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Ag chemical use hurts bees

Beekeeper sees decline over 13 years

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

In February 2012, I wrote an article in the Gazette proposing the concept of “going green.” Since that time, the concept has caught on, but for looks rather than safety.

Being a physician in the health field for 35 years, I have observed misconceptions to the use of chemicals in, on, or around the body. My view is that it is not OK to expose the air, water, soil, and even food that we eat to chemicals that are toxic to mankind.

I’ve seen people become allergic to who knows what. And they continue to search for a “cure.”

This past fall, Stateline Beekeepers’ Association elected me as president of the organization. For 13 years, I have watched the decline of the honeybees. I am a hobby beekeeper, and for the last several years, I have been unable to have the queens survive the farmer’s crop sprays.

Last year, I requested that the farmer call me prior to spraying. He elected to spray when the bees were out foraging during midday. Within 2 weeks of his spraying with Roundup, I had dead queens. This is the most common complaint of beekeepers.

The book called “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson, published in 1962, was responsible for President Kennedy getting DDT banned in the United States. Alternatives were offered, but eyes were blind and ears were deaf to the natural suggestions.

Now, 50 years later, farmland in the U.S., for the most part, has been a chemical experiment that has a primary focus: making a profit rather than farming for health.

Farmers were told that by using chemicals on their crops, there would be enough food to feed the world. Mankind continues to believe this misconception.

I differ with that opinion. My preference on farming, gardening, and being a good steward of the land includes using nontoxic methods that preserve rather than destroy. 

Mainstream options to keeping the land, air, water, and food safe for human consumption are limited when it comes to using non-chemical methods. Mainstream media has done a superb job of promoting chemical applications that continue to pollute our earth, air, and water.

The earth is rebelling in trying to keep a balance caused, in part, by farmers, homeowners, and chemical applicators to the land, air, and water. Is it any wonder that the honeybees and many other necessary pollinators are dying off?

It is my professional opinion that people are becoming sicker and sicker because of many factors: air, water, earth, and stinking thinking pollution. To turn this around will be a mammoth event, but it can occur, hopefully sooner than later.

Working with nature instead of against her should become a necessity. All of life on this planet will be grateful when such occurs.

So, I ask the question, Are you being a hindrance or a help in preserving the earth, air, water, and food?

Note to readers: Beauchamp has been a hobby beekeeper for the past 13 years.

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