As our population continues to explode and our food supply is compromised daily by pesticides, fertilizers and GMO engineering, it is vitally important that we recognize the plight of our pollinators, most specifically, our honeybees.
In the last month globally, our honeybee population has been virtually wiped out!
In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report that found we have lost 31% of our bee colonies this past winter
The Central Valley of California is a focal point for most of the nations fruit production, the potential for loss both nutritionally and financially, is apocalyptic!
Beekeepers in Montecito, Monterey and Bakersfield, are all reporting losses this year. In fact the Central Coast beekeepers released a report in April of a 15% increase in deaths this winter from last.
In the face of this, tragically on June 19, 2013, 37 million dead honeybees were found in Elmwood, Ontario from 600 hives just after corn had been planted. The very next day, 50,000 dead honeybees were found in an Oregon parking lot. What did these stories have in common?
In Oregon, a state that has been quite vigilant in keeping it's environment as pristine as possible, the fact that 100 people showed up on Sunday June 30 for a memorial service for the bees, speaks volumes. Commercial beekeepers in 22 states have reported the deaths of tens of thousands of honeybee colonies. In the last year in total, we've lost 50% of our hives. China is also experiencing the losses and as a result, are "hand pollinating" their bees.
What is happening and what is the "accelerant" that is bringing the issue to a head?
Biggest Threat:While pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, electromagnetic low frequencies from cell phones weakens their immune systems thus leaving them vulnerable to: mites, the zombie fly (yes, that's what they call it), the gut parasite known as "nosema", disease; add to that, vandalism (I was dismayed to imagine people would purposely destroy bee hives for a quick "power fix") and these are the predominate threats; the most aggressive and insidious destroyer is a pesticide called "neonictinoid". Produced by Syngenta, Monsanto's Swiss counter-part; specializing in, you guessed it, seeds and pesticides. From a logical standpoint I ask: "In whose reality does "seeds & pesticides" make sense? Well, let's dig deeper.
In 2008, after much litigation regarding the ownership of patent over "neonicotinoid" insecticides, Monsanto and Syngenta (Syngenta had won an earlier litigation in 2001 in which the U.S. Patent Court upheld an ownership claim by Syngenta over Bayer for the rights to neonicotinoids) became cognitive partners in the global ownership of our food supply and it's organic "chain".
That chain is the "circle of life" they sing about in that commercially popular "Lion King", but this is the "real life" version that will inevitably collapse the pollinators in addition to our own "hive" as well. The collapse of the honeybee is a metaphor for that same position "humanity" now finds itself in and we must pay attention.
On Tuesday, March 27, 2013, after a huge campaign ensued to petition him not to; Obama signed in H.R.933 rider; section 735 protects biotech companies and their GMO's from regulation. In contrast, on April 29, 2013, on the heels of the people's clarion calls; the European Union voted to put a 2 year ban on neonicotinoids until further studies can be done, however it doesn't take a study to put the dots together.
In each of the above-mentioned tragedies, neonicotinoids was used on the agriculture/vegetation in the immediate vicinity. Whether this is an immediate response or cumulative effect, the fact remains, we are seeing a huge spike in the unexplained deaths of our birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates and other wildlife; that in fact, mirror the symptoms of the bees but are also systemic of many of today's leading health problems in our human populous.
What the bleep is it?So let's start with what the neonicotinoids do. Derived from nicotine, the pesticide is absorbed by the plant and then expressed in the nectar. It is a "neuro-active" meaning it targets the brain's mechanics. As it wears down the immune system, it leaves the bees in poor health and a target for any numbers of aggravates. This in turn gets passed onto the larvae weakening them from birth as they are being genetically altered and their lifespan decreased. Eventually, neonicotinoids cause paralysis and death in those who ingest it and remember, these chemicals get into the soil and the water systems as well, so this contamination becomes well distributed throughout the food chain.
(I find it interesting that this also mirrors the rise in our own neuro-based "dis-eases" like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Asperger's, Autism, Morgellons and Fibromyalgia.)
It all comes down to profits, as Monsanto recently announced a 37% increase in sales.
Getting back on track; I want to express deeply, why our honeybees are so vitally important...they make Honey! Yes they pollinate and bee pollen is the most concentrated and potent deliveries of what our honeybees offer. In addition, scientists from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri have recently reported bee venom to contain "melittin" which is said to exhibit anti-HIV effects. Because the bee venom targets the outside layer of the HIV virus, thus destroying the virus itself, there is little or no chance of a "resistance" build up or in fact, ever developing at all. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that: propolis, royal jelly (considered to be the perfect food), bee pollen and raw honey may also target HIV.The ancient Chinese were the early practitioners of "apitherapy" which utilized the medicinal qualities of honey. Today, doctors and scientists are discovering what shaman and holistic practitioners have known for centuries: Honey Heals.
Facts about Honey:Honey is considered one of the "5 elixirs of immortality" in the Hindu culture and holds a significant place in symbolic expression, in most spiritual representations.
Bee Pollen can be used as a "vocal" energizer as it hydrates and dually, like Ginseng; it is an overall energizer adding elasticity to our skin and muscles.
It is complex and targets to balance our overall biochemistry.
It never goes bad but will lose nutritional value when heated over 99 degrees.
Primarily glucose, honey mostly contains Vitamins B & C.
Contains electrolytes and exhibits electrical conductivity.
Honey is a hydrant
Antiseptic; anti-inflammatory; anti-microbial
It's good for ophthalmic conditions
Accelerates wound healing
In a study of 104 patients with first-degree burns, researchers in Maharashtra, India found that 91% of the honey treated burns were infection free and after 15 days 87% were healed.
Aids gastrointestinal issues but honey is not good for infant's intestinal tracts.
Improves immune system.
Positive impact on heart disease.
Lowers C-reactive protein lessening the impact on insulin and lipid levels.
Ulcers of all types benefit from honey.
Aids in the ill effects of radiation and boosts antioxidants.
Ideally, raw honey offers the highest of nutritional as well as medicinal value but as long as it has not been highly processed and refined, you can't go wrong!
Bee an Advocate!
It is indeed, "an inconvenient truth" but we must remember that we are the conservators of the land that must be passed on for the generations to come.
We need to instill the understanding that for every action there will be a reaction!
One place we can start is in our city ordinances. I was surprised to learn that they're no laws protecting bees. In the many cases of vandalism I read about, the bees are only perceived as "property" in the case of beekeepers or seen as a "nuisance" as in pest control, which is really quite a statement about our value system.
Be advocates for all our pollinators: butterflies, bats, dragonflies, hummingbirds, mice, ants, beetles, wasps; they enable most of your favorite foods and produce $40 billion worth of products annually.
So remember: Bee Kind