Honeybees are dying en masse, and a deadly cocktail of pesticides is to blame. This puts the U.S. food supply in danger.
Big Agriculture crops like corn and soybeans are reliant on pesticides to protect them from insects and fungi. Most of these crops today are genetically modified to either tolerate strong pesticides, or to actually contain a pesticide gene in the food to kill off hungry insects. However, $30 billion worth of crops that requires bee pollination faces its biggest threat yet: bee extinction.
For those who require a refresher, plants and crops don't exactly copulate to reproduce. Instead, the flora engage in a symbiotic relationship with the fauna for reproduction. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the honeybee, who travels from plant to plant, carrying male genes to the female plants to assist in this process.
But this relationship is under attack, and the blame lies, unsurprisingly, with humanity. A scientific study published July 24, 2013 confirmed that it is in fact our pesticides that are responsible for killing off so many honeybees.
This has direct consequences on U.S. food production. "We are one poor weather event or high winter bee loss away from a pollination disaster," said Jeff Pettis, scientist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a report last October.
This is especially troubling considering that we lost over one-third of all U.S. bee colonies last winter. The USDA estimates that the current survival rate of pollinating bees is too low to sustain the demand from our agricultural crops.
Since our government has been severely infiltrated by Monsanto, the company that manipulates the genes of plants to tolerate their strong pesticides, relying on them to spearhead action is foolhardy at best. Instead, we should take action as individual private citizens.
The best and easiest way to take action is to buy local, organic food, and explain to everyone in your circle of friends the benefits of doing so. This is a vote with your feet, stomach, and most importantly, your wallet. As this movement proliferates, the corporate-run, pesticide-laden frankenfood industry will eventually go bankrupt or give up on their unpopular, bee-killing, genetically-modified madness in favor of organic sustainability.
Either way, as more people demand local, organic food, more entrepreneurs and farmers will recognize the economic benefits of offering such food. This means the supply of organic food will increase, sending the relatively high prices of organic food lower.
But this is merely one step to help save the bees and our food supply, and it will admittedly take longer than desired. What do you think should be done?