France has become the first country in the world to focus its environmental efforts toward saving the bees. The country has banned all five bee-killing pesticides common to commercial and home agriculture. As honey bees around the world suffer from an increase in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), governments are looking at ways in which they can impose laws to protect the insects. The European Union has already banned three of the five pesticides found to kill bees. Now France has gone one step further and banned the other two.
What Are Neonicotinoids?
The five bee-killing pesticides banned by France are also known as neonincotinoids. The pesticides are commonly used in commercial outdoor and indoor agriculture. The chemicals were introduced in the 1990s and are structured around nicotine. All five pesticides act by attacking the insects central nervous system upon consumption. While they were intended to be less harmful than other alternatives, they do pose a significant health risk for bees. The European Union has deemed these ingredients unsafe for bees and is choosing to focus on helping dying bee populations.
The already high risk of colony collapse disorder has made it hard for bee populations to flourish in natural environments. A ban on harmful pesticides is being praised by animal rights activists and bee keepers around the world. Other governments are being encouraged to ban these harmful ingredients as well.
What Is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?
Bees are one of the most integral parts of our ecosystem. The tiny bugs help pollinate plants and create new life, which helps oxygenate the air and clear out harmful pollutants. Without the bees, trees and other plant life will have trouble pollinating properly. This will, eventually, create problems with air quality as plants and trees will not be able to absorb toxins in the air and produce oxygen if they cannot grow and create new plants and trees.
Colony Collapse Disorder is one of the biggest causes in a decrease of bee populations around the world. It occurs when worker bees cannot return to their hive or die before they’re able to return. When they cannot return they leave behind the queen bee and just a few worker bees that are too young to begin working. This has led to a significant decrease in bee populations around North America and Europe.
As a direct result of Colony Collapse Disorder, agricultural industries have taken major hits as their crops are not able to pollinate as easily. This has also impacted food crops for humans around the world, as the honey bees are an integral part of successful agriculture.
Advocates For The Bees
Celebrities such as Morgan Freeman have become advocates for the bees in recent months. Freeman has turned his 124-acre ranch property in Mississippi into a bee sanctuary where he keeps thousands of bees housed and happy. The actor had the bees brought in from Arkansas to be kept on the property.
The new laws surrounding illegal pesticides in France goes into effect over the weekend. Some agricultural companies have expressed concern over the ban because the pesticides were also effective in keeping other types of bugs away. However, the law has been largely praised by most.