Note to Bayer: Bite My Varroa Mite

Varroa Mite

When politicos and business leaders announce that they are convening the “best and brightest” you can rest assured that nothing good will come of it, particularly if you happen to be a bee.   In a laughable attempt to show that they really care about destroying the bee population of Europe with their pesticides, Bayer claims to have discovered the “real” culprit:  the Varroa Mite.   On behalf of bee-lovers everywhere I send this open note to Bayer:  Bite Me!

Quoting from an informative article published on December 11 in the New York Times by Danny Hakim:

While honey bees are susceptible to many threats, like beetles and bacterial diseases, a growing body of research has focused on neonicotinoids. In October, a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examined how Bayer’s clothianidin “adversely affects the insect immune response and promotes replication of a viral pathogen in honey bees bearing covert infections.”

Twenty varroa mites, he said, can turn into 1,200 in a matter of months. “Only one mite is necessary to kill more or less a whole colony,” he added  (i.e. Mr. Tritschler, a beekeeper, making a cameo appearance on behalf of Bayer).

Standing nearby, Utz Klages, a corporate spokesman (for Bayer), said “we have all the experts here.”

“We will not solve the problem tomorrow, no doubt about that, but together I think we can develop some innovative solutions.”

Now, if the brakes of an automobile manufacturer were causing a few fatalities, the Lords of Public Safety would order an immediate recall in the best interests of the public.  Sadly for bees, Bayer toxins will not be recalled because politicians still relish the honey provided by lobbyists and their corporate sponsors.   Sometime “tomorrow” the problem might be solved, but by then there may be no bees left to sting the collective conscious of Bayer’s scientists.

Can we really afford to wait until the food chain is thoroughly altered by what can only be called corporate genocide?

Let’s Keep the Bees Involved in Pollination

As I grow older, I tend to think more about the bees than the birds and, as such, I would like to thank “Baguette Lady” Alison for bringing this delightful TED video to my attention. You have to be riveted by the stunning photography of nature doing its thing. Frankly, I find The Beauty of Pollination far more compelling that watching bees die in slow motion after ingesting pesticides produced by Monsanto, but then our congressional leaders and the F.D.A. don’t agree with me.

This analysis certainly got my attention:

“Scientists from the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture on Wednesday published a study that linked chemicals, including fungicides, to the mass die-offs. Scientists have long struggled to find the cause behind the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which an estimated 10 million beehives at an average value of $200 each have been lost since 2006.

“Last winter, the honey bee population declined by 31.1 percent, with some beekeepers reporting losses of 90 to 100 percent of their bee populations. Scientists are concerned that “Beemageddon” could cause the collapse of the $200 billion agriculture industry, since more than 100 US crops rely on honey bees to pollinate them.”

Chemical WeaponsPesticides and fungicides are slowly yet effectively killing honey bees in the United States. Some estimates suggest that between 30% to 50% of bees have ingested enough alien chemicals that they are susceptible to extinction under certain circumstances. Now I realize that it is not safe to get between a politician and a handout from a lobbyist, but doesn’t the stunning photography of bees and bats pollinating our plants and flowers give you more confidence in the future than watching Boehner and Pelosi embrace on Capitol Hill after much useless “wailing and gnashing of teeth?” People are right to get upset at the use of chemical weapons in Syria (or any other country for that matter), but isn’t it just hypocrisy that we actively encourage major conglomerates to legally poison our kids. This young girl speaks for me and many other Americans.