The bees are dying in large numbers here in agricultural France: WHAT IS GOING ON?

in environment •  6 months ago

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I am seeing hundreds of bees on the ground every day either dying or already dead. The ones still alive appear confused, endlessly walking around in circles before being killed by the cold of the night.

Most of them have pollen attached to their legs because the essential pollination work of the Spring has begun.

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The fields around me have been coming to life over the last few weeks with the colourful blossoms of the endless orchards: apples, peaches, pears & plums. And wherever there are flowers there are bees.

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Why are they dying?

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Neonicotinoid pesticides designed to kill insects which eat crops are also killing the pollinators, which means it is not only bees they are affecting, but insects & animals of many kinds including butterflies, flies, moths, wasps, beetles, birds & bats.

Systemic Neonicotinoid

Invented in the 1980s, neonicotinoids quickly became a popular crop treatment because they are systemic, meaning that they circulate through the whole plant killing bugs as soon as they eat any part of the crop.

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It is evident now that systemic insecticides find their way into the nectar and pollen of a flowering plant which unquestionably affects the insects which carry it.

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Why is this important?

Over three-quarters of the world’s food crops are dependent (at least in part) on pollination by insects.

Should they go extinct, we would lose the ability to pollinate crops for essential high nutrition food, cotton based clothing, plant based medicine (like morphine which originates with the poppy), biofuel would disappear without Canola and even many cosmetics would disappear without honey.

This will lead to wide-scale malnutrition and the skyrocketing of prices. The ensuing chaos would likely lead to the death of many humans.

Potentially ALL of us!

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Field tests

To measure this potential harm a team of European researchers recently established 33 sites growing rapeseed in Germany, Hungary and the UK. These sites were randomly assigned to either be treated with one of two choice nicotinoids... or none at all.

What they found was that the pesticides do not kill the bees directly if received in a low level. Instead it makes them more vulnerable, especially if there are other environmental factors or diseases already affecting the hive. It affects their ability to reproduce, often leading to birth defects and inability to perform the normal tasks required of them.

Neonicotinoid applications are thus a kind of reproductive roulette for bees," Jeremy Kerr (biodiversity researcher)

Another field study by researchers in Canada was published in the same issue of Science and it also confirms the negative affect on bees. Their results showed that chronically exposed bees had a lower life expectancy and poorer hygiene conditions in the hive.

They also discovered that pollen on the insects often didn't even come from the treated crops.

This indicates that neonicotinoids, which are water soluble, spill over from agricultural fields into the surrounding environment, where they are taken up by other plants that are very attractive to bees. Nadia Tsvetkov

The work done by these two teams demonstrates that we really are contributing to the worldwide bee decline... and way more dramatically than we would like to admit.

The world is waking up

This subject has been finding its way to the headlines more and more over the last few years.

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The first of the two studies I mentioned above was largely funded by the pesticide industry itself. Bayer Crop Science & Syngenta put up US$3 million for the trial and the European Union is set to make a decision about a potential blanket ban of these pesticides.

A ban could be in place by the end of this year if the proposals are approved by a majority of EU member states and whilst this is a very positive sign, let us pray it is not too little too late.

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In conclusion

Seeing all these dead or dying bees here in the South of France it is clear something needs to be done quickly. The farmers in this region are either ignorant to this information or they simply don't care.

Or... as is very often the case, their financial situation does not permit them any other route.

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Excellent! Thanks very much. Will check this when my internet is working faster ;)

This is SUCH AN IMPORTANT POST Sam!! Our whole organic food chain relies on bees. We are so grateful for the incredible bee communities here in Thailand, where there is no bee die-off as there is in Europe, US, Canada and Australia. We ALL need to stop using pesticides and chemicals, stop buying produce from people who do and DEMAND fresh, healthy and organic. Great post.

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That sounds amazing! My friends in Chiang Mai are reporting dead bees so you are doing a really important job there!

Holy hell! Thank you so much fir writing this Sam! Every year we have what I call bee season where everyday we have at least one bee fly in our apt and die. We have tried giving it water, honey, releasing it back outside but nothing seems to change the fact that these bees always die and I have never figured out why, though I guess I haven't looked very hard either. So thank you for providing so much info about what's going on and the damage humanes are doing! Sending lots of love to you and your family! Visualizing everyone in the healthiest most vibrant light!

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Hi Jamie. Like you I have been noticing this for some time but never stopped until now to do the research on it.

One of the wonderful things about Steemit is that it motivates me to CLARIFY my UNDERSTANDING and SHARE!

Crazy to think it is happening in Chiang Mai too.

