It’s been well established the neonicotinoids, the pesticides and seed coatings pushed by Bayer and other companies, are negatively affecting honeybee populations in a pretty drastic way.
But what we haven’t heard much about are the reactions of beekeepers to this news, especially considering that they are the ones who have to pay the consequences.
Recently one beekeeper from Minnesota named Steve Ellis was asked about the subject of the massive bee losses he’s experienced in his home state, and he didn’t pull any punches in describing the company and the effect it’s had on his business.
“From a Pollinator’s Perspective, They’re a Nightmare”
Ellis spoke candidly to the website East Bay Express about his issues as a beekeeper, and how he has lost as many as 10-70 percent of his bees in an incrementally growing trend that shows no signs of stopping.
He has been forced into buying bees from breeders instead of the colonies simply replacing themselves year-after-year, and he attributes the deaths in large part to insecticides that are growing in the environment.
“What changed in 2006 is the United States started allowing massive amounts of systemic insecticides to be used on crops,” Ellis said according to the article. “From a pollinator’s perspective, they’re a nightmare.”
Many farmers have similar experiences in the field to Ellis, who brings his bees from Minnesota to California to pollinate almond crops. Mysterious losses are often reported in huge numbers as bees are transported from place-to-place, and it’s not easy for farmers to deal with.
Buying bees from breeders can be extremely expensive for farmers like Ellis.
The Future of Bayer/Monsanto Bee-Killing Pesticides
While most of Europe has kept the pressure on Bayer and other companies who produce bee-killing neonics and other pesticides, here in America we have fallen woefully short.
And now that Bayer has bought Monsanto, a whopping 83 percent of farmers are “very concerned” about the merger because it may be able to drive up prices and decrease competition.
If Bayer is able to gain a foothold in the U.S., activists and concerned citizens and organizations worry that the Bee-pocalypse led by the company’s rampant use of neonics could continue to grow. The company could possibly control over 25 percent of the world’s seeds and pesticides market if all goes according to plan which will squeeze out organic options and competiton.
“It will make it more difficult for farmers to farm in any other way but a chemically intensive way,” said Finck-Haynes, a senior food futures campaigner for Friends of the Earth according to the article.
Bayer continues to say they will help people grow “healthy and sustainable food,” but Finck-Haynes disagrees.
“Bayer and Monsanto have promised this, but history always disproves them,” she said, adding that Bayer may be in debt by about $60 billion which they may try to repay by cutting jobs and doubling down on their best-selling toxic chemicals.