Two independent studies looking at the effects of pesticides on bees in real-world settings confirmed, that pesticides commonly found in agricultural areas slowly kill bees and furthermore hurt their ability to reproduce. The two studies were the first investigations on a large scale specifically out in the wild.
Number Of Bees Relative To Pollination Demand For Crops - Europe
Studies Show Pesticides Kill Bees
The two studies say the pesticides commonly used in non-organic farming, do not kill bees outright but instead kill them over extended periods of time. The pesticides also threaten bee queens, which puts the entire bee colony at risk of going extinct.
Pesticides Enter Ecosystem And Kill Bees Far Away
These studies show that pesticides can make their way into the ecosystem and kill bees over many kilometers away from a non-organic farm. Pesticides dissolve in water and make their way into waterways via agricultural runoff. Flowers kilometers away from a farm can take up the chemicals, which seep into the stems, leaves, pollen, and nectar. So the team of researchers looked for pesticides on dead bees, forager bees, nurse bees, larvae, pollen and in nectar and found a combination of herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.
EU Partially Bans Neonicotinoid Pesticide Late 2018
The European Union reacted with a partial ban on Neonicotinoids, one of the most harmful pesticides for bees. Greenhouses will still be free to use Neonicotinoids. Other neonicotinoids, such as thiacloprid, are exempt from the ban. The partial ban will be applicable by the end of 2018. It remains to be seen whether this partial ban will be beneficial for the bees, and also whether the UK is taking action due to the Brexit.
"It's a significant indication that we need a different form of farming across Europe that farms with nature and not against it," said Sandra Bell from Friends of the Earth.
Outlook On Other Countries
It is unlikely the United States will make a move any time soon during the Trump administration. However, hopefully, other countries like Canada will join the EU in their course to protect the bees, one of the most integral parts of our ecosystem. We all know the quote commonly attributed to Einstein: “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
What You Can Do Right Now To Help
Let's make a difference, and go organic. Don't support the slow destruction of our environment. As Gandhi famously said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world".