This Week in the Mercury


Friday, June 21, 2013

We Are Winning The War On Honeybees

Posted by Dan Savage on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 9:44 AM

From my essay on the eerily similarities between the climate change deniers of 2013 and the AIDS deniers of 1983:

Now every time I read about fires in Colorado or rising seas or Canadian tar sands or Native villages already being washed away in Alaska or preparations for the next hurricane that slams into New York City, a slightly modified version of Buchanan's vicious line about AIDS plays in my head. We have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution.

We have declared war on the water we drink and the air we breathe. We have declared war on the forests and the oceans. We have declared war on the honeybees.

From today's Columbian:

Thousands of dead and dying bees have been found in the parking lot of a shopping center in Wilsonville, Ore., southwest of Portland. Oregon officials say their preliminary investigation indicates blooming trees in the lot were recently sprayed with an insecticide known to be toxic to bees.... Most of the dead were gold-and-black bumble bees although honey bees and some ladybugs were found dead as well. A primary focus of the Agriculture Department's preliminary investigation is a pesticide called Safari that apparently was applied in the area last Saturday to control aphids, said Dale Mitchell, program manager in the Agriculture Department's pesticide compliance and enforcement section. Safari is part of a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids that are considered acutely toxic to pollinators.

Aphids we can live with. Bees we can't live without. Maybe we should err on the side of not pushing bees to extinction?

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