Glyphosate targets undesired weeds—as well as honeybees
The most widely sprayed herbicide in the world kills honeybees, according to a new report.
Glyphosate, an herbicide and active ingredient in Monsanto’s (now Bayer’s) Roundup weed killer, targets enzymes long assumed to be found only in plants. The product is advertised as being innocuous to wildlife. But some bacteria also use this enzyme, including a microbiome found in the intestines of most bees. When pollinators come in contact with glyphosate, the chemical reduces this gut bacteria, leaving bees vulnerable to pathogens and premature death.
“The bee itself has no molecular targets from glyphosate,” Nancy Moran, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin and a coauthor of the study, told Environmental Health News. “But its gut bacteria do have targets.”
Moran and other scientists liken glyphosate exposure to taking too many antibiotics—and upsetting the balance of good bacteria that supports immunity and digestion….
read more at Sierra
by Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 4/27/18
The world’s most widely used insecticides will be banned from all fields within six months, to protect both wild and honeybees that are vital to crop pollination
The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.
The ban on neonicotinoids, approved by member nations on Friday, is expected to come into force by the end of 2018 and will mean they can only be used in closed greenhouses.
Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed, in part, on the widespread use of pesticides. The EU banned the use of neonicotinoids on flowering crops that attract bees, such as oil seed rape, in 2013.
But in February, a major report from the European Union’s scientific risk assessors (Efsa) concluded that the high risk to both honeybees and wild bees resulted from any outdoor use, because the pesticides contaminate soil and water. This leads to the pesticides appearing in wildflowers or succeeding crops. A recent study of honey samples revealed global contamination by neonicotinoids….
read more at The Guardian
Why should we not use neonicotinoid insecticides? Because they kill or weaken many beneficial species of insects, including bees. And without bees, we’ll have to do without a lot of fruits and vegetables. Bayer and other manufacturers may not care, but we do.
Friends of the Earth has provided a list of neonicotinoid insecticide brands so that you can to avoid them:
(From the download “A Guide to Saving Bees” at Friends of the Earth.)
It’s almost as if the manufacturers were trying to mask their lethal products under fancy names, isn’t it? Rather than reading microscopic labels or carrying the list around with you, just avoid using pesticides and herbicides. There are many natural ways to protect your flowers and vegetables.
But if you are willing to print and carry the list around, next time you’re in a hardware or garden store, check to see if these objectionable products are on the shelf, and if so, complain to the management!
by Nathaniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, 8/31/15
County needs to answer questions about spraying program
By Nathaniel Smith, Columnist, The Times
The Kennett Township web site has two running headers at the top: “Monarch Butterfly population decline” and “Mosquito Spraying by Chester County Health Department 8/19/2015.”
Could these two occurrences be connected, as with bee colonies and insect-eating bird populations being killed by neonicotinoid insecticides?
Neonicotinoids and permanone, the mosquito spray used by the County, are made by the same chemical company, Bayer; both kill insects beyond those targeted.
Suppose you were worried about the spraying plans. You’d download the map of the spray area at the Kennett Township web site. Oops, the map is of Oxford, not Kennett. The link to Chesco Health department web site doesn’t work either and when you do run the right page down, still only the Oxford map is there.
So let’s look at the Oxford map. Of course, since this insecticide is toxic to aquatic life, the map should show that any spraying would abide by the legal requirement to avoid areas within 100 feet of a stream, right? Actually the Oxford and Phoenixville spray maps show no cutout areas for waterways. So is the County respecting the 100-foot rule or not?…
read more at The Times of Chester County