The arrival of Colony Collapse Disorder in 2006 coincided with the mass distribution of the new neonicotinoid systemic pesticides by the large agrochemical corporations. Most believe that there are several contributing factors to CCD including pests (Varroa), diseases and monoculture industrial farming but that the one new factor in the equation is the introduction of the neonicotinoids. Countless studies have been carried out throughout the world proving the lethal and sub lethal effects of systemic pesticides resulting in the banning of these pesticides in several European countries (Insecticides and Bees and Pesticide banned in France). Beekeepers in Canada have also been adversely effected by the use of neonicotinoid pesticides (Pesticide suspect in Bee Deaths and Neonicotinoids kill Bees in Ontario) which are also used in consumer products (Dog and cat flea treatment, garden insecticides...) but no action has been taken by the Canadian government.
In the United States a petition against the use of the neonicotinoid pesticide Clothianidin (Ban this Pesticide) accompanied by studies proving the lethal effects of the product was signed by hundreds of thousands of people, submitted to and rejected by the EPA. The problem in North America is that the political power is completely controlled by the agrochemical companies through campaign contributions and lobbying. Many of the upper management of both the EPA and FDA are appointed from similar positions with major agrochemical corporations (Genetic Roulette). An obvious conflict of interest. They have created an agricultural system which is completely dependant on the agrochemical products like the neonicotinoid coated genetically modified seeds which once introduced cannot be removed from the environment (Millions Against Monsanto ). The unique system within the United States allows the agrochemical companies to release new products to the market with a "Conditional Release" without any substantial testing of the product. The substantial testing is to be carried out by the agrochemical company (conflict of interest) and submitted to the EPA within a period of time. What are the chances of a company making millions from the sale of a product submitting studies which show the lethal and sub lethal effects on bees and the environment. The modus operandi is similar to that used by the Tobacco industry for decades denying the lethal effects of cigarettes.
Until September 25th the EPA is accepting comments regarding the petition to ban the neonicotinoid pesticide Clothianidin. There is only two actions we can take to safeguard our bees. The first is if you happen to have an extra billion dollars (I'm a little short) in your pocket you could buy off the top ranking American politicians or EPA management or secondly submit a comment to the EPA voicing your opposal to the use of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides here. Please keep the language in your comments civil (i.e. Replace low life, greedy, scum sucking, corrupt purveyors of death with "To whom it may concern"). "Great acts are made up of small deeds" (Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism). Go to Beyond Pesticides for more information on submitting a comment to the EPA.
For further information on the effects of systemic neonicotinoid pesticides on bees go to the "Insecticides and Bees" section of our Beekeepers' Library. We also have several movies in the Video section of our website on this subject including "Bee Deaths in France", "Who killed the Honey Bee" and "The World according to Monsanto". Also a good book on the subject of neonicotinoids can be read and downloaded here.