Why should you care about bees and pollinators?
By Cosima Krueger-Cunningham
Sustainable Agriculture Committee Chair
Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group
The so-called "colony collapse disorder" that is decimating bees and
other pollinators around the world has been put forward as a mysterysyndrome that needs further study. In fact, there is no mystery. In the past couple of years independent, peer reviewed research has clearly pointed to toxic chemical pesticides as being the last straw on the proverbial camel’s back.
Widely-used neonicotinoid-class pesticides were the first to be directly implicated. Many other commonly used pesticides are also bee-toxic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mis-regulation of these chemicals has paved the way for this catastrophe.
Neonicotinoid-class pesticides are persistent, water-soluble, systemic chemicals. This means they are taken up into all parts of plants. The fact that neonics are expressed in nectar, pollen and foliage is what makes them especially harmful to bees and other pollinators that have co-evolved with flowering plants.
Bees and flowering plants are totally dependent upon each other for reproduction and sustenance. The systemic action of neonics has nothing to do with whether the plants into which they are uptaken and expressed are genetically engineered or not. One third of the food we eat depends upon the services of pollinating insects. Without them, entire ecosystems are in danger of irrevocable collapse.
What can you do? Here are two important things:
1. Buy only organically certified food.
2. Use only 100 percent certifiably pesticide-free tree and landscaping services and products.
For further information about local efforts to save bees please contact me, Cosima Krueger-Cunningham, at Cosima.Krueger-Cunningham@rmc.sierraclub.org.
For updates please “Like” our Facebook page at the Boulder County Sustainable Agriculture Forum Host.
Return to the November e-newsletter...