The Disappearing Honeybee and More Dirty Dealing by Major Drug Companies

November 16, 2010
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reportersNatural health diets depend completely on the honeybee. Industry money infiltrates science once again, as the likeliest culprit behind the worldwide collapse of bee colonies is revealed—and it’s not what the New York Times reported!

Since 2006, as many as 40% of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which disoriented honeybees die far from their hives. The CCD mystery has kept scientists, beekeepers, and regulators desperately seeking the cause.

The honeybee, which some have called “nature’s ultimate utility player,” pollinates a third of all the food we eat and contributes an estimated $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the US economy. Fresh fruits and vegetables, in particular, would not exist without honeybees—which is one reason we, as proponents of natural health, are so concerned about honeybee health. The NRDC helpfully offers a list of the crops, fruits, nuts, and vegetables that honeybees pollinate. If honeybees die off, one-third of the world’s food will disappear—and impoverished nations may experience famine unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Possible suspects in Colony Collapse Disorder have included pests, viruses, genetically modified food, fungi, and especially pesticides—particularly neonicotinoids, a class of neurotoxins that kills insects by attacking their nervous systems. For years, their leading manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science—a division of the German pharmaceutical giant, Bayer AG—has tangled with regulators and fended off lawsuits from angry beekeepers who allege that the pesticides have disoriented and ultimately killed their bees. The company has countered that, when used correctly, the pesticides pose little risk. Bayer Crop Science proudly calls itself “one of the world’s leading innovative enterprises in crop protection, seeds, biotechnology, and non-agricultural pest control.”

Last month, the front page of the New York Times proclaimed, “Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery”—a new study has decided that a fungus tag-teaming with a virus is killing the bees. What the Times article did not explore is the relationship between the study’s lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science.

That relationship was the subject of a recent shocking exposé by CNN. Bromenshenk had signed up to be an expert witness for beekeepers who brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer in 2003. He then dropped out—and immediately received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination, which has continued in recent years.

It’s one thing for a newspaper to miss the connection. It’s quite another for the researchers, published in the online science journal PLoS One, not to disclose such a material conflict of interest. It should come as no surprise that Bayer pesticides were never mentioned in the study as a potential cause of CCD.

Interestingly, there have been very few reported bee losses among organic beekeepers. If the principal difference between them is the use of pesticides, this fact in itself should lead anyone to the most logical conclusion: pesticides are likely responsible for CCD.

As National Geographic notes, in the last fifty years the domesticated honeybee population has declined by about 50%. Demand consequently far outweighs supply: every year, California almond growers must import honeybees from other states to pollinate their $2.3-billion-a-year crop, using more than half of all the honeybees in the US, according to the NRDC.

In addition to bees’ pollinating ability, we also rely on their honey. Not only is it a delicious sweetener, it’s also a disinfectant for wounds (particularly specialized honeys such as manuka, which can wipe out antibiotic-resistant bugs), and an aid for stomach problems and for cough. There’s also propolis, a resinous substance collected from the buds of certain trees and used as a cement or sealant in the construction of hives; it’s sometimes called “bee glue.” It’s a unique antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent, which we humans can use both topically and internally.

Industry money tarnishing science is nothing new. Here are some of industry’s greatest hits:

  • In 2004, in the National Cholesterol Education Program, eight of the nine members of the panel writing the recommendations had financial ties to the makers of cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • Of the 170 contributors to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), 95 had financial ties to drug companies, including all of the contributors to the sections on mood disorders and schizophrenia.
  • Remember Vioxx? The New York Times revealed that of the FDA panel recommending Vioxx remain on the shelf, nearly one-third had financial conflicts of interest with Vioxx’s maker, Merck.

Moreover, ProPublica recently released a report noting that not only are many doctors on the Big Pharma payroll, but many of these same doctors are paid very large sums despite blemished records and limited credentials.

ANH-USA will continue to shine a spotlight on the hijacking of science by industry through such techniques as ghostwriting—medical researchers employed by the pharmaceutical industry to understate the treatment’s risks and promote unapproved uses for the drug.

