It’s no secret that the global population of bees is rapidly declining as a result of human impact on the environment. The only “secret” that seems to exist is how that affects us as a collective. There is an apparent disconnect between the destruction of the environment and other species and the effect it will have on human beings. What many people don’t know is that bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that represent 90% of global food supply. Without bees, we could not satisfy current global food demand, let alone reach the capacity required to meet rapidly increasing projected demand levels due to population growth.
Thankfully, awareness is increasing as more individuals and organizations shed light on this issue. Celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more recently Morgan Freeman have voiced their concerns for animal wellbeing and our environmental impact.
Morgan Freeman Blames Monsanto and the Government for the Decline in Bee Population
Earlier this year, Morgan Freeman made a guest appearance on Larry King Now. After discovering that bees are dying at an alarming rate, actor Morgan Freeman converted his entire 124-acre ranch into a bee sanctuary. The YouTube video below shows Morgan Freeman discussing our role in the rapid decrease in bee population and the destruction of the environment.
Addressing the bee crisis, host Larry King asks, “Would you blame Monsanto for making RoundUp or the government for their lax rules on pesticides?”
Freeman responds, “Both — there’s been a frightening loss of bee colonies, particularly in this country… to such an extent that scientists are now saying it’s dangerous.”
Freeman then goes on to compare the rapid decline in bee population to our role in killing canaries in coal mines. Years ago, prior to today’s advanced mining technology, canaries were used to detect harmful gases such as methane. They were caged, placed in mines, and then monitored. As the amount of gas reached deadly levels, the canaries would either get sick, begin to sing louder, and/or in most cases, die, indicating that the workers needed to exit the mine. This is a clear representation of our pattern of abusing animals and the environment, which still exists in animal agriculture, mining, and many other industries. Many people don’t comprehend the drastic impact killing animals and insects has on our environment, especially as a result of population dynamics.
Freeman explains that once one species is killed, this proliferates around the planet. Thousands of species are dying or approaching extinction as a result of our disrespect and disregard for the environment and its inhabitants.
Check out the video below:
How Human Beings are Causing the Death of Bees
When it all boils down, human beings are responsible for the rapid decline in bee population, commonly referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Scientists from the US Department of Agriculture as well as the University of Maryland published a study that linked chemicals, including fungicides, to the large scale die-off of bees that has recently plagued the planet. You can read the study here.
Freeman’s stance on Monsanto is justifiable, as Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp has in fact contributed to the decline in bee population. Research has shown that when bees consume Monsanto’s insecticide for GM corn crops, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), it attaches to receptors in their stomach lining and prevents them from eating. This breaks down the stomach wall, rendering bees more susceptible to spores and bacteria and ultimately weakening their immune systems. One study confirmed that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp, compromises honeybees’ long-term performance and learning capabilities. Although bees don’t die immediately upon contact, glyphosate can be transferred between bees and eventually result in colony-wide death if passed down through generations.
There’s no question that we’ve significantly harmed this planet and that we’re starting to suffer the consequences from that, such as our role in creating CCD. The question we need to ask ourselves now is what are we going to do about it? Will we learn from our mistakes, stop harming the environment, and strive to reverse our impact?
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein