by Brit Amos
March 25, 2008
‘Commercial beehives pollinate over
a third of [North] America’s crops and that web of nourishment
encompasses everything from fruits like peaches, apples,
cherries, strawberries and more, to nuts like California
almonds, 90 percent of which are helped along by the honeybees.
Without this pollination, you could kiss those crops goodbye, to
say nothing of the honey bees produce or the flowers they also
This essay will discuss the arguments
and seriousness pertaining to the massive deaths and the decline of
Bee colonies in North America. As well, it will shed light on a
worldwide hunger issue that will have an economical and ecological
impact in the very near future.
There are many reasons given to the decline in Bees, but one
argument that matters most is the use of Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMO) and "Terminator Seeds" that are presently
being endorsed by governments and forcefully utilized as our primary
agricultural needs of survival. I will argue what is publicized and
covered by the media is in actuality masking the real forces at
work, namely the impact of genetically modified seeds on the
reproduction of bee colonies across North America
Genetically modified seeds are produced and distributed by powerful
biotech conglomerates. The latter manipulate government agricultural
policy with a view to supporting their agenda of dominance in the
agricultural industry. American conglomerates such as Monsanto,
Pioneer HiBred and others, have created seeds that reproduce only
under certain conditions, often linked to the use of their own
brands of fertilizer and/or insecticide.
The genetic modification of the plant leads to the concurrent
genetic modification of the flower pollen. When the flower pollen
becomes genetically modified or sterile, the bees will potentially
go malnourished and die of illness due to the lack of nutrients and
the interruption of the digestive capacity of what they feed on
through the summer and over the winter hibernation process.
I will argue that the media reports tend to distract public opinion
from the true cause which underlies the destruction of bee colonies.
As such, outlined are four major arguments which the biotech
conglomerates (which produce and market GMO seeds) have used to
mislead the public regarding the demise of the bees.
These arguments include Varroa mites,
parasites, cell phones, and terminator seeds
Argument 1 - Varroa Mites 2
Firstly, while there are some people who want to pin the blame on
these mites, such views are unconvincing in that the argument does
not make any sense because the main source of disease for these bees
is intestinal disease. In fact, many bee experts assumed Varroa
mites were a major cause of the severe die-off in the winter of
Yet when researchers from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bee Research
Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, traveled to Oakdale,
California, where Anderson and a number of his fellow beekeepers
spend winter and spring, they could find no correlation between the
level of Varroa mite infestation and the health of bee colonies.
‘We couldn’t pin the blame for the
die-off on any single cause,’ says Jeff Pettis, a research
entomologist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Bee
Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.3
However, treatments against mites may be
leaving hives open to the onslaught of powerful pathogens, much in
the same way the overuse of antibiotics lead to super bugs in
What does that say about our future?
We have learned that in the 1960’s and
1970’s, among other human ailments, DDT was a major cause of cancer
in humans and animals; however, the substitution of such pesticides
was a closely guarded secret. Unfortunately, the long term effects
on the human population has yet to be understood as the compromise
of the immune system may be happening quicker than we are ready to
accept, even regarding the advent of super bugs.
One can see that even this medical
implication has severe economical implications.
Argument 2 - Parasites
Secondly; Crops and even hedges, verges, and woodlands, and even
where bees remain are sprayed with pesticides or herbicides. These
chemicals are the practical extension of an exasperating belief that
nature is our enemy.
Pouring poison on our food is a very
simplistic way of dealing with our problems however it ignores the
“New genetically modified crops,
designed to be immune to certain pesticides and herbicides, have
resulted in the increased usage of these chemicals. Pesticides,
particularly Bayer’s imidacloprid, a nicotine-based product
marketed under the names Admire, Provado, Merit,
Gaucho have been concretely implicated4
in the destruction of bee populations before (see also)5.
The fact that other bees and insects are
not raiding deserted hives to feed on the honey as they normally
would lends some credence to the theory of a toxic overload.
The toxic overload is certainly a
concern, but wouldn’t it also need to be considered that this is
systematic in the degeneration of the digestive process, such as in
humans inability to digest preservatives and not absorb the enzymes
to break down the foods eaten for survival?
Argument 3 - Cell Phones
Thirdly, there was also a misconstrued study on cell
phone radiation 6
and its effects on the bee’s ability to navigate which turned out to
be an over-zealous unthinking reaction by an article in the
Some have also mentioned other
navigational hindrances such as UV radiation, shifting magnetic
fields and even quantum physics7
as a reason to the destruction of the bees.
There is certain implications to this theory, and it has been proven
that electromagnetic radio wave lengths to affect the navigation of
the bees. However the sun emits radiation spurts all the time, yet
this has not offered a hindrance to the bees.
Argument 4 - Terminator Seeds
‘Leaked documents seen by the
Guardian show that Canada wants all governments to accept the
testing and commercialization of “Terminator” crop varieties.
These seeds are genetically engineered to produce only infertile
seeds, which farmers cannot replant, also to mention that the
bees that are trying to collect pollen, found to have their
digestive tract diseases, such as amoeba and nosema disease’8.
These diseases are mainly located in the
digestive tract system. A
After studies of the autopsy, the most
alarming trait is that the lower intestine and stinger have
discolored to black vs. the normal opaque color, synonymous with
colon cancer in humans.
of intestinal tracts of bees.
