Wild bees, such as bumblebees, don’t get as much love as honeybees, but they should.
They play just as crucial a role in pollinating many fruits, vegetables and wildflowers, and compared to managed colonies of honeybees, they’re in much greater jeopardy.
group of scientists in the United Kingdom decided to look at how
bumblebee queens are affected by some widely used and highly
controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids. What they found isn’t pretty.
as they’re often called, are applied as a coating on the seeds of some
of the most widely grown crops in the country, including corn, soybeans
and canola. These pesticides are “systemic” — they move throughout the
growing plants. Traces of them end up in pollen, which bees consume.
Neonicotinoid residues also have been found in the pollen of wildflowers
growing near fields and in nearby streams…
bee is licking sugar from a q-tip as part of a “proboscis extension
reflex” assay. This experiment, at a lab in Penn State University, is
used to test the memory and learning ability of bees. Researchers
expose the restrained bee to a smell and then offer it a sugar reward.
Then after a pause, they expose the bee to the same smell and see if it
sticks out its tongue (also called proboscis) in anticipation of the
reward. If it does, then you know is has learned to associate the smell
have used this test to show that very small amounts of pesticides and
even “inactive" agricultural spray additives are harming bees’ ability
to remember where their food is.
This bee was photographed for a story
on honeybees in the May issue of National Geographic.
- Anand Varma (@anandavarma), National Geographic photographer
Pollution and toxic contamination know no boundaries, nor do the birds we care about at ABC. That’s why we’re so concerned about the bill introduced in the House of Representatives to terminate the Environmental Protection Agency and leave protection of “environmental assets” to the states.
In the words of Cynthia Palmer, our Director for Pesticides Science and Regulation, “We need national standards to keep the air and water safe for all of us. The states can play an important role in fine-tuning their environmental protections to address local needs. But we cannot expect each state to carry out the in-depth assessments needed on thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which are lethal to birds as well as to people. The proposal to axe the EPA is part of the unprecedented sellout of basic environmental protections to special interests.”
Please call your reps and ask that they not support H.R. 861 or any bill that undermines #EPA’s ability to protect the environment!
how is it that you're so intelligent and you know exactly all the harmful things these drugs do, yet you use them?
That is the intriguing paradigm. All entities are born with knowledge that they will parish. No entity is born under the pre-supposition that they are to live forever.
The only uncertainty is how one is to perish, and there are never any guarantees.
All actions that one does in life sacrifices another potential action.
With that being said, we personally do not consume any substances that explicitly shorten our life span or have any toxic byproducts. We consume only heavily researched substances on a non-massive dose basis.
Comically I can assure you, that most of the pesticides and plastic decomposition products that most people in first world society’s consume is far more dangerous than the drugs that I consume.
Horned Lark is just one of the many birds affected by chlorpyrifos, a pesticide that was, until yesterday, on track to be banned by the EPA for use in agricultural fields. It was banned for home use years ago.
“We’re disgusted by Mr. Pruitt’s decision to yield to corporate interests, given the dangers posed by chlorpyrifos to birds, children, and agricultural workers,” said Cynthia Palmer, Pesticide Program Director at American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Chlorpyrifos, one of the most-used pesticides in the United States, has been killing birds and poisoning the environment for the past half-century.
Because of those risks to wildlife and to human health, ABC has been calling for a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos for years. Environmental Protection Agency scientists agreed and were on course to ban the pesticide this month.
But then, EPA chief Scott Pruitt rejected the conclusion of the agency’s own pesticide experts, who had recommended that EPA forbid use of the pesticide permanently at farms nationwide. Rebuffing a petition filed by environmental groups a decade ago, Mr. Pruitt took “final agency action,” which may not be revisited until 2022.
Studies show that women and children are particularly at risk from exposure to chlorpyrifos. ABC is also very concerned about the documented threat chlorpyrifos poses to birds, especially to endangered species. This past summer, EPA’s draft biological evaluation on threatened and endangered species found that chlorpyrifos is “likely to adversely affect” 97 percent of all wildlife, including more than 100 listed bird species.
Speak out: Tell your elected representatives that chlorpyrifos must be banned!