The buzz in today’s headlines is how two major Canadian beekeeping firms, Munro Honey and Sun Parlor Honey Ltd, are filing a 450 million dollar class action suit against agrochemical giants Syngenta Canada Inc. and Bayer Cropscience Inc., makers of widely used neonicotinoid pesticides.
According to the CBC:
The lawsuit alleges that Bayer Cropscience Inc. and Syngenta Canada Inc. and their parent companies were negligent in their design, manufacture, sale and distribution of neonicotinoid pesticides, specifically those containing imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiomethoxam. The pesticides, which are a neurotoxin to insects, are widely coated on corn, soybean and canola seeds in Canada to protect the plants from pests such as aphids. Studies have shown that bees exposed to the pesticides have smaller colonies, fail to return to their hives, and may have trouble navigating. The pesticides were also found in 70 per cent of dead bees tested by Health Canada in 2013.
The sad but simple truth is – fewer bees means a lot less food. Aside from producing honey, bees along with bats, birds, and other pollinators are responsible for pollinating a third of the world’s crops. From almonds to avocados, we have our teeny tiny friends to thank.
You can read more on the lawsuit here. And to learn more about the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, check out this video on how they not only affect bees, but our entire food chain: