I'd never heard of Colony Collapse, and when Linda sent me a link on this subject, I thought it might be a little late to revisit Roanoke as a matter of current importance. What I found, however, were articles on a world-wide decline in bee colonies that has agronomists worried. It seems that Bayer makes more than aspirin. In addition to I-don't-know-what-all else, they are the US producers of Clothianidin, a nicotinoid chemical for use on corn and canola seed to eradicate certain unwanted insects. It is less than reassuring to read the EPA report that states Clothianidin has a "not-likely" human carcinogen rating. It also states there is the potential for acute and/or chronic toxic effects for pollinators, i.e., bees, birds, and mammals. (Funny, I thought humans were mammals.) Is this why, in addition to the cold weather, that I've seen so few bees this year? Kind of makes me wonder what the Environmental Protection Agency is protecting. Big business springs to mind.
In Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," I learned that Monsanto, among other chemical companies, has genetically altered a large variety of seeds so that it is impossible for the plants to reproduce naturally, hence requiring the purchase of new, treated seeds each year. "Heirloom" is a big buzz word in the natural food world. There is a network of people who are trying to save the seeds from "OP" (open pollinator), nontreated vegetables and flowers so that the chemical companies won't take over completely. However, if Bayer manages to eliminate the pollinators, it won't matter if the plant has been altered.
This is a very simplistic presentation, but hopefully it does provide food for thought regarding our food source. We could be going the way of the dinosaurs, all in the name of Progress. It's another example of "Just because a thing can be done, it doesn't mean it should be done."
Okay, I'm getting off the soapbox now.
PS: Had to come back in to correct the title of Kingsolver's book, a big gaffe for which I apologize. I urge all to read up on these subjects. I'm not a conspiracist, but it is more than alarming to realize that our food sources are being manipulated without general knowledge. According to the EPA testing was done on Clothianidin on mice, rats, dogs, and in nearly all cases, the reproductive systems were adversely affected, but, oh goody, the chemical didn't appear to cause cancer. It isn't a great leap to project this result to humans. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.