"When thoracic discs were cut from
sample Georgia A-2 the musculature of bees was notably soft and
discolored (A) when compared to healthy thoracic cuts (B).
This discoloration suggests that the bees were dead upon
collection. When questioned the beekeeper confirmed that the
bees were alive at the time of collection. Further, the tracheal
system of these bees did not show signs of desiccation usually
associated with the collection of dead bees. Thoracic discs from
this sample, after being placed in KOH for 24 hours, revealed
peculiar white nodules”9
As seen above, it is certain that the
digestive shutdown is due to hard material in the digestive tract
that compromises the immune system. Circulatory problems would
without doubt. Could it be that humans are going through the same
process with the rise of Colon Cancer?
As seen below in the comparison of the
healthy Bee and the unhealthy bee, it is obvious that the bees that
are ingesting GMO pollen are having severe digestive problems, so
severe that the disease is terminal.
Digestive shutdown of
the Honey Bee
The rectal contents of Georgia bees (A)
were distinctly different then the contents of Pasadena bees (B).
The rectal walls of GA bees were notably transparent revealing
contents that looked like small stone packets (C). While Fyg (1964)
describes similar stone like contents in poorly laying queens, the
stones observed in the GA bees were not attached to the epithelium
layer as Fyg (1964) describes.
When these packets were ground and
mounted, some unidentified floating objects (UFO’s) were observed. A
cubic particle that resembles the cubic bodies of polyhedrios
viruses (this viruses attacks wax moths) excepting that the cube
observed was ~10x too big for a virus particle. There were fragments
of pollen grains husks in all samples examined. All PA samples were
found to have nosema spores in their rectal contents while none of
the GA samples did. In two samples, epithelial cells were packed
The North American reliance on bees for pollination is at minimum
from 30 to 40%. Does it not seem obvious that the digestion of
foreign genetic agriculture directly affects the digestive process
of the bees.
Could it also be that there are similarities in the
human population digestive process? It must also be noted that this
increased epidemic of the bee colony collapse has risen
significantly since the use of GMO (genetic modified
organisms) agriculture in our foods. It is
also suspect in the rise of new cases of medical ailments in humans
such as colon cancer, obesity, heart disease, etc...
In the writers’ opinion, the inability
of the bees to pass matter digestively is quite similar to the
present problems in the human digestive system
The proof is obvious that one of the major reasons of the bees’
decline is by the ingestion of GMO proteins.
This is problematic, as
there is such an increase of indigestible foods in humans and bees.
The situation of colon cancer in humans is somewhat similar in
occurrence. This is only a theory but leaves one to wonder what are
we eating en mass. The external or complementary good of the bee is
obviously a rise for a global concern. The long-term economical and
environmental impact has yet to be completely understood.
The Ecological Impact of horizontal gene transfer and increase of
rampant disease is not fully examined and if so, is kept silent by
these Conglomerates. The Economic Impact of the Colony collapse
would mean higher inflation, scarcity of agricultural goods, and
ultimately the collapse of North America Agriculture Business.
The Environmental Impact of scarcity and increased demand for
resources, will beyond doubt have severe repercussions for our
long-term food security. The bio-diversity of the bees causes
positive economic and ecological externalities.
The negative externalities have yet to
be fully grasped or understood.
The truth is that organic farming is
relatively untouched as the bee crisis is concerned. Organic farming
maintains the diversity of the eco-system and preserves the quality
of the foods produced. The economic impact that the scarcity of bees
will potentially have on our society as a whole is very worrisome.
In the end, only our children will fully
realize; that it was greed that destroyed our beautiful blue planet.
Thill, John. Colony Collapse: Do
Massive Bee Die-Off Mean an End to Our Food System as We
Know it? AlterNet
http://www.alternet.org/module (Accessed 7/9/2007 10:06 PM)
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(Accessed July 12, 2007)
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)
(Accessed June 30, 2007)
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HONEY BEE Research Program. RIRDIC Honeybee Research Program
(Accessed July 7, 2007)
Ho, Dr. Mae-Wan. ‘Recent Evidence Confirms Risks of
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Science in Society, PO Box 32097, London NW1 0XR (Accessed
July 16, 2007)
ISIS Contribution. ‘Recent Evidence Confirms Risks of
Horizontal Gene Transfer”. ISIS Contribution to ACNFP/Food
Standards Agency Open Meeting 13 November 2002 (Accessed
July 17, 2007)
Vidal, John. ‘Canada backs terminator seeds’, The Guardian.
Wednesday, February 9, 2005.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/ (Accessed July 17,
Wilson, Dan. Lost colonies: ‘Where have the bees gone’?
Appelton Post-Crescent, 5/18/2007 (Accessed July 19, 2007)
What’s Causing the Mass Disappearance of Honeybees? ‘What is
causing the Dramatic decline in Honeybee Populations in the
U.S and Elsewhere in Recent years’? HealthNewsDigest.com –
New York, NY, June 2, 2007
July 10, 2007)
Hill, Scott. AlterNet, Posted on
June 11, 2007, Printed on July 9, 2007
Vidal, John. ‘Canada backs
terminator seeds’ Wednesday February 9, 2005. The Guardian
Fall Dwindle Disease: A
December 15, 2006
Fall Dwindle Disease: A
December 15, 2006