Tuesday, February 20, 2007


What's going on with the honeybees?

Seems weird, but there have been stories of dieoffs or disappearances of honeybees...

So what would be a likely suspect? Other than some unknown fungus or mite that seriously compromises the insects, I think the biggest threat to apiculture is genetically modified crops. To be specific, Bt crops. Or rather a long-term induced die-off when the bees heavily rely on pollen stores likely to contain the Bt compound. But in my researches of the internet, I can't find much in the way of information about Bt effect on polinating insects released. But if I were a beekeeper with a large dieoff, I'd hire a few independent biologists/entomologists to survey any kill phenomenon in the hives. (No way would I rely entirely on government assets for such surveys, simply because they're too liable to influence by special interests.) Such surveys would be performed with a focus on any signs of protein crystalization in the insect's guts to see if Bt is indeed a problem.

So could there be a coverup? If Bt modified crops are the cause, then there darn well could be. First of all, there's the economic impact on apiculturists. They'd have a lawsuit right there, for destruction of property, ecological negligence, and loss of livelyhood. Then you'd have the natural crop farmers, they'd have a lawsuit for contamination and destruction of the supporting apiculture needed to grow their crops. Then of course there'd be the resulting international grievances against genetic modified crops, and an outright ban on genetic-modified foodstock or U.S. exports of such foods. There goes a big chunk of the agriculture industry...

Yep, the fallout could be nasty. With worldwide economic and environmental impact if this is indeed the case. Let's hope something else is killing the bees and that there's no agri-industry coverup.

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