While Monsanto is celebrating increased profits and earnings results, those concerned about the health and well-being of bee colonies remain troubled about the company’s track record of killing bees. We all depend on bees to pollinate our plant food, as does Monsanto. Yet the agribusiness colossus continues to undertake activities which appear to be decimating bee populations throughout the world.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a major threat to all of us. Studies estimate that nearly one-third of the honeybee population has been wiped out. These bees are important to agricultural production worldwide. Without the bees, the pollination necessary for plant harvesting does not occur. At the very least, lower crop yields potentially hurt grocery prices. At worst, our access to fruits and vegetables diminishes. The honeybee population is a concern for all of us.
A feverish debate rages between those most interested in preserving the bee population. Organic farmers and some bee keepers allege that the neonicotinoid insecticides produced by Monsanto, among others, are killing vast numbers of bees. Major commercial farmers and other beekeepers counteract those assertions with their own claims that agribusiness depends on the insecticides for good crop yields and that bees have died from other causes.
Scientific research backs up the claims of health minded individuals that the crop sprays developed by Monsanto is killing large numbers of bees. The neonicotinoid based bug killers also appear to harm butterfly and bird populations as well. Agribusiness champions state that the studies are flawed and introduce the insecticides to the bees using methods inconsistent with typical farming practices. They also point at the absent effective insecticides the crop yields we enjoy would diminish. After all, the insect killers are used for a reason.