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After Planting Large GMO Corn Field

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.

Two of Bayer’s best-selling pesticides, Imidacloprid and Clothianidin, are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees. The marketing of these drugs also coincided with the occurrence of large-scale bee deaths in many European countries and the United States.

Nathan Carey another local farmer says that this spring he noticed that there were not enough bees on his farm and he believes that there is a strong correlation between the disappearance of bees and insecticide use.

In the past, many scientists have struggled to find the exact cause of the massive die-offs, a phenomenon they refer to as “colony collapse disorder” (CCD). In the United States, for seven consecutive years, honeybees are in terminal decline.

US scientists have found 121 different pesticides in samples of bees, wax and pollen, lending credence to the notion that pesticides are a key problem. “We believe that some subtle interactions between nutrition, pesticide exposure and other stressors are converging to kill colonies,” said Jeffery Pettis, of the ARS’s bee research laboratory.

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute over 30 billion to the global economy.

A new study published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that neonicotinoid pesticides kill honeybees by damaging their immune system and making them unable to fight diseases and bacteria.

After reporting large losses of bees after exposure to Imidacloprid, banned it for use on corn and sunflowers, despite protests by Bayer. In another smart move, France also rejected Bayer’s application for Clothianidin, and other countries, such as Italy, have banned certain neonicotinoids as well. After record-breaking honeybee deaths in the UK, the European Union has banned multiple pesticides, including neonicotinoid pesticides.

Original Post

Anyone have a lot of Clover growing in your yard this year? Several decades ago, when you saw clover blooming in the yard, you better put on shoes before walking in the clover. Otherwise you could easily be stung when you stepped on honey bees. This year seems to be an abundance of Clover growth, more so, than previous years. Mowing grass I notice the insects on the clover. Noticed more bees similar to a smaller version of the carpenter bee as the most prevalent of bees. Of this type of black bee, for every 25 I saw, I only noticed 1 honey bee. I was happy to see the honey bee, I knew they all have not been wiped out.

Again several decades ago, when clover bloomed, normally you would see 25-35 honey bees to 1 of the smaller black bee or carpenter bee & its cousins. So I must say, with the same time period, GMO seed stock was not available 30-40 years ago, just hybridized seed stocks were used. As the article states, in past we could not determine an exact cause for the death of honey bees. But it is looking more likely to be the pesticides. (As prescribed to be in use with the GMO seed stock. Which is my personal Opinion)

Not understanding the behavior of Honey Bees & Carpenter Bees & Cousins as thoroughly as I should. Why honey bees died and carpenter bees thrived. Both bee types live in same farming areas & are attracted to similar flowers. Any one with more knowledge than I, who may be a bee keeper or managing a farming operation, may can share some of your personal insight why this is possible.


About 7 years ago it was reported that bee colonies were dying off. It was being caused by some virus or infection in the hives, I think. The following year I noticed no honey bees at our place and was very disturbed by that. Fortunately other insects are pollinators also. People might not think much about bees and the roll they play world wide but a world without bees would be a disaster. We garden almost exclusively organically and don't use any pesticides.

I can understand bees being affected by the use of pesticides but don't understand why  planting GMO corn 2 weeks earlier would affect bees.

Thanks for the follow up article, Kraven. I couldn't understand what genetically modified organisms had to do with insecticides as the first article would have you think. So the answer would be that there isn't any proof GMO corn seeds would cause bees and hives to die off. Corn seed is sometimes coated with a fungicide but not usually with any pesticide or herbicide. Corn takes 10-14 days to sprout and the bees would only be interested in it when it tassles, and that depends on the variety but would be approximately be 2 1/2 months after sprouting.

I seem to speculate the GMO Seed being planted could withstand/tolerate the pesticide/fungicide being sprayed on/in the ground prior to or during planting corn. I can't understand or believe the GMO seed itself being planted as the main single cause of bee death. Something else contributed to the planting process may have impacted the bees, as well as other factors. Such as, pesticides being used to eliminate emerging weeds and the GMO seed has the ability to withstand higher concentration levels of pesticide over a period of time in the soil. Thus affecting the honey bees. An observation of Spraying in Corn or Cotton crops via Boom sprayers, it is quite evident that spray drifts in the air to surrounding areas that adjoin the crop fields. (had peach leaves get burned after a spraying) There are other factors that may be coming into play we are not taking into account. Drought, Excess Moisture & mold, virus, bacterial infected plants the bees are attracted to, other microbes. Chemical compounds used in pesticides seem to be patented by different companies making their brand somewhat different than their competitors brand and who knows what the affects of some of the newer brands (those 10 yrs. ago)  have on insects/bees and other life forms, based upon the chemical composition change. Looks like it's still a mystery. 

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