For several years I have been curious and concerned about reports from many parts of the world that bee colonies were vanishing or dying. Because of their ability to pollinate fruit and vegetables bees are of enormous importance to mankind. Finally a breakthrough in understanding this problem has appeared on the scene. Whether this solves the whole bee problem or is simply one part of a more complex issue remains to be seen.

An article in Natural News by David Gutierrez on September 30, 2008 has linked the bee die-off in the Baden-Wurttemburg state of Germany to direct contact with the insecticide clothianidin found on corn seeds (German Research Center for Cultivated Plants). This pesticide had been applied to rapeseed and sweet cornseeds in the Rhine River Valley. Piles of dead bees were discovered at the entrance of hives in early May 2008. Clothianidin was found in the tissues of 99% of the dead bees. This is the time when corn seeding takes place according to Walter Haefeker, president of the European Professional Beekeeping Association. The Julius Huehn Institute (federal agricultural research agency) stated "it can be unequivocally be concluded that a poisoning of the bees is due to a rub-off of the pesticide ingredient clothianidin from corn seeds." This chemical is estimated to have killed two-thirds of the bees in this state.

Clothianidin is widely used insecticide marketed in Europe under the brand name Poncho. This insecticide is a derivative of nicotine which acts systemically as a neurotoxin which poisons the nervous system of insects. After application to the seeds of plants clothianidin spreads throughout all plant tissues.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified clothianidin as "highly toxic" to honeybees. This chemical was approved for U.S. use in 2003 and German use in 2004.

A subsidiary of the chemical giant Bayer, Bayer Crop Science which manufactures clothianidin, blamed the honeybee deaths on incorrect application of the insecticide. They claimed that application of a fixative prior to spraying with clothianidin would have prevented the poison from spreading to the environment. They related that the fixative was not applied so the poison spread into the air.

Beekeepers and pesticide critics rejected this explanation and called for Germany to join France in banning this chemical and other nicotine based insecticides. Philipp Mimkes, spokesman for the Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, stated "We have been pointing out the risk of neonicotinoids for almost 10 years now. This proves without a doubt that that the chemicals can come into contact with bees and kill them. These pesticides shouldn't be on the market."

The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety placed a provisional ban on the seven neonicotinoid pesticides (Poncho, Elado, Antarc, Chinook, Faibell, Mesurol, Cruiser). until the manufactures had sufficient data to convince the government regulators they were safe. Six of these substances are made by Bayer while Mesurol is made by Syngenta.

The same charges that nicotinoids from Bayer were killing bees were raised in France in 1999. In that nation Bayer's best selling pesticide imidaclopid was banned from use in sunflower seeds after being blamed for killing one third of the country's honeybees. In 2004 France extended the ban to sweet corn seeds. A new application for clothianidin was banned in France a few months ago.

In North Dakota beekeepers sued Bayer, alleging that imaclopid caused the Colony Collapse Disorder CCD in that state in 1995. Within 12 months of use one third of that state's honeybees were dead.

Around the world honeybee stocks are declining. Obviously this could have an enormous impact on global food supplies. Approximately 80 % of world food crops are pollinated by honeybees. In the USA alone this accounts for 130 crops and $15 billion of food each year.

Two million honeybee colonies have been lost in the USA in recent years. Massive dieoffs of bees have been reported from Europe. Taiwan discovered the disappearance of 10,000,000 bees in a two week period. U.K. Farming Minister Lord Rooker has advised that British honeybee population could disappear within the next 10 years.

Beekeepers have become quite alarmed by Colony Collapse Disorder CCD where bees simply disappear leaving empty hives. The neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated as the possible cause for CCD. Because the pesticide spreads through all plant tissues bees could be getting exposed through the pollen of treated plants. One study actually concluded that neonicotinoids are likely to become concentrated in bee hives in high the mechanism of transported pollen.

In low dosage research studies have shown that neonictinoids produce symptoms that could explain CCD. Termites exposed to these doses of imidaclopid experience disorientation and immune system failure, while bees exposed to low doses of this chemical develop impairment of communication, homing, foraging, flight, olfactory discrimination, and learning.

Food Scarcity Appears Inevitable

It appears that famine will become a prominent feature of these end times. Multiple factors are now operating that will contribute to famine:
  1. Adverse Weather Conditions Currently there is a scarcity of sun spots which contributes to lower temperatures. This summer was the coldest Alaska has experienced in 100 years with the summer temperatures about three degrees below normal. Last winter was unusually cold in the USA and Northern Europe. North Carolina had unprecedented heavy snow storms. The northern USA had very low temperatures with heavy snowstorms. The same cold weather pattern with bad storms was widespread in Europe last winter. We appear to be changing over from a warm weather cycle to a cold weather cycle which has been observed for thousands of years. The prime influence in causing this change appears to be the changing activity of the sun and has nothing to do with man made production of heat. Of great importance 200 years of glacial shrinkage [1] has come to an end. The winter of 2007-2008 has brought unusually large amounts of winter snow. This has combined with unusually cold temperatures in June ,July and August 2008 to start reversing 200 years of glacial shrinkage. Growing seasons will become shorter and crop yields will become smaller.
  2. Supermarkets have only a three day supply of products on their shelves. High transportation costs have made these stores more vulnerable to shortages of food. Very high fuel costs came near to driving truckers out of business in the summer of 2008. It is not hard to envision food riots in major cities when supermarkets have nothing to sell.
  3. Ethanol Production is not economic and has removed large amounts of corn from the marketplace. This has increased the cost of producing cattle, hogs, and chicken.
  4. Fallout of depleted uranium from bombs and shells is carried by wind to oceans where it enters oceans during rainstorms. The radioactivity from this fallout kills the algae[2] that are the start of the fish food chain that leads to our ocean fish. This will lead to fewer mature fish that will become more expensive.
  5. Inflation is driving the price of food to higher levels making many foods not affordable to much of the populace.
  6. Genetically Modified Foods are causing food allergies, health problems, chromosomal disorders and cancer. Renowned geneticist Dr. Mae-Wan Ho states[3]
    "Genetic engineering bypasses conventional breeding by using artificially constructed, parasitic, genetic elements, including viruses, as vectors to carry and smuggle genes into cells. Once inside cells, these vectors slot themselves into the host genome. The insertion of foreign genes into the host genome has long been known to have many harmful and fatal effects including cancer of the organism."
    The U.S. government does not require labeling of genetically modified foods. Thus American citizens are unable to avoid eating dangerous GMO food. GMO foods have fewer calories than normal food. Farmers have learned they can feed GMO food to animals if they want to thin them.
  7. As discussed in this article lack of bees is causing decreased production of fruits and vegetables. This contributes to decreased quantity of produce marketed and increased costs for the produce available to be sold. Whether the nations of the world will take a powerful stand against the pesticides made by powerful companies like Bayer and Syngenta remains to be seen.