GMO corn plantings lead to death of 37 million bees in Canada
Tens of millions of bees near Ontario, Canada, have dropped dead following a recent planting of genetically modified (GM) corn. David Schuit, a beekeeper in Elmwood, reportedly lost 600 hives containing some 37 million bees, the direct result, say scientists, of neonicotinoid pesticides that damage bees’ immune systems and navigation abilities, resulting in mass die-offs.
According to Ontario’s The Post, the bees died just days after GM corn seeds were planted in the vicinity. The crops were sprayed with so-called “neonics” produced by Bayer CropScience Inc. that have already been banned in the European Union for harming beneficial pollinators. But in North America, neonics are still permitted because of heavy influence from the chemical industry.
“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” stated Schuit to reporters, lamenting the serious losses to his Saugeen Honey operation.
Another local grower by the name of Nathan Carey, a member of the National Farmers Union, says he has observed major bee losses on his own farm in recent weeks. Affirming the latest science on the subject, Carey believes that neonics are directly responsible for the bee losses occurring not only in Ontario but around the world.
“I feel like we all have something at stake with this issue,” he told The Post, announcing plans to organize a public workshop and panel discussion about the topic.
Earlier in the year, Gary Kenny’s farm, also in the region, lost 80 percent of its hives immediately following the spring planting of GM corn. Like Schuit, Kenny’s business took a huge hit as a result, while the purveyor of this genocide continues to peddle its poison without consequence.
Air seeding of neonic-treated GM corn accelerating bee losses
Why this has suddenly become a major problem just within the past year can be explained by a new seeding technique that exposes bees to much higher levels of neonics. According to The Post, GM corn seeds are being pre-treated with neonics before being sprayed into the soil from special “air seeders,” which spread pesticide dust into the air.
When bees are exposed to this dust, the chemicals lodge in their bodies and cause neurological damage, which then triggers the symptoms associated with colony collapse disorder (CCD). Multiple studies have confirmed this link, including one conducted by researchers from American Purdue University. They learned that:
“Bees exhibited neurotoxic symptoms, analysis of dead bees revealed traces of thiamethoxam/clothianidin in each case. Seed treatments of field crops (primarily corn) are the only major source of these compounds.”
Schuit says continued use of neonics is ‘criminal’
Back in May, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) provided further evidence that neonics destroy bees, observing that particularly during the wintertime exposed bees are abandoning their hives and turning up dead. Both clothianidin and imidacloprid, another type of neonic, are implicated in the study.
“We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” wrote lead author Chensheng (Alex) Lu, an associate professor of environmental exposure biology at HSPH.
Despite his continued losses, Schuit says the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) continues to drag its feet in addressing the problem. And this, he says, constitutes criminality.
“I think it’s criminal what is happening, and it’s hard to have faith if it doesn’t look like they are going to do anything anyway,” he told The Post.