43 Responses to “The Disappearing Honeybee and More Dirty Dealing by Major Drug Companies”

  1. naturally like your web-site but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again.

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  2. Orlando says:

    A more recent update on what the United Nations had to say Bees & World Pesticides, http://www.naturalnews.com/031694_honeybees_decline.html.

    When the 80% of the world’s bees disappeared, so will a large percentage of the world’s population go with it. Perhaps then, the planet will have a chance to recover (and so will the bees).

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  3. George Tolhurst says:

    Hello and yes we are now beginning to realize that we are truley the most brainwashed counry in the world. Our only real salvation is Education and the Education of others. Which means learning as much as you can—no passing of hearsays and rumours and always being nice. Screaming and hollering at foes and politicans does little good. For even the good politican (yes there is a few of them) does make a mistake on occasion.
    Remember is just one profession that all silver fillings (amalgms) are 50% Mercury and most dentists in the past have or had no idea how much mercury was in them, All root canals are toxic and the’ve known about that sense 1925 and covered up by a few. Flouride Basicly just sold as a rat posion and fowl delicer before lying lobbyists and crooked politciians with the aid of the media conned the public into thinking it was good for there teeth. The Germans and Russians both used it in W.W.2 to give to there prisioners to keep them docile and intimidated so they wouldn’t riot or try to excape. Don’t know how well it worked. But just maybe thats what keeps the vast majority of us rioting against our taxes and extreem leftist policies.

    WAKE UP AMERICA

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  4. Jerry Simpkins says:

    I belive the government is involved in this aerial spraying that is going on. I gon’t know what their purpose is or what they are spraying but i don’t think it is good. It is making a lot of people and animals sick.We have both cats and dogs and they are having problemss with their health. I used to have a large number of birds around here but now practly none. I dont have any honey bees and they used to be every where. I have quite a lot of white clover in my yard and you didn’t dare walk in it bare footed. I have heard air planes flying around usaly about dark or shortly after. recently iheard one flying over and it sounded like the mosquita foggers that ihave seen being used tn some cities. also these oesky jap beetles that some damn idiot decided we needed to clog up every thing are just about gone.I don’t know what their reasoning is but i don’t think this spraying is good for your or your animals health. This unrestricted manufactured and wtde spread use of these chemicals and gmo foods should be sharply reduced or banned. They are causimg wide spread health problems for the planet earth.

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  5. Salsify says:

    It’s a combination of insults: pesticide, GMO, and electro-magnetic pollution. Let’s not get divided over which is uppermost. And when the Food Safety bill makes saving seed impossible, and non-factory farms are fined and paperworked out of business, and Monsanto completes its plan, more damage to the bees. Call your senators to ask them to support the Tester/Hagen amendment.

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  6. --dave says:

    Didn’t Albert Einstein state that if honeybees should disappear, Mankind and much of Life on Earth would follow within about four years?

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  7. Dave Hunter says:

    This article is a good wake up message, but I have also read reviews from Acedemia that feel this slant isn’t quite fair. The other researchers in the study are all aware of potential bad press and were all unanimous in their support of the findings. We are focusing just on Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk’s relationship.

    A better “wake up” call is our sole reliance on the honeybee. My company (http://crownbees.com) is working with universities and ARS scientists to help people raise native insects. One of the easiest to start with is the mason bee, a non-aggressive bee, that is native to the US.

    Having people learn to raise native insects in their yard for pollination is a call that is immediate and easily done by people.

    Granted, all insects are impacted by pesticides. We must be careful with what we spray on crops and yards, but the honeybee isn’t only impacted by CCD. The Verroa mite is an ugly malady in itself that is hard to control. Starting to use native insects that can be grown locally, managed, and then used locally in commercial orchards/fields is a must.

