The Canadian Health Department has decided to phase out a widely-used pesticide (imidacloprid) that has come under fire because of its role in the decrease of the bee population. This chemical belongs to the family of pesticides called neonicotinoids which are notorious for killing bees, and also for harming the birds and mammals who feast upon seeds treated with these chemicals. The pesticides are sprayed on agriculture, and they bind easily to the insects’ nervous systems. The damage accumulates quickly, and these toxic effects are seriously affecting the bee population.
Our lives – and the world in general – would be a vastly different place if bees didn’t exist to work hard for us. To get a feeling for this reality, consider that bees are responsible for pollinating around one sixth of the blooming plant species worldwide. Simply put, pollination by bees is how plants reproduce, and if we continue to lose our bee population at such a staggering rate, our food supply as we know it will change drastically. At least one third of the food items that we rely on and consume in abundance are the result of pollination by bees…. Less bees = less food. In addition to this action by Canada, the EU is considering a complete ban on these pesticides. The US and China have been slow to respond to the danger that these chemicals pose to our food supply. Hopefully the actions of Canada and the EU will set a positive example for the rest of the world.