Monday, June 3, 2013

Got Bees?

These rhododendrons are everywhere this time of year.  I love spring! I remember, as a kid, having these flowers in our yard.  They attracted so many bees that I stayed as far away as possible. However, yesterday, I was able to pick a bunch of flowers and place them around my apartment.  I only saw a couple of bees. 

So, last night I finally took the time to watch the documentary called Vanishing of the Bees. The documentary goes into detail about the disappearance and death of honey bees in the United States. It discusses that if honey bees continue to vanish, it could prevent us from growing our own crops here in the US.

I'll be honest, I thought the movie was a little unorganized and left me with a lot of questions, but it did bring some extremely important issues to light. For instance, there has been a 30% decrease of honey bees yearly since 2007. Yikes!

Bees are crucial to the growth of crops, both in the US and everywhere else. They are used in farming to pollinate monoculture farms, which are farms that grow a large amount of one crop.  Most of the farms these days are monoculture. Without bees, these farms will not be able to grow their crop, which will force us to buy more food from outside of the US, raise prices, and become even more dependent on other countries.

The reason for the declining bee population is still being researched, or so we are told. However, bee keepers notice that when their bees visit farms that use pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, their hives fly off and die. One particular farmer filmed a bee pollinating an organic sun flower. This bee had a very organized and quick way of pollination. However, the farmer also filmed a bee pollinating a sunflower with damaging pesticides. This bee was disoriented, unorganized, and almost falling off of the flower. That is so alarming! These pesticides are made to kill insects. Who says they are only killing the targeted pest? Common sense says, that other animals and insects are going to feel the effects of this as well.

Parts of Europe are seeing the same decrease in bee population, but unlike the US, they drove their tractors to the state houses and burnt their dead bee hives right there to prove a point. Now, the government has put a ban on these pesticides for the next two years to see if the damage can be reversed.

This screams, EAT ORGANIC! Clearly, modern farming techniques are not only taking a toll on the health of the American people, but also our environment.  One day, it could prevent us from growing food to feed ourselves. These issues should not be taken lightly. We need to stop supporting the companies that cause these problems, such as Bayer and Monsanto. By choosing foods that have been genetically modified or sprayed with toxic chemicals, we are giving these companies our money and making them even stronger than they were.

Help our country and buy organic! Or go drive your tractor to the state house and make a point!

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