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  8. May Dorn says:

    Disappearance of HONEY Bees, Frogs ETC, ? CHEMICAL SPRAYS _ S T U P I D !
    Methoxychlor was not supposed to be sprayedd where Fish, Bees, COWS were kept and we should keep pets inside with windows closed…..Hney bees in buildings, trees etc. WERE spray e d & FROGS, toads & birds were too. If a person doesn’t know the difference etween a cow & a msquito, he shouldnt spray

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  9. oldbill says:

    The soundest theory is that cell phone tower radiation disrupts the bees navigational senses. This is the only reasonable explanation of why the bees are not found dead at the hive.

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  10. deenie says:

    Big Pharma is in a constant state of denial. It is a scam that is perpetuated by bribes, lies, and fear.

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  11. Dianne says:

    Please ask your congressman to sponsor/write a national bill to prevent the use of this pesticide due to CCD, backing up this claim with all the scientifc evidence, bill passes, bees saved, end of story!

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  12. Kay Moore says:

    From the first knowledge that a scientist created the aggressive Brazil bee, with the African bee. The hybrid bee has been a killer, a less honey producer, and a man made horror. The fact, that pesticides are how killing the American honey bee, is not much different. A scientist killing 50% of the bee population with man make chemicals. The sadness part of this tale, is the Board Members of the agribusinesses, that see only money. God give the idiots, the over educated idiots, and the self serving business plans of men.

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  13. We are under attack by aerial spraying 24/7 and it is making us sick. 193 UN countries, not including the US, were signatory on ending this spraying done in the name of “geoengineering”. It still continues. I am a small farmer and rarely see bees and our sun is taken daily. Our soil and water is polluted and I think we can all add up the parts and get the sum. We need to stand together to change these atrocities done in the name of power and greed and the first step is educating those who will listen. I’m all eyes and ears while they still work. My mouth is working also. Thank You

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  14. Lemoyen Apostle says:

    Well, I am not very surprised about pesticides causing CCD, since the number of polio cases in the U.S. increased as the use of DDT in the U.S. increased, and the number of polio cases decreased as the use of DDT decreased.

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  15. Donna Estes says:

    This is so disheartening. There is a series of books called “Everything you know is Wrong”. How true. Why can’t these companies see, if we lose the honeybees, its their lives too. Of course the greedy ones will survive somehow. Are there any HONEST big corporations out there. Any not hellbent on polluting, taking, killing, harming, maiming and just plain selfishishness.

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  16. spencer payne says:

    Hip hip hooray! Congrats on the reporting! It’s been a long time in coming but come it must and now we humans must ACT upon it in order to save all animal life as we now know it.

       0 likes

  17. Evan Eberhardt says:

    I would guess pesticides or GM food for the CCD issue. But I haven’t heard a single word on that front from the mainstream media. Sellout crooks.

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  18. Cheryl says:

    The truth needs to come out and production of these pesticides BANNED.

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  19. Netto says:

    What are we to do? Big pharma, big agra, and the military industrial complex run the ENTIRE show.

    From the White House on down.

    What can we do?

    The sad thing is that the gross majority of people know nothing of any of this, and don’t care to.

    They blindly trust the FDA, CDC, etc., and simply won’t find the time in their busy lives to check the facts themselves.

    How can we prevail over such overwhelming indifference?

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  20. mary allen says:

    I think it is outragious that companies would lie about research done, and that would use methods unhealthy for bees and humans. What is wrong? Are they so greedy that other people’s ives mean nothing to them. IIt is so sad that this is going on

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  21. Wondering Woman says:

    Hello Deborah & Craig,

    Taking the liberty of copying & pasting information from an earlier issue which mentions a study done feeding GMO foods to animals and the dire effects this had on the animals, please allow
    me to propose another probable cause of our food pollinators’ (bees) demise. I will put it below the paste & copy information below. This mentions some of the same stuff I read elsewhere that
    said one country had outlawed GMO seeds because of the effects of GMO food products had on animals. Read the following and then go to my theory below it.

