Basho’s Bee Meets Monsanto

basho bee

…Monsanto’s contribution to the vanishing bee population is detailed. From genetically altered corn, Monsanto produced an insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which once ingested by bees, Bt binds to receptors within the bee’s stomach lining that keeps the bee from eating. Of course this weakens the bee, causing the breakdown of the inner stomach wall, which in turn makes the bee susceptible to spores and bacteria. To further compound the problem, for years the lobbying power of the chemical giant denied causing damage to the bee’s internal immune capacity for resistance to parasites, which of course only continued to kill off the bee population worldwide. Thus, continued chemical use, especially in America, only exacerbates this growing problem.

Death and Extinction of the Bees

By Joachim Hagopian

Global Research, March 07, 2016



As it should bee…

Assembly Bill No. 1789

An act to add Section 12838 to the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to pesticides.

[ Approved by Governor  September 26, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State  September 26, 2014. ]


AB 1789, Williams. Pesticides: neonicotinoids: reevaluation: determination: control measures.
Existing law requires pesticides to be registered by the Department of Pesticide Regulation. Existing law requires that a pesticide be thoroughly evaluated prior to registration, and provides for the continued evaluation of registered pesticides.
This bill would require the department, by July 1, 2018, to issue a determination with respect to its reevaluation of neonicotinoids. The bill would require the department, on or before 2 years after making this determination, to adopt any control measures necessary to protect pollinator health.
The bill would require the department to submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature if the department is unable to adopt those control measures and to update the report annually until the department adopts those control measures.


Vote: majority   Appropriation: no   Fiscal Committee: yes   Local Program: no  




(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) Honey bees are vital to the pollination of many of California’s crops, which are critical to our national food system and essential to the economy of the state.
(2) Annual colony losses from 2006 to 2011, inclusive, averaged about 33 percent each year, which is more than double what is considered sustainable according to the United States Department of Food and Agriculture.
(3) Scientists now largely agree that a combination of factors is to blame for declining pollinator health, including lack of varied forage and nutrition, pathogens and pests such as the Varroa mite, and chronic and acute exposure to a variety of pesticides.
(4) Based on data submitted to the Department of Pesticide Regulation showing a potential hazard to honey bees, the department initiated a reevaluation process for four neonicotinoid compounds in 2009: imidacloprid, thiamethoxam, clothianidin, and dinotefuran.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to set a timeline for completion of the reevaluation of neonicotinoid compounds to ensure that the Department of Pesticide Regulation completes a thorough, scientifically sound, and timely analysis of the effects of neonicotinoids on pollinator health.

SEC. 2.

Section 12838 is added to the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:


(a) On or before July 1, 2018, the department shall issue a determination with respect to its reevaluation of neonicotinoids.

(b) (1) Within two years after making the determination specified in subdivision (a), the department shall adopt any control measures necessary to protect pollinator health.
(2) If the department is unable to adopt necessary control measures within two years as required in paragraph (1), the department shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of the Legislature setting forth the reasons the requirement of paragraph (1) has not been met.
(3) The department shall update the report submitted to the appropriate committees of the Legislature pursuant to paragraph (2) every year until the department adopts the necessary control measures specified in paragraph (1).

Something About the Bees

In fits of nostalgia, I have bemoaned the loss of bygone items and activities. No, not 8 tracks or vinyl, but more like the bliss of ignorance. Somehow, not knowing what everyone I know ate for dinner last night or that a hit and run accident happened in some town called Smartsville hundreds of miles away is something that strikes me nostalgic. I miss the quietude of select pieces of information entering into my sphere of knowledge. I miss the word intrusion that had meaning, not like now where it will be erased from common usage given that there is nowhere to hide from anyone else in the world.
In particular, however, I will miss the bees.
Not just because I grew up with them, just like I grew up with aluminum street roller skates and homemade skateboards of wood blocks mounted atop those skates. But because our world depends on them, more than we know. I am not an alarmist. I shy away from ringing any alarm bells for a cause as I am a subscriber to the crying wolf wisdom. Save the fire alarm for what most needs sounding. The bees need a five alarm fire warning, for they are sounding bells for us in their departure. Why are the bees leaving us?
Not that they are going off for good. Most bees abandoning us are domesticated slaves to the agriculture industry, shuttled from farm to farm to pollinate crops, but it’s not only the pesticides that are killing off these slave bees. Those in the wild know better than to go where the pesticides waft in the wind through miles of wheat stalks or almond trees. It’s also the stress. The suffering, farm-raised, overworked honey bees are one of the most threatened populations–enslaved pollinators chained to their instincts and the dollars that drive their keepers and chemical companies. While the EPA as well as the world looks away.
Bees are responsible for a third of all we ingest.
Agribusiness practices include bee transportation across countries where they are released to pollinate crops: a month feeding on blueberries then another month on almonds and another month on some other fruit or vegetable plants, season to season, place to place. Keepers earn their keep.
The artificial dietary conditions and non-stop travel schedule stress these insects that vibrate to one another and radar their stress all along the colony, a highly systematized bee industrial complex inside the hive. They want out.
The smart bees have left the building–abandoned their hives, collapsed their colony. They punched their final time card in the clock.
Stress and pesticides are forcing the bees out. Their disappearance is a message to those who can decode it. I will miss the bees.

Photo: Bobby Doherty