The question of what’s been killing the bees has been roundly debated in the mainstream media for years, but it seems as if little is actually being done on the ground to address many of the root causes, especially neonicotinoid (toxic) seed coatings.
The makers of these seed coatings have continued their assault in what has become a lax regulatory environment, while beekeepers and wildlife have become caught in the crosshairs.
The Chinese-owned pesticide and GMO giant Syngenta for example proposed to dramatically escalate the use of these known bee-killing pesticides on the same day the EPA released a stunning new risk assessment showing its harm to birds and aquatic life, showing their lack of concern on the issue.
But now, beekeepers in one Canadian province are fighting back, filing a lawsuit on behalf of all of their colleagues targeting two of the biggest pesticide and GMO seed giants in the world.
Beekeepers Fight Back, Sue Pesticide and GMO Giants
According to this article from CBC News Canada, a lawsuit against Bayer and Syngenta has been given the go-ahead to proceed in Quebec Superior Court over the use continued use of neonicotinoids, the aforementioned seed coatings sold by the German and Chinese-owned companies.
The insecticides have been linked to declining honeybee populations because of their long-lasting, dramatic effects — killing bees slowly over time as their toxins contaminate the environment, according to two large studies confirming these effects recently.
These toxic chemical coatings specifically have negative effects on bee queens, lowering the reproductive capabilities of each colony and their overall numbers over time.
The Quebec suit was launched after Quebec queen bee breeder Steve Martineau began to notice more and more of his bees were dying or becoming incapacitated, his lawyer Samy Elnemr said. After examining the deceased bees, Elnemr said that Martineau found traces of neonicotinoids in the bees’ systems.
“We’re suing on behalf of Quebec beekeepers whose bees were non-productive or killed,” said according to the CBC article.
Altogether Martineau has lost about $20,000 due to the effects of these pesticides on his bee population, the article said, which is the amount he is seeking in damages.
How to Help Save the Bees This Spring
Since governments refuse to take action on bee-killing neonicotinoids, it’s up to the people themselves to help support those like Martineau who are on the front lines fighting for bee health and safety.
Despite evidence including a review of over 200 studies showing that they generally do very little to actually increase yield, the pesticide coatings are highly profitable and likely won’t go be phased out in North America for a long time.
In the meantime, you can help by planting bee friendly flowers and plants such as milkweed, lilacs, lavender, honeysuckle, mint, tomatoes, squash, rosemary and more.
Bees also need consistent sources of water on their long journeys, so put out water bowls or create designated watering areas in your garden to assist. You can also buy local, organic food and honey from farmers and/or the farmers market to assist those who support a synthetic pesticide-free, biologically diverse environment.
For a list of 15 of the best plants to help save the bees, check out this article from EcoWatch.com.