it’s their livelihood. And it directly impacts our food sources. Period.

The question is, what can we do to fix this situation before it gets out of control?

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REFERENCES: Harvard Study Points To Pesticides as Cause for Millions of Bee Deaths
SNOPES: BuzzKill – Bee Deaths Urban Legend

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