Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Death of BEE (2)

Today's papers highlight the unfolding ecological disaster I wrote about in my poem 'The Death of BEE' just yesterday (the poem and other relevant information can be found in the post below).

The Kronen Zeitung's front page, shown above, begins: Bees murdered with tons of poison? Bees are dying in Austria and researchers believe that tons of pesticide sprayed on cornfields is responsible. The Ministry for the Environment is now entrenched behind a confidentiality law . . . 

And continuing inside: . . . a pesticide known as Neonicotinoid is said to be responsible for the deaths . . . it has been sprayed on Austrian fields year after year . . . 

88.7% of readers polled by the Kronen Zeitung said it was time for the Minister for the Environment to resign.

As I mentioned yesterday, by way of example, one apiarist lost more than 50% of his bees over the winter. He was surprised to find there were no bees in 16 of his 26 hives when spring arrived. The bees had mysteriously disappeared. "No dead bees were to be found in the hives but there was plenty of food and all the honeycombs were full," the puzzled beekeeper said.

A recent TV documentary I saw concerning American bee decline and colony collapse posited the theory that pesticides affect the nervous systems and consequently the navigation systems of honeybees. This means that foraging bees will be unable to find their way back to the hives and they will die with the onset of winter.

Apart from honeybees there are other pollenators vital to the ecological balance: moths, butterflies, bumblebees etc..

The attitude of certain power groups means it cannot go well for the insects. And that, in the long run, means trouble down the line for us too.

In the EU parliament the recent vote has prevented three types of neonicotinoids from being sprayed throughout Europe. The vote narrowly went the way of those who would protect our environment; despite heavy lobbying from the chemical and drugs industry cartels. It may not do so next time.

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