Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bees and weeds

Posted on Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM

As a Missoula beekeeper, many people ask me if I have been losing my beehives to colony collapse disorder. Most people don’t understand that CCD is not a disease, it is a condition caused by environmental poisons and diseases.

I don’t lose any sleep over CCD, but I am constantly infuriated with the general public’s ignorance about pesticides and their effect on honeybees and the environment. Not only is there a lot of evidence that pesticides are the reason for CCD being so widespread, but pesticides (mainly herbicides) in western Montana have killed more of my honeybees this year than CCD ever has.

Based on what I’ve seen at the front entrances of my hives, I’ve lost 30 to 50 percent of my foraging workers that have been poisoned by the county, state, federal and private landowners who have sprayed herbicides, all in the name of a false “war on weeds.” The concept of “weeds” is a totally unscientific, biased viewpoint pushed by chemical companies and their friends (i.e. government entities using taxpayer money to poison the earth). And when people start poisoning the soil and groundwater in the name of an illusory battle against plants, everybody ends up drinking these poisons in their water. This most certainly causes cancer and miscarriages.

If people were to stop using chemicals in trying to solve their poor land management practices, not only would the environment be healthier, but we would have less cancer and fewer miscarriages. But if we keep on spraying poisons onto our very porous soils, we will surely see the complete sterilization of western Montana. I am sure no one wants to see honeybees or any other pollinator disappear forever just because someone told you that a plant is bad and it should be killed with poison.

Jacob Wustner

Missoula

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