Bees are unwittingly killed daily by well intentioned, albeit ignorant gardeners using pesticides. Most recently, Naled, a deadly poison developed in 1959 and never tested since, was sprayed from airplanes in a fine mist in attempts to kill the Zika mosquito, decimating millions of bees. Yes! Millions! Daily other pesticides are used in smaller amounts containing Clothianidin, Carbaryl, and neonicotinoids, or neonics. All will poison honeybees, bumblebees and monarch butterflies as well as all the pollinating species.
It’s important to know that although some insecticides kill the bees instantly on contact, others have slow effects that may last for up to 3 days before the bee dies. Neonics are slow acting. The treated seeds sprout into crops that when eaten by the insects act by slowing down their nervous system, shutting it down, causing the bees to lose their ability to learn and communicate.
We all agree that controlling many insects is important, especially when those insects cause devastating harm, such as the Zika virus. However, while attempting to control the short-term danger, we cannot afford to create long-term even more damaging danger.
If we don’t act now to save the bees it might be too late. And no bees will mean an end to your favorite fruits and vegetables. Can you imagine life without almonds, apples, apricots, avocados, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, olives, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, onions, pumpkins, melons, peanuts, soybeans, sunflowers? And the list goes on to include honey which is part of many foods we enjoy.
Celebrate September National Honey Month. Help save bees.