It's pulled at your heart strings for years — the bees are dying. But why?
The unknown can be terrifying — for nature lovers and whoever eats food.
I bring you super good news! (Bad news to follow.)
We know why bees are dying
An international group of independent scientists (not those paid by industry) released results of a comprehensive, four-year literature review (a fancy way of saying ** analysis of 800 peer-reviewed studies**) on neonics.
Their good news: "there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action." The assessment highlights serious risks to bees and other beneficial species — butterflies (you bought milkweed for monarchs, right?), earthworms and birds.
Mystery solved. Phew! I was starting to think we'd end up eating only porridge, rice and oranges with a side of rhubarb.
Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest
The bad news for many species with and without backbones
Science can be inconvenient. At least that's the way it appears to our governments — federal and provincial. In Canada, neonicotinoid pesticides are still widely used. Let's ask them to change that!
Last year, Europe announced a moratorium on three neonics used on bee-attracting crops. (Why do things always seem better there? Can we join the EU?)
Meanwhile, in Canada, we'll wait until the bees are down to the last dozen, freak out because we can't imagine life without strawberries and chocolate and then give our blood, sweat and tears (and piles of money) to reintroduce them. Yeah, let's do that.
How do neonics work?
Other pesticides stay on the surface of leaves. Neonicotinoids and fipronil, neuro-active, nicotine-based systemic insecticides, are gulped up by the plant and transported to the leaves, flowers, roots, stems and bee food — pollen and nectar!
Tell your government to side with science and ban neonics.
Do you have a bigger appetite for this topic? The Task Force on Systemic Pesticides can explain it better than I. Watch their 10 minute video and get all the information you need to talk "neonics" at your next barbeque!
Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green