The Decline of Pollinators & Contaminated Honey

By The Beekeeper /

During the height of the Zika scare last summer, officials of Dorchester County in South Carolina used aerial spraying to combat the Zika virus carrying mosquito. The unintended consequence of deploying the insecticide naled during daylight hours resulted in the death of millions of bees and literally wiped out entire apiaries. But the New York Times and CNN missed the more consequential story – the county administrator’s decision inadvertently wiped out all the pollinators. Naled has been in use for decades. Growing up in the Midwest I have seen the aftermath of organophosphate pesticide fogging and spraying. Bees, wasps, butterflies and even hummingbirds are killed.

The greater issue isn’t limited to neonicotinoids or organophosphates, but the combination of such pesticides and other agricultural chemicals such as the fungicide chlorothalonil. A study recently released by Cornell University linked the decline of bumblebees to the synergistic combination of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. They corroborated what has been known for years in Europe, that the combination of crop enhancing chemicals has a profound impact on pollinators. The evidence is so overwhelming that the EU and Britain are taking steps to ban the use of some pesticides and fungicides. I understand the importance of feeding the world‘s ever expanding population. However, when half of all crops need pollination from bees and we are simultaneously killing them, then our strategy is not only short sighted, but wrong.

This post has everything to do with the honey you buy at the grocery store. Three Quarters of all honey in the world is contaminated with pesticides. Source your honey. It’s the only safe thing for you and the bees. The apiary is located deep in the Pisgah National Forest and isolated from any agriculture. We know where our bees have been. You should also, from whomever you purchase your honey.

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