Updated: Jun 30
Pesticides and the murderous effect on the Bees
Pesticides vary in their effects on bees. Contact pesticides are usually sprayed on plants and can kill bees when they walk on sprayed surfaces of plants or other areas around it. Systemic pesticides, on the other hand, are usually put into the soil or on the seed and move up into the stem, leaves, nectar, and pollen of plants.
Pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, have been investigated in relation to Colony Collapse Disorder.
Colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a phenomenon that occurs when a majority of worker bees in a colony disappear, leaving behind a queen and a few nurse bees to care for the remaining immature bees. Many causes of CCD that are being considered are the use of pesticides, Mites, fungi, beekeeper practices (such as the use of antibiotics or long-distance transportation of beehives), malnutrition-monocultures restricting the amount of food they have for their seasons of spring to fall, or even complete starvation. Also pathogens and immunodeficiencies.
Humans could only live 4 years after bees became extinct. We cant live with out them. They are practically as important as our soil health is, which is tremendously important. Colony collapse disorder also effect the beef and dairy industries as bees pollinate the clover, hay, and other forages crops. As they die off it raises the cost of feed which also increases the cost of beef and dairy prices. Making a sustainable future means everything feeding each other and the balance of nature being just right. By using pesticides, we can't accomplish that.
Did you also know when strawberries are small or have weird shaped bottoms, its actually indicators of an incomplete pollination. The lack of pollinators such as honey and bumble bees.
The effects and damage of Soil health when using pesticides:
The repercussions on Micro-organisms when using pesticides can cause a domino effect that can last for years. With out microorganisms' plants will not reach their full potential. Many pesticides can kill more than their attended target for example beneficial Nematodes that attack and kill pests in the ground are also killed. The microbes that help prevent disease and make it easier for the plants to utilize nitrogen and other nutrients are also destroyed.
The use of chemical pesticides often has "buried" (pun intended) results along with killing “Good Bugs” or "Beneficial Insects" that help keep pests in balance. When someone is spraying their garden because they spotted what they thought was a bad pest, thinking it’s a sign of damage, but in actuality was a beneficial pest like a Parasitic wasp, they are creating an opening for aphids to infest which can truly harm their plants. By destroying the balance of nature, you are actually causing more harm than good.
Herbicides are the most used chemicals throughout the world, Roundup being the number one bought herbicide. It causes ecosystems to be more vulnerable to pollution and climate change
Glyphosate-based herbicides, such as Roundup, can trigger a loss of biodiversity in the Soil. When chemical pesticides and herbicides are present in the soil it has a lower water retention and a weaker structure meaning your plants cannot get the amount of water they require. It also leads to the chance of evaporation and wasteful water management.
Persistent herbicides can continue to play an active role in the environment for extended periods of time, potentially causing soil and water contamination and adverse effects to non-targeted living organisms such as beneficial insects, soil microorganisms, fish, and plants.
2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic (2,4-D) is a moderately persistent chemical herbicide that is being used to spray on lawns to kill weeds, but it will not kill the grass. However, this herbicide does not only attack “weeds”. It can cause poor development, reproductive issues, changes in physical appearance, behavior patterns, or even death in non-target species. Furthermore, the spraying of 2,4-D often, contaminates ground water systems by run-off. This contamination threatens the vegetation, animal life that consumes it and endangering the health of aquatic life as well. Run-off of herbicides into the local river systems, and other bodies of water can cause plants to die, and can suffocate the fish due to lack of oxygen in the water.
Additionally, fungicides can be highly toxic to a broad range of organisms and can also pose a risk to aquatic biota such as tadpoles, oysters, and fish when chemical run-off occurs contaminating nearby bodies of water or groundwater.
So what can we do instead of pesticides? There are so many other options when dealing with those pesky pests. and that is applying the Integrated Pest Management or also know as IPM. Carefully monitoring your plants and catching any unwanted pests before it becomes an infestation is defiantly key. Regardless though the amount of pests you have, there is still many ways to get rid of them or help prevent it from happening in the future.
One of the best ways to get rid of pests is by using biological controls. Biological control is a method of controlling all types of pests such as insects (including vertebrate and invertebrate), pathogens and weeds. This process is done by using other living organisms. The methods used are different for each type of pest. My favorite method is by bringing in the lady bugs in to eat the aphids. Who doesn't love lady beetles/bugs, right? There are so many more ways to control pests via biological control. Another example is using nematodes to attach fungus gnat larvae. both are prime examples of methods that don't harm the environment are are completely safe around us humans and our animals.
There is also many different types of plants you can incorporate in your gardens to help keep pests away. Like marigolds which have a scent that keeps aphids, mosquitoes and other pests away. Planting catnip, dill and other herbs are also other examples. Planting a diverse garden helps keep pests away but it also helps to pollinate the bees. Having a large variety of flowering things means the bees have more food for them during the growing season. As each plant will have different bloom times it helps stable their food security and keep them healthier and give them the availability to fight of diseases.
If we change our ways of farming we can restore the balance of nature, we can restore our soils, we can eat healthier food, we can fix Climate change and reduce our greenhouse gases. Doesn't that all sound amazing? I sure do believe so. Stay tuned for my next post which will be about soil health and how it can solve the problem of Climate change. Thanks for reading!
"Lets make this world a better place, one Lawn at a time"