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16 October 2016
Essay 3 Draft
The farmers of America today have a variety of techniques with farming along with the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the use of pesticides and herbicides. Farmers of course, like this, but little do they know that the use of these techniques can end up putting them out of business because GMO’s and pesticides are known to kill the European Honey Bee, which is the creature that pollinates these crops and gives us something to eat. While beekeepers claim that the use of GMO crops and pesticides should be restricted, many farmers believe that they are required for agriculture.
In a Research article called, Pesticide Residues and Bees- A Risk Assessment, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo and Koichi Goka state how, “Attempts to explain the CCD have focused on two main fronts: biological diseases, which includes virus Nosema infections, parasites such as mites and hive beetles; and pesticides, including not only insecticides and acaricides but also fungicides and herbicides (Bayo & Goka 1)”. CCD is a disease bees get called colony collapse disorder in which a majority of the bees in a hive disappear. This disorder is the main cause of death among bees and the jobs of beekeepers. The Queen Bee, which is the most important bee, flies one time in order to get mated which only happens once in her lifetime. If she gets the
disease she will spread it to her offspring which is every single bee in the hive. Furthermore, Bayo and Goka’s research shows that “a total of 161 pesticides have been found so far in bee hives, of which 124 appeared in pollen, 95 in wax and 77 in honey or nectar” (5). This is an abundant amount of chemicals and is found in many different places that can harm a bee.
In a recent interview with local beekeeper Randy Thompson (local beekeeper), he explained in his own words,” I will take my hives out of an area where I know pesticides are going to be sprayed. I will have thousands of dead bees on the ground near my hives”. This can be devastating for a beekeeper whose job relies on his bees. Without bees he cannot work to support his family. Furthermore, Randy explained further by saying,” at one point I had 500 hives and then when I went out to my bees the next week I was only left with 200 after I received overspray from a neighboring corn field”. This is a huge loss when his paycheck depends on how many hives he has. Imagine this loss like taking a sixty percent pay cut. Most Americans would not be able to recover from such loss.
. On the other hand, Blake Hurst, author of the article, The Omnivore’s Delusion: Against the Agri-intellectuals, would disagree saying that “Herbicides cut the need for tillage, which decreases soil erosion by millions of tons” (Hurst 206). This does help with soil erosion but it hurts the pollinators more than it helps. The use of herbicides was one of the techniques stated in Francisco Sanchez-Bayo’s and Koichi Goka’s research that were known to cause CCD in bees. Humans can live with soil erosion but they can’t live without bees. Not only do pesticides and herbicides hurt bees, but some GMO species hurt bees. In the video Fed Up Brent Blackwelder explains how the GMO corn called BT corn contains a toxin in the pollen and how it is harmful to the larvae that ingest pollen (Fed up). Bees are a species that do happen to metamorphisize
from a larvae and when they are they do consume pollen. Unfortunately, corn is one of the most abundant crop in America and that means that bees are traumatized by these crops and have declined in population in recent years. In order to help with this growing problem, the Farm Bill should be revised by giving more subsidies to farmers that do not use pesticides or GMO crops in hope to make farmers change their techniques.
The use of pesticides, herbicides and GMO crops have had an effect on the pollinators and can cause bees to become extinct. There are many pollinators other than bees including: butterflies, ladybugs, birds, and even bats. Bees have thrived for thousands of years and until recently they declined rapidly because of these farming habits. Farmers will always disagree with the arguments of beekeepers and vis versa. But the big picture is that the farmers that use pesticides and GMO crops use these products to make farming easier but if they are not careful they will realize that they are really making it harder for crops to produce.
Fed Up. Youtube. Wholesome Goodness Productions, 20 May 2014. Web. 15 Oct. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaAQRfxpSjI>
Hurst, Blake. "The Omnivores Delusion:Against the Agri-Intellectuals."Food Matters: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. By Holly Bauer. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2014. 204-13. Print.
Sanchez-Bayo, Francisco, and Koichi Goka. "Pesticide Residues and Bees- A Risk Assessment." EBSCOhost. N.p., n.d. Web.
Thompson,Randy. Personal Interview. 15 October 2016.a infections, parasites such as mites and hive beetles; and pesticides, including not only insecticides and acaricides but also fungicides and herbicides (Bayo & Goka 1)”. CCD is a disease bees get called colony collapse disorder in which a majority of the bees in a hive disappear. This disorder is the main cause of death among bees and the jobs of beekeepers. The Queen Bee, which is the most important bee, flies one time in order to get mated which only happens once in her lifetime. If she gets the
The use of pesticides, herbicides and GMO crops have had an effect on the pollinators and can cause bees to become extinct. There are many pollinators other than bees including: butterflies, ladybugs, birds, and even