May 27, 2016

A Lot of Bees Died This Winter! We Can stop This From Happening!

I've talked to many of you in person at my little Back Yard Nursery. We have talked about how Roundup is killing us as well as the bees. I got this article in my E Mail box this morning and want to pass a section of it on to you. You can read the whole article here
We are killing ourselves as well as the beneficial insects when we spray Round Up and Sevin. Both are known carcinogens. Not only do we kill the bad bugs but we kill the butterflies and bees too. Dish Soap in a spray bottle of water will get rid of Aphids and Japanese Beatles. There are other ways to get rid of weeds too. Read below or go the whole article link above. 

Glyphosate May Also Be to Blame

Neonicotinoids are not the only chemicals the bees have to worry about. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, may also play a role in bees' deaths.
As stated by GMO expert Don Huber, P.h.D.,, professor emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, there are three established characteristics of colony collapse disorder that suggest glyphosate may be at least partly responsible:
  1. The bees are mineral-deficient, especially in micronutrients
  2. There's plenty of food present but they're not able to utilize it or to digest it
  3. Dead bees are devoid of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, which are components of their digestive system
In many cases of bee die-offs, the bees become disoriented, suggesting endocrine hormone disruption. Glyphosate is a very strong endocrine hormone disruptor. Huber also cited a study on glyphosate in drinking water at levels that are commonly found in U.S. water systems, showing 30 percent mortality in bees exposed to it.
While the majority of glyphosate is sprayed onto agricultural crops, it's even used in city parks, which means bees may get little reprieve. In 2014, for instance, New York City agencies applied glyphosate to parks and other areas 2,748 times, and that is likely an underestimate.10
A Freedom of Information Act request found pesticide information related to Central Park and other parks that are managed by non-profit conservancies (and not by the city government) has not been made public. The bottom line is that bees and other pollinators are being exposed to pesticides and other chemicals virtually everywhere they turn.
And in all likelihood, it's not one or two chemicals that are the problem but many. In 2013, researchers analyzed pollen from bee hives in seven major crops and found 35 different pesticides along with high fungicide loads.11 Each sample contained, on average, nine different pesticides and fungicides. When the pollen was fed to healthy bees, they had a significant decline in the ability to resist infection with the Nosema ceranae parasite, which has been implicated in bee deaths.

How You Can Help Bees

To avoid harming bees and other helpful pollinators that visit your garden, swap out toxic pesticide and lawn chemicals for organic weed and pest control alternatives. Even some organic formulations can be harmful to beneficial insects, so be sure to vet your products carefully.
Better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant an edible organic garden. Both flower and vegetable gardens provide good honeybee habitats. It's also recommended to keep a small basin of fresh water in your garden or backyard, as bees actually do get thirsty.
In addition, you'll want to grow your own pollinator-friendly plants from organic, untreated seeds. If you opt to purchase starter plants, make sure to ask whether or not they've been pre-treated with pesticides.
Keep in mind that you also help protect the welfare of all pollinators every time you shop organic and grass-fed, as you are actually "voting" for less pesticides and herbicides with every organic and pastured food and consumer product you buy. You can take bee preservation a step further by trying your hand at amateur beekeeping.
Maintaining a hive in your garden requires only about an hour of your time each week, benefits your local ecosystem, and you get to enjoy your own homegrown honey.

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