Harmful Pesticides The Ripple Effect

In this article we discuss how getting rid of pesticides could save thousands of bees!

Bees are one of the most helpful pollinators we have on planet earth, we can thank them for allowing us to have a variety of food in our kitchens. Pollinators transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of our wild plants to thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off. Without bees our diets would be much more bland, we certainly would not have the variety of food that we are granted. The modern food system relies on bees to make it work efficiently. Bees facilitate plant reproduction and in many cases, the plants they pollinate would not be able to reproduce without them. To put in perspective here is a list of some foods that would no longer be in our diets or at least very scarce if bees die out: apples, almonds, apricots, avocados, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, cranberries, cucumbers, eggplant, honeydew, lemons, limes, mangoes, onions, pears, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, watermelon and zucchini. 

From the Blog Bees Extinction Graph

A condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder is causing bee populations to plummet, which means these foods are also at risk. Some toxic pesticides meant to kill pests can harm the honey bees needed for pollination. Many pesticides have been banned by other countries because they harm bees but are still available in the United States. The main killer is classified as neonicotinoids, which is a systemic agricultural insecticide resembling nicotine. Neonicotinoids dissolve in water, and easily make their way into waterways via agricultural runoff, so unfortunately flowers miles away from a farm can take up the chemicals, which seep into the stems, leaves, pollen and nectar. Researchers looked for the presence of the neonicotinoids on dead bees, forager bees, nurse bees, larvae, pollen and in nectar. They found a combination of herbicides, fungicides and pesticides, including a handful of neonicotinoid chemicals.   

In conclusion, to do your part in helping increase the population of Honey Bees:

  • Stop using pesticides that will have a ripple effect, killing bees in your yard and down stream
  • Share this article with a friend