Can We Help Honey Bees ? Cheerios says YES.
Want to help honey bees?
Everyone knows they are in trouble. All pollinators including honeybees, bumble bees, butterflies and others are experiencing serious decline. The plight of the bee is a focus of many headlines in our news outlets. We see corporations develop clever plans asking – can we help honey bees ?
Are these true and genuine efforts to help save the bees, pollinators and maybe our food sources?
Or, are they just clever marketing ploys to gain the attention of concerned consumers. Some of the companies asking “can we save bees” may be part of the problem. They are directly or indirectly involved in potential bee harming practices.
Can we help save bees? I hope so. But, these campaigns are creating some strange bedfellows. Public interest in a solution to declining pollinator numbers fuels the search for answers. Hopefully, we will find a way to help before its too late.
Can We Help Honey Bees In Time ?
Researchers working hard to solve the honeybee crisis are unable to pinpoint one specific cause. They identified several factors believed to be involved in the decline of the bees. These factors include habitat loss, poor nutrition, pollution of the environment, and pesticides.
Scientists have found more than 150 different chemical residues in bee pollen. Pollen is fed to young bees. There is concern that by ingesting chemical laden pollen, the bees are living shorter unhealthy lives.
Our feral colonies have mostly disappeared. Bee swarms are fewer that in years past.
Is Pesticide Use Part of The Problem?
The large chemical companies seem perplexed regarding the problems facing honeybees. Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Bayer are unsure of a way to solve the problems. There is no doubt that our agriculture system depends on the use of pesticides. But this concern is not just about producing food. It is also about money.
Bee scientist express concern over Imidacloprid and clothianidin (made by Bayer) and thiamethoxam (made by Syngenta). These products experience revenues in excess of $2 billion a year. The major players in the world market for GMO modified pesticides are Bayer, Dow, Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. The chemical industry spends millions of dollars a year to say that are not at fault. Hmmm.
Saving Bees Is Hip
As a beekeeper, the latest program by Cheerios to give away seeds to help bees make me smile. While it is a great thing to give away free seeds to help all pollinators, I have to wonder why? The reason doesn’t matter if the end result helps pollinators.
However, General Mills is one of the largest users of pesticide sprayed products in our country. The same pesticides that are suspected to be associated with the decline of the honey bee. I realize that our current agriculture system relies on the use of pesticides. I am not advocating that pesticide use be prohibited. I do believe we need to work to find a better way.
While the free seed gesture is nice, I would like to see a bigger effort to reduce the use of dangerous pesticides. If everyone would focus on better farming practices this would really benefit all pollinators. Yet, it is hard to pack that up in a pretty package and mail it out.
This is not just about Cheerios and their marketing campaign. All of the major industries are involved. Does it really matter why something is done if it does help save bees ? I think no. And, I am not saying large companies are disingenuous in their desire to help save bees. I am just a bit skeptical of their motives. Because, well you see, having a save the bees program is very popular. It’s the hip thing to do.
Other – Can We Help Save the Bees – Programs
You Can Make A Difference to Help Save Bees
The effort to help save bees and other pollinators is one we can all share. Plant flowers, reduce pesticide use, tell your congressmen/women that you care about the environment. Get involved if you really care about the bees.
Join our Beekeeping Community
If you love honey bees and want to learn more about bees and beekeeping, this is the place for you!