Bee Green, Bee Healthy

NPS Photo

Now that gardening season has arrived, it is time for the annual reminder about avoiding pesticide use.

For some years now, we have read the disturbing news about bee colony collapse disorder. The failure of a bee colony, know as colony collapse disorder (CCD), occurs when the inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and adolescent workers behind. The vanished bees are never found; it is likely that they die singly, lost, and far from home.

The loss of pollinators, especially bees, is devastating to food production.   Bees pollinate as much as one-third of the US food supply.

Many theories about the cause(s) of CCD exist and the causes are multiple.  One demonstrated cause is a pesticide called Clothianidin.  It is part of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. (Yes, cigarettes kill you and now nicotine is killing bees.) This pesticide, manufactured by Bayer Corporation and used to coat seeds (primarily corn seed).  It also appears in products manufactured by Bayer called All in One Rose & Flower Care.

An Earlier Product of Bayer

Bayer is a German company and while Germany has banned the use of clothianidin, the US has not (we’re still “studying” it).  So Bayer still sells it in the US (except in New York State).

So, this year when you’re ready to plant seeds, be sure to plant non-treated, non-genetically modified seeds. When the time comes that you’re reaching for the chemicals to solve a garden problem, take the time to find an organic solution instead.  It will make a huge difference to the wildlife who are at home in your garden.


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