Pesticides and the fate of the bees

The strange decline of huge swathes of the bee population in Europe can be put down to the excessive use of pesticides, that are used across the vast majority of European agricultural land. Neonicotinoids, that kill insects via their effect on the central nervous system, are a particular worry. Although they do not typically kill bees outright, they impair the bee’s navigational senses. As such the bees never make it back to their hives and die. For the future of our ecodiversity such practices are quite clearly not sustainable. An obvious answer to this issue would be an outright ban on such substances. Or if we were to go one step further, the promotion of organic farming techniques would be even better. The huge diseconomies of scale of organic agriculture today, makes it very hard for organic farmers to compete on price versus the massively subsidized agrobarons that spray their land with impunity. As more people enter into the philosophy of an organic system this situation will be reversed. One day we might even see the advent of products having to be labelled as containing herbicides, pesticides and fossil fuel based fertilizers. Today we live in a topsy turvy world where it is farmers that do not kill their land and their ecosystems that have to jump through all the administrative hoops to prove that they are organic.

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