Jun 12, 2015

Ban chemical weed killer and save honeybees

Terrence N. Ingram for SaukValley.comThe world is learning how important honeybees are to our environment, and that our honeybees and other insects are having problems surviving. Because of this, we've seen a big push to ban neonictinoids to save our honeybees.

This action is missing the real culprit – glyphosate, Roundup's main ingredient. But Monsanto, which makes Roundup, is so huge and powerful that no university researchers want to go against the company's statements that Roundup affects only plants. 

Roundup is the real cause of colony collapse disorder in honeybees. It makes the field force, those adult bees collecting the nectar and pollen, so sick they don't return to the hive. Before they die, they unknowingly make trips back to the hive, bringing some of the contaminated honey and pollen, which is converted into royal jelly in a gland in the worker bee's head, is fed to the young larvae, and kills them. 

So we have a case of CCD. The population of honeybees in a hive has crashed with no dead bees being seen near the hives. Many combs that remain are contaminated with glyphosate from the dead larva. A new swarm will not even consider moving into the hive.

Honeybees aren't the only insects affected by Roundup. It kills most all insects in the sprayed field or nearby. Before these insects die, they will have glyphosate in the their bodies, and insect-eating birds that feed on those insects die as well.

In this country, no one even looks for glyphosate in other insects, birds, mammals, amphibians, or even humans. Could glyphosate or Roundup be the DDT of the 21st century, working its way through our whole food chain?

We need to ban Roundup before it's too late. Glyphosate bioaccumulates in the environment, and is also carcinogenic. Perhaps it may already be too late. 

Note to readers: Terrence N. Ingram is president and executive director of Eagle Nature Foundation Ltd., and editor and publisher of Small Beekeepers Journal.