    “Genetically Engineered Foods — New Action Alert!
    November 9, 2010
    It should come as no surprise, then, that genetically engineered foods are causing terrible genetic changes in mammal offspring. Scientists are seeing birth defects, high infant mortality rates, and sterility in hamsters, rats, and livestock fed genetically engineered soy and corn. Some hamster pups even begin growing hair inside their mouths. What we eat changes the biology of our children and our children’s children, and may harm them irreparably.”

    If GMO food products are toxic (which they obviously are) to animals, it stands to reason that ithe GMO seeds are carrying the toxins, then the plants grown from toxic seeds are producing
    toxic pollens which are killing off the bees.

    Your article above mentions that if the honeybees die off, 1/3rd of our food supply will disappear
    causing famine such as we have never seen before on Planet Earth. Another source I read
    stated that if the bees die off, MANKIND (and other animals) are likely to follow them in death within the next 4 years.

    This brings ups another question: Did the NWO (New World Order) plan to hasten reduction of the population worldwide, by causing widespread famine & starvation, fail ing to foresee that death of the honey bees might also be the death of the NWO planners who plotted to kill off their fellow man/woman? If so, they need to hire some smarter scientist to do their planning. But no matter who does their planning, they will always find a higher Universal Law, that no one can
    can escape.

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  22. Anton McInerney says:

    Why are these doctors allowed to go on practicing? They disgrace the whole medical profession,either they have criminal protection or the profession is leaving its option open to potentially join them!

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  23. Lila Olson says:

    Save the bee’s no matter what !
    Ban the chemicals that are killing them .
    Unless you want your children and grandchildren to starve
    Ban all those bad chemicals. How stupid are the chemical compasnys.

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    • Joan Sulvan says:

      They are not stupid, but GREEDY FOOLS. The only way to stop pharma, chemicals, and doctors is to not use their products. All they think of is $, not people. If you don’t eat right and must go
      to a doctor, don’t accept his drug prescription….ask for a supplement or what to eat to heal….now he’s stupid!

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  24. Dr Sickels says:

    One of my three hives (the most productive one) absconded leaving an empty hive with honey in it behind, the classic scenario of CCD. This happened in the fall, after I would expect most pesticides have been applied. I don’t use any chemicals at all on my bees and my neighborhood is fairly pesticide averse.
    I, too, suspect the neonicotinoids, but I don’t know is any is being used around me. It would be nice if there were some sore of pesticide use database so we could see where they were being used around us.

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    • Bees fly out to an area of 20 to 25 miles–a 10 or 12 mile radius. So they could have been exposed fairly far away from you. IMD, neonicotinoid pesticide is mixed in with lawn care mixes like Merit. Golf coarses are notorious for using it. The bees drink the dew on the grass and become poisoned—so you don’t have to have flowers for this to happen. In addition when the chemical breaks down the metabolites are many times more poisonous…they then are in the run off. GMO crops have the pesticide right in them and the droplets of plant sap that appear on the edges of the leaves are full of IMD or similiar pesticide. The bees drink this plant dew as well. Other brands are Gaucho, Admire and many others. Use the search engines to find all the name or look up Bayer Crop Science.

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  25. allen mason says:

    I buy suppliments in raw form and oils to and fill my own capsules. I am stocking up.

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  26. Laurence Topliffe says:

    Something good is going on across the country that you should be aware of and perhaps involved in a small way. I would not publicize it unless you get approval from those who are trying to fix what’s wrong with the government. You may not know it but that which you refer to as the US government is not a government. It’s a corporation. Look at http://www.therepublicoftheunitedstates.org. YOu can also substitute any state for US.

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  27. radha says:

    If the honey bee dies guess who is dying shortly after? Yes. Our children and our grandchildren and future generations thereafter just won’t be. Wake-up before we sleep forever.

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  28. Marianne Widmalm says:

    this needs national attention and action NOW.

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  29. Rev. Larry Hawkins says:

    Are any Congresspersons responding to the charges that have been repeatedly made regarding the conflicts of interest among FDA members? If so, I would imagine that the public media are withholding the information since they are also largely influenced by the same interests. We need to be able to spread truthful information about health risks, pharmaceutical influence, and governmental agency limitations.

