Pesticides Are Threatening the Bee Population, Dan Rather Reports

Categories: Food News

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In preparation for Greek Fest I was warned: "Beware of bees with your loukomades." The fried dough balls, dripping with honey, seemed the perfect attractor for a violet swarm. I pictured myself going all Chris Farley as I ran through the festival. Bees!

There were no bees, though. I ate loukomades and sweet cookies without consequence. And then this morning I stumbled on this report from Dan Rather Reports, about pesticides and their effect on Colony Collapse Disorder.

Apparently systemic pesticides are to blame for the drastic collapse in honey bee populations. Systemic pesticides aren't sprayed but integrated with the plant as it grows. "Any thing that chews or sucks on that plant are effected by the pesticide, " Tom Theobald the bearded bee keeper told Rather.

The EPA requires testing for all new pesticides, but a conditional registration loophole allows their use after a set of core safety studies are conducted. Those studies make sure the pesticide isn't an advanced carcinogen or nasty neurotoxin, but they aren't designed to determine long-term effects of widespread use of the pesticide. Independent studies have shown the chemicals do in fact have a significant impact on bee populations.

Besides the impact on honey, bees pollinate just about all your favorite fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. A complete collapse in the bee population would have devastating effects on our food supply. Apparently the EPA is taking a closer look at systemic pesticides. Hopefully they can come up with a solution that's fair to produce farmers (whose income depends on high production of vegetables) and the rest of us, who love apples, cherries, honey, and the occasional summer bee attack.

Watch Rather's report here:


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43 comments
michaelt
michaelt

Bees are not the only thing that is dying off.  Look up in the sky at the exhaust from the government jets.  Normal exhaust dissipates after 10 seconds or so.  When I see a trail across the sky, it only makes me wonder why we are all being sprayed.  My only thought is population control.  That seems like a great excuse for us to rely on the government to artificially produce our veggies and fruits.  Without bees we cannot grow crops to sustain ourselves and they know that.  This is not only in the USA, this is happening globally which is forcing the need for the increase of hydroponically grown crop. Sure it looks good, but it is grown without the life giving naturally occuring nutrient rich soil of traditional crops.  Hydro nutrients just do not compare to organic soil.  No crops are truly organic anymore because of this.  The certification label that the government puts on foods require the item to only be 95 percent organic therefore leaving room for whatever and who knows what in the remaining 5 percent.   We need bees to pollinate our crops to sustain life.

dewalt sale
dewalt sale

Honeybees are non-native. We can take measures to encourage native bees and other pollinators to pollinate our crops.

Robert
Robert

The flowering shrubs at my house are filled with bees when in bloom. That has been 3 times this year so far. And the flowering plants have bees in them all the time.

MattL1
MattL1

Great.  Now I have "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" stuck in my head.  Could be worse, I suppose.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

What happened to the killer bees taking over the world?

Different species, I know, but amusing that bees have had such a wild swing in danger levels.

Storm_71
Storm_71

Really hoping for a one game play in between Tamp and Bos. Anyone know why if there is a play in it would be in St. Pete? Although there would be about as many people at the game in St.Pete as there are listening to the Fan at any given time.

McDoom
McDoom

Furthermore, and not to open a huge can of worms here, but I liken the CCD phenomenon to the global warming debate. You have zealots on each end of the spectrum saying they are right and the other side is wrong, but the truth is likely in the middle...yes, man can affect worldwide temperatures, but the biggest factor in climate change is probably that giant fireball up in the sky 90 million something miles away. With the bees, no doubt the gnarly pesticides we humans spray are killing bees, but let's not discount the fact that Mother Nature is a giant c*nt and is probably having more to do with CCD than we can ever know.

gabbahey
gabbahey

Yes, Dan Rather has a show on HDNET, comes on every Tuesday night. Much better than anything he ever did with 60 Minutes. They recently did a feature on "Fracking". If you aren't pissed off about the free run the natural gas industry has now, watch the episode and you will be.

McDoom
McDoom

I thought the underlying causes driving CCD were numerous, not just one single issue. Also, I seem to recall CCD not entirely 100% understood by those studying it and some question as to how much was human influenced and how much was nature soon it's thing.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Makes plenty of sense to me, when you put chemicals in the food chain, its going to affect ALL of us, no matter if its the bees or humans. The best way to take care of this is simple: Go organic.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

They all got married, developed honey guts and they are living calmly in the 'burbs.  They still talk about causing trouble, but it's hot outside and none of them really care that much anymore.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

In St Pete cause of head to head record, methinks...and look out for a playin between Hotlanta and St Lou..

And this day marks the last day of the SFBL, Merk has a 2 point lead on Mert and I'm pretty comfortable in third place..all my Rangers getting rest last weekend shot me balls off..but it was a fun league to be a part of.

