Originally published January 14 2012
Teenage bee keeper on a mission to save the bees from colony collapse disorder
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) A bright, hyperactive boy named Henry Miller undertook an unusual mission at the age of eleven. The mission was unusual because he was so young and new to country life. His family had moved from urban Los Angeles to a rural spot in Washington State when Henry was ten.
His adopted mission was to contribute to the honey bees survival. He started his own bee keeping and turned it into a family business producing raw honey on their small run down farm outside of Bethingham, Washington. Now at 14 years of age, Henry runs a family business producing raw honey. And he contributes part of his profits to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.
How Henry learned about colony collapse disorder (CCD)Henry was inspired by a serendipitous and sudden awareness of colony collapse disorder(CCD). When he was eleven, he boarded a plane with his mother and a stranger sat beside him. That stranger was a bee farmer, who found a pair of ears with the precocious young boy. Henry was informed of the bees important role of spreading pollen around to maintain agricultural and wild plant life.
The bee farmer explained how a strange phenomenon called colony collapse disorder was causing bees to suddenly disappear in large numbers in several regions around the world. He told Henry that if all the bees disappeared, in seven years there would be serious problems with the entire food chain.
This situation is not exaggerated. The bees disappearing from CCD has been a mysterious honey bee pandemic for over a decade. The global problem synchronized with Bayer's introduction of neonicotinoidand clothianidin pesticides. Both are toxic to insects that fly because the plants suck them up from the soil and into plant pollen areas.
Butterfly populations had dropped as well. But the bees were affected worse because they return with polluted pollen to their crowded hives. What are claimed to be sub-lethal toxins accumulate over a short time into lethal levels. France was the first to ban Bayer's toxins in 1999, and their bee populations increased.
Naturally Bayer disagrees with that assessment. But in 2003, the French Minister of Agriculture banned Bayer's pesticides once more. Obviously, EU nations have more responsible agricultural agencies than we do in the USA.
In the USA, Bayer was granted conditional registration of their clothianidin pesiticide in 2003 while testing that product. Bayer's profitable marketing continued throughout the testing period of 2003 to 2007. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considered Bayer's four year foot dragging test during their marketing explosion as "scientifically sound."
However, leaked EPA internal memos demonstrated otherwise. The tests were faulty and should have been considered inconclusive. But they were allowed, and Bayer's pesticides are flourishing in America. This type of "wink and nod" generosity is common toward chemical companies who do their own testing.
Grassroots hope for honey beesThe European cooperation among independent large and small bee farmers and bee keepers managed to get governments on the bees side. France, Italy, Germany, and Slovenia have banned most of Bayer's pesticide use. In the USA and wherever Bayer and other chemical companies have their way with top government agency bureaucrats, grass roots action is the only solution.
There is a movement toward more sustainable organic small scale bee keeping letting bees breed and grow naturally. And promoting natural immunity for bees is chosen over killing natural enemies with chemicals.
More bee keeper hobbyists have sprung up recently, promoting honey bee survival by raising a few bees of their own in backyards and on apartment building roof tops. And of course, there's Henry Miller.
Sources for this article include
VIDEO - Organic bee keeping http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MusqTKZ83I
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