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    • Dr. Mike says:

      You are SO right, Reverend!! And this is exactly how to do it! Everyone on here who are making comments and speaking out about these disgusting displays of greed and underhandedness, need to speak to two other people they know about these atrocities. Speak out about it over lunch in a crowded restaurant. Speak up and speak out about how members of Congress are on Big Pharma’s payroll, and do it in a public place! If enough of us do it often and loudly, eventually we will be heard . . . and . . . hopefully change will happen!
      We cannot continue to sit idly by while those people who have more influence, because of dollars and/or good-ole-boy connectedness, sit back and collect our hard-earned dollars; meanwhile our health and our future sink deeper into this pit of dysfunction that more and more of “we the poeple” are starting to recognize! How much are “we the people” willing to take????

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  30. james says:

    What are we doing….killing bees so we can buy more milk from China?

       0 likes

  31. Helen McDonald says:

    Honeybees.. We have noticed a tremendous increase in swallows where we live. They are protected and are pests with a lot of mud nests everywhere. We had lots of bees here until they started taking over. The swallows eat bees. The swallows travel many miles in a day at high speeds and have huge appetities.

    Has anyone looked at natural predators that may have been overprotected by regulation?

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  32. Kenneth H Wood says:

    Another possible cause of the disapearance of honey bees could be
    from the constant aerosol spraying from air force tankers, particularly
    over populated areas. The pilots call themselves “sky spiders” alluding to
    the crisscross patterns they create. However, nothing is ever said about
    them. Most people think they are contrails, but they are chemtrails. Some day
    the truth will come out, and there will be hell to pay once the public wakes up
    to what is happening.

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  33. Frank Cansella says:

    just disgusting to hear that everybody has sold out to special interests…
    and this will be the end of the world if the status quo does not change for the better

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  34. Jean Elling says:

    I read about the bees and about some people who could communicate with them. The bees said the chemicals were killing them and not the bug that was found inside of them. They had always had the bug problem but their resistance was always high enough to not be effected.
    With the advent of the chemicals in the plants their resistance was lowered to the point where the bugs were now helping to finish them off. If anyone thinks it’s not possible to communicate with plants and bees, etc. go to Scotland to the Findhorn Garden. There is a book published called the Findhorn Garden. It was published many years ago. The plants have no wish to communicate with man because we try to control them instead of collaborate with them. They are alive, have feelings, respond to love and care. Love and care will bring forth much healthier, happier plants just as it does our children.

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  35. If you read the book, Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick (available on Amazon.com), you will learn of numerous chemicals by name that probably are contributing to CCD.

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  36. LFJ Gill says:

    Shocking, as is now a daily occurrence with the notices in my email “box”. How about an action link for these awful travesties–maybe a big fat letter to Congress about the whole mess and what we the people want done about it? Signed by gazillions of us. How about a great huge scroll unfurled down the length of the Washington Mall with our signatures on it? Or maybe wrap it around the congressional building. Must be some way to get their attention.

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  37. Brigette says:

    Thank you for your reporting

       0 likes

  38. Nancy says:

    This type of information makes me sick, with doctors making tons of money off of drugs that DON’T WORK….. and screwing up natural supplementation products that are healing and readily available that DO WORK. I do not and will not go to a doctor, cuz they know nothing about the body and are so demented, when it comes to health.
    What can I do to get this info out into the public eye? Actually, I may copy this article and post it at the health food stores in my area and at my nutritionists office. I love honey and believe in it. It would be a shame if it wasn’t around for us to enjoy and for our health.
    Thank you.

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    • Gerald Burge says:

      The practise of having representatives or assocaites of the drug industry serving on Government Oversight Commitees for Health Medicine Issues and working within the Federal Health Agenciest should be against the law in this country. There is no way these people can give Honest and Professionally Accurate evaluations of health issues. There is no greater CONFLICT OF INTEREST that I see.

         0 likes

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