Friday, 26 July 2013

We Need Action - not Words!


It frustrates me enormously that we are only recently reading the *breaking news* that artificially bred bumblebees are being imported to the UK - and that they are carrying diseases that are endangering our native bumblebees when the artificially bred bees escape into the wild.

This is NOT breaking news, it has been going on for YEARS but the media have not been interested!!! All of a sudden, now that 'bee decline' is worrying people from a human crop pollination view point, everyone seems to be reporting on this situation. Although they very rarely tell the whole story.

Of course it is in many ways a wonderful thing that this is finally being reported in the media because more people will sit up and take notice....but it's no good closing the stable door after the horse has already bolted. News like this needs to be disseminated much earlier if it is to make a difference to the bumblebees that are being bred and used for the purpose of pollinating our mono crops of tomatoes etc....and to the native bees that are, in turn, being exposed to the diseases that are already rife in artificially reared colonies.

I notice that most of the reports don't mention the fact that these beautiful, hard working little creatures are often reared on pollen and nectar substitutes and are artificially overwintered by exposing them to carbon dioxide. Worst of all, when they have finished doing the job of pollinating the tomatoes, they are not allowed to be released into the wild, or returned to Eastern Europe where they were bred, so they are DROWNED or FROZEN to death.

Breeding bumblebees artificially to pollinate our mono crops is, to me, abhorrent on every level. It reminds me of the battery chicken industry.

I'm also stunned that it is considered 'news' that cocktails of pesticides are contributing to bee decline.  Of course they are contributing to bee decline!!! This, also, has been known for decades. I remember reading research published many years ago telling us that dead bees have been found to contain up to 27 different pesticides in their poor little bodies. this is not rocket science and it didn't need millions of ££££s or $$$$s to be spent to tell us what we already know. This money would have been far better spent supporting farmers to switch to organic methods of farming when growing their crops.

Rachel Carson highlighted the problems that pesticides were causing for wildlife back in the sixties in her book 'Silent Spring', which is sadly as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.

What is wrong with the media, our government and the population in general, that we wait till things are so dire that our pollinators are in danger of becoming extinct before we even begin to discuss what we should do about the situation?!  I have had conversations with people recently who tell me they have read recently about bee decline, and that it all sounds very awful, but that they can't stop using pesticides because their roses would suffer and they couldn't possibly leave their lawns to grow longer to allow the clovers, vetches and self-heals to flower because it would look untidy. I can only conclude that these people are suffering from some kind of collective madness.

Apologies for the rant, but seriously, what is it going to take for people, organisations and governments to take this issue seriously enough to actually DO something about it instead of just talk about it? I'm delighted that it IS finally being reported in the media and that so many organisations (including many environmental and wildlife NGO's) that have ignored the issue of pesticides & bee decline till recently are finally speaking up, but we need ACTION to be taken immediately otherwise it will be too late.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

First and foremost we must all plant more pollen and nectar rich flowers. All the advice you need to create a pollinator garden can be found on this website

Please sign  THIS PETITION CALLING FOR A BAN ON IMPORTED BUMBLEBEES

If you are someone who uses insecticides, herbicides or fungicides on your garden, please look for alternatives. There are plenty out there and they are not difficult to find. All you need to do is search on google for 'Natural alternatives to pesticides'

Thank you for all that you do!

Brigit x

*Breaking news* about imported bumblebees - report in Telegraph 

*Breaking news* about cocktails of pesticides contributing to bee decline 

Taking Bees for Granted Interesting article

8 comments:

  1. I have been looking for such valuable information for along time. Thank you and I look forward to following your future posts.

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    1. Many thanks for your feedback Sadie.

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  2. J.Morrison N.Ireland28 July 2013 at 16:23

    More excellent information and if everyone was to rant about the bees importance wouldn't that be wonderful. J.Morrison N.Ireland

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  3. Thank you Brigit for telling it like it is, wonderfully informative but it made me want to weep, not just for the bees, but for our own stupidity and greed because it is usually money or profit that is at the root of most wrongs in the world. Thank you for caring, not enough do. Ann x

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  4. This year we have had more bumblebees in our garden and woodland then ever before. I don't think it is because there are lots more ( I know they are in decline) - I suspect it is because we are a little oasis of densely planted, bee friendly pollen/nectar rich flowers in an ever increasingly bee barren suroundings.

    Am delighted to see them but worry about where else they can go to feed/nest.

    And I agree with you about the battery hen analogy - to treat bees in that manner is disgusting.

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  5. I run a blog for Smestow Valley LNR. I have started a nature network to protect our patches and coordinate wildlife surveys. Please could you e-mail me at smestowsightings@gmail.com and I can send you more information. Regards, Chris Millward.
    movingmountains4wildlife@blogspot.co.uk

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  6. Brigit, Like you I rage and lament about media so called coverage and reporting about a wide range of issues but particularly anything concerning the environment. They are helping to keep the majority of people ignorant when so much could be done to remedy a host of wrongs and ills if more people simply were made AWARE of the truth. I have known for over 40 yrs now the devastating impact chemicals( i.e. pesticides and herbicides ect) have on all living things. Science and naturalists and others have known and /or suspected as much for ages . As per usual the mainstream media acts as if all this was new news. I was not aware however that bumblebees are imported to G.B and all that that entails. I have signed the petition and passed on the small handful of people I know~ Do not know if you are aware that you can start a petition of any kind at 38 degrees website ~ and they seem to reach a lot of folks. So glad (if glad is the right word here ) that I stopped by your blog today. The lunatics are definitely in charge of the asylum these days ~ if only insanity could be their excuse! Unfortunately it has more to do with arrogant self interest and profit driven greed as we all know and being kept ignorant of what is really going on.

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