Save the Bees: Ban the Using and Selling of Neonicotinoids and Other Bee Harming Chemicals.
I want to present a vision of another world. Nothing lives here! No plants, no animals, no people. The air is hot and dry, and the ground is barren and desolate. The light of the nearest star booms over like a blazing tyrant scorching the world below. The remnants of our cities and our homes linger over the waste lands like forgotten monuments to the world of a golden age. Yes I said our cities, our homes, in our world… Earth. This is the ill omen to a possible future and what it might look like if we do not hold onto the key to our own survival. But what is that key? It might surprise you. The foundation for our own existence as well as life on earth can be traced to one essential species known as bees. Without these little creatures the whole thing collapses, and everything turns to dust.
The very fate of our survival as a species, depends on our ability to coexist with bees, and the rest of our natural world in an interdependent relationship.
To begin we need to look at why bees are so important to us and the environment, and why we should care about saving them.
Bees and our food supply. Bees have been recorded to pollinate somewhere between one to two thirds of all the food that we eat as humanity. An Executive Director for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) named Achim Steiner stated, “The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 percent are pollinated by bees.” To put that in perceptive, that’s roughly 63 percent of our food, pollinated by bees alone. In a world that is struggling with hunger problems already, what will it look like when our food supply is gone! Nigel Raine a professor at University of Guelph states that, “1 in 3 mouthfuls of the food we eat are dependent on the unmanaged pollination services of bees alone!” It’s not just honey, but every major fruit, every major vegetable, every major nut, and grain, and every animal that eats those food items as well, even the ones we eat. All of it gone with the extinction of bees.
Bees are an essential keystone species that provide food for many other species on the entire planet. Meaning as a keystone species when the bees disappear, the creatures dependent on them will go as well; which includes humanity. Then like a domino effect the whole food web goes and the species that are dependent on those dependent of the bee go as well. Until nothing remains in that food web. Which would basically just be fish at the end of this; being that is they survive the constant pollution we dump into the ocean every day.
Lastly bees provide farmers profit. Not only do these essential little creatures provide us with food, but they have other benefits as well. One of which is providing farmers with large crops which ultimately gives them more food to sell. It is estimated that bee’s in America provided upward to around 19 billion dollars in agricultural crops in the U.S. as of 2010.
So, knowing their importance of bees and the roles they play in our own survival, we now need to identify the leading causes that are killing off these creatures and why they, as well as we, are in trouble.
Leading causes that kill bees. Pesticides, disease, parasites, and climate change, are the major culprits to the decline of bees. However, there is one that stands out above the rest and I feel as though it’s the only one we could really control.
Pesticides, the main ingredient to the decline in bee population. The use of pesticides more so pesticides known as Neonicotinoids (nēōˈnikəˌtinoid). There are six being used all over the united states alone that are being sprayed directly into our food supply every single day. They consist of Imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotefuran, acetamiprid, and thiaclorprid and are specifically used to kill pests from eating and killing the crops that farmers grow. By targeting pests with these pesticides, meaning species like the aphids, and leaf beetles that eat the crops, and termites who cause structural damage, our pesticides kill them but have unintended consequences as well.
What are their effects on bees? Because these pesticides are being used, the bee population has been on a decline in recent years. So much in fact that several species were added to the endangered list in 2017. This includes seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees and in 2018 the rusty-patched bumblebee. (Bombus affinis) Many more are on their way of joining this list with the increase in use of pesticides. To give perspective of how much we actually use, we sprayed over 3.5 million pounds of neonicotinoids across 127 million acres of agricultural crops from 2009 through 2011.
Their lethality to insects. Neonicotinoids are used to paralyze insects by blocking a chemical pathway that transmits nerve impulses in an insect’s central nervous system. On top of that their systematic. Plants absorb these chemicals and the vascular tissue transport these chemicals into stems, leaves, flowers, and even fruit. Which stays around a lot longer after they have been exposed to direct contact. Now they say this stuff in non-lethal to humans, however its actually only started being used since the 1990’s. Who knows what sort of long term affects this may have on our own species.
