Don’t Kill Your Friends

 

Queen bee 1

Queen bee 1 (Photo credit: quisnovus)

I really love honey.  I pour it on wheat bread.  It is part of my favorite corn bread recipe.  I use it to sweeten hot cereal, german pancakes, french toast, waffles, pancakes, and countless other things.  Locally grown honey contains local pollen and so can help us build immunities to allergies.  Bees build and organize.  They support civilization and fight chaos.  You might say that bees are our friends.

Termites on the other hand, are nasty creatures.  Ok, they’re not, but when they build in the wrong place they support chaos.  For your house, the rule with termites is kill or be killed.  Termites in or under your house are not your friends.

Which brings us to a substance called neonicotinoid, a nicotine derivative pesticide marketed by Bayer.  It remains persistent in plants treated with it, waiting their vascular systems until it then gets absorbed into the pollen and nectar.  It may even by cumulative.

This has all been looked at and talked about for quite a while.  Studies are underway to determine the impact of this substance when used by the agriculture industry.  However, the more frightening study results were found recently at Penn State University where they found concentrations of neonicotinoid in the nectar and pollen of backyard plants to be much worse than that of commercial farms…10 to 100 times the amount that would kill bee colonies and more than enough to link it directly to Colony Collapse Disorder.

So…Ms Bee finds that your cherry tree has blossomed.  She tastes the sweet nectar and thinks, “Wow, like really I need to like…tell all my sweet sisters about this!  This is almost as neat as Justin Bieber!”  Then she flies on back to the hive (because bees don’t have text messaging), and does her cute little bee dance (aka The Waggle Dance) that tells all her little Bee sisters, “Cherry Tree, Three miles…North by North East”.  Actually she’s saying, “Name your poison!”

Do I think we should let the EPA and the agriculture industry off the hook on this?  Not completely.  But at the same time as we’re complaining about the actions of government agencies and coorporations, we should also look to ourselves.  We…collectively…effect the envirnment too.

I guess what I am saying is this.  If you want to be allowed to kill your termites with neonicotinoid, please stop using it on your plants.  Oh, and please follow the directions when using any chemical.  Safety First.

And…just in case your wondering…the answer is yes.  I did use Justin Bieber‘s name twice in this article just to get Google hits.  Shame, shame, shame.   😉

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~ by Bill Housley on April 17, 2012.

2 Responses to “Don’t Kill Your Friends”

  1. Wow – Loved this

    Did some more research on it, it seems like this chemical is mainly in DIY Bayer termite treatments – which aren’t recommended for termite control anyway, but it’s also this area where people tend to be the least responsible, mainly because they’re not given all the information on the label that they need to make the decisions.

    This obviously goes without saying, but as a gardener (or alternatively, someone who eats food that is created from a seed), it’s not just about the honey…

    *Justin Bieber*

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