British Beekeepers End Inside Deal with Pesticide Industry
As we’ve been saying for years here, every rational bit of data suggests that a class of pesticides known as synthetic nicotines are responsible for colony collapse disorder in bees.
Today, an article in the Ecologist suggests that those same pesticides are also likely responsible for widespread deaths in birds and other insects: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_round_up/684945/controversial_pesticides_linked_to_total_ecological_collapse_of_insects_and_birds.html. And the news accounts of beekeepers struggling to survive in business in the wake of the bee deaths continue to mount: http://www.pjstar.com/business/x600431667/Beekeepers-losing-more-insects-blame-pesticides.
Maybe the most interesting story on today’s wire come from England, however, where the beekeeping industry agreed to stop taking what amounts to bribes from the chemical industry that produces the nicotine pesticides: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/16/beekeepers-end-pesticide-endorsement. The story reiterates the reality that one version of nicotine insect killer, clothianidin, was blamed for a huge bee kill in Germany in 2008 — which led that nation to ban the product on the spot. British beekeepers continued to recommend the product, however, at least partly in thanks to big donations made by Bayer, the aspirin company who also manufactures many of the synthetic nicotines.
The situation in England underscores a pervasive problem around the world. The companies who can afford to make donations to universities, non-profit organizations, schools and other educational outlets are most often the same companies who make the most toxic chemicals. It automatically creates a conflict of interest; human nature makes it difficult to bite the hands that feed us, even if that hand has been dipped in poisons.