So why do we spray so much of this stuff if less than 1% of the world’s entire population of insects are considered to be “Pests?”
What are benefits of pesticides? They Increase food production, increase profits for farmers, and prevents diseases. Pests consume a large amount of these crops and without pesticides they would consume and even higher number of crops. It saves time, and money by not having to hire physical labor to pull weeds and pests from fields. But let me ask you, would you spray a mosquito when it bites your arm, if you knew it would ultimately poison your five-year-old daughter standing right beside you, killing her in the process? No, you wouldn’t! Then why do we blast this stuff all over our food if it means the killing of the very thing that keeps us and our crops alive in the first place. Modern medicine can take care of the disease problem. It would create more jobs ultimately in the long run, and let’s be real do we really need to grow that much more crops in America. Ever walk into a grocery store, they have shelves and shelves covered with food that is ultimately wasted every single day. They are throwing the vegetables at us and can’t get rid of it. How greedy do we have to be about making a profit that we sacrifice the entire world?
For those of you who are allergic to bees, I can see how the increase in their population might alarm you. But I assure you they are not out to do you harm.
How many people have been killed by bees? Nearly 100 Americans are killed by bees each year. However almost all deaths by bee stings only affects people with allergies. Experts say that the average adult who is not allergic could take up to around 1,000 stings without death. But fewer stings could affect infants. However, after a bee stings a person that person could then develop allergies to be stings after the sting has taken place.
But are bees killers? No, not purposely. Bees only sting when they feel threatened or are defending their hive. Why because when a bee stings you it leaves its stinger behind in your skin and rips open its own abdomen, which kills the bee within minutes of the sting. It doesn’t want to sting you, but it will if it feels like it’s got no other choice.
So, knowing all this about the situation at hand, how can we do our part in saving the Bees?
1. Ban Pesticides! To actually effect real change, the first thing we need to do is ban the use of these harmful pesticides that effects bees. Please sign the petition today! My goal is to build up enough awareness and find a community of likeminded individuals who believe in the same cause as I do. I will then bring forth my claim, to the law makers throughout America and the rest of the world.
2. Buy/Build/Keep Bee Houses instead of Bird houses! We could easily provide bees with self-sustaining homes for them to live in. Increase the numbers of bees in population size.
3. Plant High Pollinator Gardens. This helps the bees to thrive, by providing them with a place to do their business. Plus, who doesn’t want more honey around the house!
4. Live a greener life! Being active and watching the way you live. More specifically focusing on less waste, it helps the environment over all.
5. Join the movement! I along with several of my colleagues that are in school with me at the moment, are starting our own project company simply called Human:Nature. The focus and purpose of our organization is to study the life cycle, social structures, and behavior of animal species as well as their roles within ecosystems that are in danger of human encroachment. The goal is to develop, systems, technologies, and overall usefulness of these organisms that better enhances their lives, as well as the lives of humanity in an interdependent relationship with them. Our plan is to have many chapters within the organization tackling many different problems at the same time. One such chapter is the Homeowners Alliance in Beekeeping. Which will be developing a system that benefits both bees and the average homeowner in a coexistent relationship.
6. Alternatives. If you can’t join, simply don’t want to build this with us, and/or don’t want to wait until the organization is up and running. You could always donate your money or volunteer your time to a cause similar to our own.
7. Spread the word. Ultimately, we as humanity need to become more aware of this problem please send this to your friends and family. It takes all of us to solve this problem and we need to unify together.
So please sign the petition to ban harmful pesticides, buy/build/own a bee house and do your part to conserve the environment, as it is desperately needed!
By the way guys, I'm not taking donations! After signing, this website will ask you to donate. That is to support ipetitions, not me. You can click out with out paying any money and your signature will still be saved. Thanks.
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