Sending lots of love back to you from France and thanks for your positive visualisation ;)

I have seen similar scenes of dead and confused Bees here in Ireland. As you say this has been an area of concern for some time and it is time for the EU to take positive action as soon as possible. My brother in law is a farmer and he was required to attend training courses on the responsible use of pesticides and fertilizers. Although he had to fund the training from his own pocket he was grateful for the opportunity to learn the correct way of managing his land. I believe the farming community in general understand the importance of sustainable agricultural practices, it is down to the powers that be to take urgent action and ban Neonicotinoid pesticides now.

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No doubt there will be many European sites going through this each Spring. @iamjamie at the top of the comments here is based in Thailand and seeing it over there.

Fingers crossed that urgent action is coming soon!

We're in the South of France up in the mountains, and I had no idea about this. I'll keep my eyes open though, as I've seen some bees around, but none dying or dead yet (thankfully). This is a huge global issue, and SO important to our ecosystems. Thanks for sharing.

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Great to hear of other Steemians in the mountains of France. We are in the Pyrenees.

And a digital nomad too! Excellent. Hope to see you on the road ;)

It has been banned before but they bought it back. The companies like Bayer could not care less. I don't know the answer to this as protesting does not work. We need to make a change today, start growing our own and don't buy that SHIT from the supermarkets 💯🐒

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It seems absurd to me how these companies appear so ambivalent when in the end it is ALL of us who suffer.

One little plot of land for every human and some basic lessons in how to grow our food would do the trick nicely!

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There has been a bit in the press in UK about developing artificial bees ummm! Lets not let that happen hey.

One little plot of land, and some lessons would change the world entirely 💯🐒

I think the prime reason for the attitude of the farmers is, as you say, a financial one. It is the same story with the clearing of rain forests to make way for palm oil crops. Although the perpetrators are aware of the effect this has, they still continue to do it. The reason? Financial.

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I guess you're right. For sure that's how it was in Bali where we lived previously. It was ALL about the money gained by having a larger crop.

And a total ban will be the only way to fix this.

what happened to bali ? look at you there, 3500 followers coming from a locked accounts, should i start calling you guru now heh heh ;-)

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Two years was enough in Bali. The world is big... and we had to check in with our mums!

Steemit and the crypto markets is the way I survive now, so yeah have been going at it pretty consistently.

How's life with you?

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you don't give the impression of being french native ... your english is too good hahah ... la vie ca tape dur sur le cerveau parfois mais je me debrouille ...
like my grandfather who survived two world wars and a nazi labour camp used to say "if i gave up and just went down then i would have been dead " so giving up is only an option when life chooses to do so, a day that will inevitably come ... no use worrying about that lol

i think its great if you can run on neo-worldly means AND see part of the old world (or whats left of it) too . If i had jealousy in me i'd probably be it right now ;-)

with all that is sprayed into the atmosphere and the environment,it will surely affect all that is living whether insects,animals and humans.is this the beginning of the depopulation agenda of the powers that be?

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This one doesn't feel too intentional. Though it doesn't take a genius to figure out there will be problems in the future if pesticides like this are being used on a wide scale.

I really like your post .. great job

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Nice write up. It really is a crisis. Interestingly, there is a pretty thriving bee-keeping community here in Detroit, Michigan. Not the likeliest of places, but a lot of fun to see.

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One of these days we will make it to Michigan. It's been on my list ever since I dated a girl from Michigan many years ago ;)

Great to hear the bees are doing good over there.

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You definitely should. There is a lot worth visiting in the mitten.

This is really a matter of concern. If bees won't exist human being also cannot survive.

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Indeed. I mentioned that. And I don't foresee it being a sudden death... rather slow and painful!

Good article lets hope its not too little too late. Different systems of agruculture a shift away from monoculture would also be a step in the right direction

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Agreed. Or even if each person simply started to grow their own food and stop relying on huge companies to provide it for them.

Modern times, everything is about saving time and making more money. This has lead to chemical fertiliser, pesticides etc... in the end we are still the one who are going to loose

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It feels like such a primitive kind of mistake to make as a race. We call ourselves advanced yet we sure don't act in any kind of advanced way. Still, we will find our way...

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We just need more people to wake up and do the right thing.

This really makes me mad. No reason for such high production rates. Especially when so much is at risk. We lived without these chemicals for years. Upsetting the balance of nature is never a good thing. 🐓🐓

If you replace in a piece of your text the word bees in humans ....:

....was that the pesticides do not kill the humans directly if received in a low level. Instead it makes them more vulnerable, especially if there are other environmental factors or diseases already affecting the hive. It affects their ability to reproduce, often leading to birth defects and inability to perform the normal tasks required of them.

Realistic, isn't it?