Dear Friends of ELIANT,
Why is Glyphosate particularly lethal to bees? It is not just that it is the most widely marketed pesticide in the world – see our newsletter on climate, soil and the effects of pesticides. But because it is neutral in terms of taste and smell it is an ever present and growing danger to bee colonies. Bees are unable to distinguish it from water. Even the brood comes in contact with this soluble toxin via the feed. This reduces the bees' resistance to disease and damages their sense of orientation. The health of the entire bee colony is then seriously compromised.
Bees have accompanied humanity for thousands of years as the drawings in the caves of Araña clearly show. They pollinate countless cultivated flowers and food plants while gathering their nectar.
Bees are faithful to their flowers. Each individual bee visits one particular species of flower at a time. A bee will therefore fly continuously to rape or apple blossoms. It is this which makes their pollinating activity so effective – but when crops have been treated with Glyphosate it is a catastrophe. The bees settle on cornflowers in the wheat field for example and are showered with poison. Bees need water to drink and so on warm days they will take in a toxic brew of glyphosate and carry it back to their hive.
The introduction of this full spectrum herbicide which is also the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, has led to a decline of many wild flowers (field weeds) and hence to a food shortage for bees – quite apart from the potential danger it also poses to mankind. Scientists working for the World Health Organisation (WHO) have assessed Glyphosate as being "probably carcinogenic to humans".
ELIANT is campaigning for an agriculture which has no toxic consequences for bees, human beings and nature. We therefore support bee keepers, in particular the Aurelia Foundation in their efforts to oppose the extension of the Glyphosate licence in the European Court. This court action requires a lot of time and good lawyers.
The European Commission has launched a questionnaire concerning modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy. Here is the link to it. By responding before 2nd May 2017 you will be able to help make European agriculture more ecological.
With many thanks for your support!