McDoom
McDoom

I believe it's because Tampa won the season series. They used to flip a coin for it, which was totally asinine

Eb
Eb

I know definitely doesn't know the answer to that: Richie Whitt

BTS
BTS

It is more than systemic pesticides possibly killing bees, it about it eating it. You can't wash it off food because it's in the food so I am eating it too.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

Let's table global warming. Any time you add subject to an argument you muddy the water. What that program shows is that little testing is being done to determine if the pesticides are impacting bee populations. Maybe there's no correlation. But DDT was determined to be safe when it was first released. Check out this vid...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

We've learned a lot about DDT since then. We'll likely learn a lot about systemic pesticides as well. Maybe would should do a little more homework before we commit to wide-spread use.

Eb
Eb

While there may be zealots on both sides, 98% of climate scientists are in complete agreement on this and have been for some time. The manufactured debate on this is all in the media, which feeds off conflict, and gets them what they want: ratings and advertising dollars. The answer to this is not in what the media tries to define as "the middle."

MoronDog
MoronDog

I'm pissed off about the sad state of the Stars blueline.  What about you?

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Organic is a neat little concept but not practical in reality. Go watch Bullshit's episode on it. Organic foods are not superior in flavor (blind testing has proved that), nutrition (science has proved it), and the yield per acre is too low to support the population as a whole. And it's not like manure is exactly sanitary and danger-free.

Organic is basically the calling card of the smug elitist.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Disagree.  Better living through chemistry.

Develop a pesticide that also contains chemicals which makes the little hairs on the bees legs grow longer so they can hold more pollen and the bees become more effective.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Buzzzzz off with your organic alternatives...ever had grass fed beef?  It tastes like grass..I likey my beef to taste like dead cow..if'n I wanted beef that tasted like grass, I'd have a salad...with some lovely fire roasted tomato vinagrette, of course.

Romo's punctured lung
Romo's punctured lung

Don't know if you watched the Rangers last night but if you did.. Was Andrus making fun of Mike Scioscia last night in the dugout? I didn't think anyone on the Rangers team would do something like that.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

OK, so where should that research occur and who should bear the cost? 

Private industry?  Where is the benefit to them?  Unless a new product or "better way" can come out of it, there is no motivation.

Government?  At what level?  State or Federal?  Unless you want to pull the $$$ from the big pile of subsidies we give to the Agricultural sector, this is just another item that seems to fall under the category of "government gone wild".

Sturms_Bloody_Rectum
Sturms_Bloody_Rectum

There never seems to be common sense anymore. You're put in a nice and tidy binder on your view points, and you must battle out of it to defend your point. F' the left, F' the right, they're causing problems for the common sense thinkers/followers.  

There's a problem, sit down, figure it out, solve it. Not everything in life needs a study to back up a future outcome.

gabbahey
gabbahey

I stopped being pissed off about their blue line years ago. This "defensive-forward" bs isn't working. Yeah, it got us a cup, but that team was a different animal than the clusterphuck we have now... I blame Tom Hicks and Jim Lites...

HC
HC

You're citing that joke of a show as absolute proof of the inferiority of organic food?  I don't buy organic or any of that crap, but come on.  These are the same people who did a show about how second hand smoke was not harmful by relying on two studies from the 1950s that were done by the tobacco companies, and they're unapologetic for producing that farce of a show. 

For a couple of atheists, they sure are anti-science.  Which says they're less investigative journalists and more interested in making money.  They're a disgrace to atheists everywhere.

Romo's punctured lung
Romo's punctured lung

So true. I use all kinds of nutes and pesticides in my garden and everything tastes fine.

HC
HC

It has nothing to do with the hairs on bee legs.  It has to do with our industrialized way of handling all our food, which is destroying us in the end.  CCD probably is a combination of what apiarists feed the bees (HFCS and corn starch), shipping them around the country, along with pesticides and other things.  We treat bees like shit when they are integral to our food supply. 

There weren't huge salmonella or listeria outbreaks when my grandparents were growing up.  The industrialized food business and their unholy alliance with the feds is making us sick and fat.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

You're on to something PD....if they can come up with that, I'm gonna ask for steaks that have an alcohol content of 10% or so...

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Don't think the Face would allow it meself, I watched til all our homers back to back to back..then flipped over and caught up on some Sons of Anarchy..

MoronDog
MoronDog

Its pesticide with doodoo as th DDT.

G_David
G_David

I think napalms are good.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I break down in uncontrollable laughter, every freaking time..I see you go POW!

BTS
BTS

The main point of organic foods is you ingesting less pesticides, not taste or nutrition.It is the same food, but without the chemical crap on it. It is not about the world, it is about yourself and what you put in it. What this smug elitist about? I like to think that I have a choice in whether my food is full of chemicals or not. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I didn't say inferior. I'm saying it's not superior. It's at best equal and more of a philosophy and marketing tactic than an improvement. And there are cold, hard facts that organic foods are not more nutritious, do not taste better, and yield less than "normal" farming methods.

Personally, I don't feel like spending more for what is essentially the same food. If you do, go for it, it doesn't hurt the economy any, but don't fool yourself into thinking you're doing the world much good either.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Wow dude..where to start..hmmm..You need to see the Doc for some Zanex.

Stay hard, HC

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Destroying us?  Have you been on a college campus lately?  They didn't build 'em like that when I was in school...

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I'm to drunk to fact check..but I'm gonna give you a POW! Because I had grandparents too.

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