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All about creating abundance by gardening!

   Feb 19

Remember the Honeybee when planning for your Gardens

save the bees 10 ways


When planning your gardens remember to include some plants that bees love to attract them into your gardens to get better pollination and help out our honey bee population.Make sure they are grown free of any pesticides.

Here’s a starting list: Borage, hyssop, salvia, mints, thyme, beebalm(monarda), sunflowers, butterflyweed, asters, scabiosa, bachelor buttons, cleome.

For more go to: on sunflower


The latest buzz on the honeybee and why we think the Harvard School of Public Health, their savior, is the bee’s knees

European honey bee carrying pollen back to the hive

by  Dr. Jeffrey Lant

Author’s program note. This is a story about good science and good luck. It’s a tale that shows how one single miscalculation can produce near cataclysmic results…  and why we must fund and support disinterested researchers and hark unto what they say.

Mr. Kupper.

Sixty years ago and more, my young parents and I (still their only child) lived in Maywood, Illinois. I was cute and curious in the ways young children are and had the run of the neighborhood. That included our next door neighbor Mr. Kupper, a man who was exceptionally kind, glad to have me visit, understanding how curiosity should be fostered, not stifled… especially curiosity about apis mellifera linnaeus, the common honeybee which was anything but.

The protective clothing in which he garbed us looked like the land version of divers from Jules Verne’s classic “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” (1870), a film released by Disney (1954) when I was 7. These days towns probably regulate where beehives can be placed and beekeepers probably wouldn’t invite a sprite like me (liability) but back then things were very different… and so I came to see and appreciate the vital importance of honeybees.

What I saw, what Mr. Kupper gently ensured that I should see, was a beneficial species at work, masters of an efficient system gently turned to the value of our species, performing their essential work in perfect harmony. Here there were lessons aplenty… and many reasons for thinking well of the honeybee… the honeybee which we came close to exterminating…

2006, bee colony collapse.

In 2006, just the other day, honeybees began abandoning their hives in record numbers, on a scale and scope never before seen in the history of the beekeeping industry. This phenomenon, immediately noticed, caused warning bells to go off worldwide. No wonder. Bees, after all, are absolutely essential in the creation and pollination of a large portion of the human food supply, including corn and soybeans. The essential chain goes like this: bees… pollination of essential crops… human food. Nothing could be more clear.

But in 2006 essential worker bees went on strike… left the hives, never to return, leaving behind the hive, their egg-laying queen, larvae, and a few attendants. This was catastrophe indeed. What was going on? The question was vital, urgent, immediately in need of an answer, and as the consequences began to be noted in the businesses that rely on bees, scientists went to work studying the problem, gathering data, advancing theories to cover the facts and suggest solutions. It’s what scientists and researchers do… and  why we have such need of them. Budget cutters take note.

Over time a series of hypotheses was advanced. These included honeybee stress at the laborious business of periodic colony removal; stress that weakens their immune system; possible parasites; pesticides, and some kind of pathogen, like virus, bacteria or fungus. Not one of these hypotheses could be dismissed out of hand; all must be considered. And so the strenuous, meticulous work of specialists began… slow, painstaking, exact.

Fingering the culprit — imidacloprid.

Imidacloprid is a systemic insecticide which acts as an insect neurotoxin and belongs to a class of chemicals called the neonicotinoids which act on the central nervous system of insects with much lower toxicity to mammals. The chemical works by interfering with the transmissions of stimuli in the insect nervous system. Specifically, it causes a blockage in the type of neuronal pathway (nicotinergic) that is abundant in insects and not in warm-blooded animals (making the chemical selectively toxic to insects and not warm-blooded animals.)

Unfortunately affected insects also included apis mellifera linnaeus.   For this intelligence we must be grateful to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health released April 4, 2012.

The missing  link.

Researchers said they found convincing evidence of the link between the pesticide known as imidacloprid and massive honeybee disturbance, dislocation, and death. As Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said: “It apparently doesn’t take much of the pesticide to affect the bees. Our experiment included pesticide amounts below what is normally present in the environment.”

Yet, says Lu and his colleagues, it was fatal to bees… and to our food supply. QED: this pesticide must no longer be used by soil injection, tree injection, application to the skin, broadcast foliar, ground application as a granular or liquid formulation, or as a pesticide-coated seed treatment. That’s obvious to all, right? Sadly, nothing in human history is this simple or uncomplicated, especially given the importance of the main producer of this pesticide, the giant Bayer CropScience (part of Bayer AG) and the profits they are making… and expected.

Thus did Bayer react to the study and its results:

Item: the study sample was too small.

Item: the study was flawed.

Item: Imidacloprid is “very effective, much safer than the products it replaced.”

And as if this were not enough, David Fisher, director of environmental toxicology and risk assessment at Bayer CropScience, expostulated with a final “that’s all there is to say” comment of great petulance: “All they have shown is if you feed massive amounts of a toxic insecticide to bees that you can cause mortality.” So there!

The matter, of course, has been referred to the US Environmental Protection Agency. If, as expected, the research findings bear the scrutiny they will get (as well, of course, as the stream of self-serving comments from Bayer), all will be well — this time. But only for this time, where the honeybees and us were saved… just.

That is why we must remain eternally vigilant, never forgetting that all of us are beholden to this creature… and many other creatures similarly threatened all over this small world of ours.

But for now, there is jubilation in every hive which buzz again with contentment and earnest endeavor. The bees therefore request you sing along with them. They like Tom Petty’s 1994 tune “Honey Bees.” You can find it in any search engine.” Imagine its melody spun by a million rhythmic wings. “Don’t be afraid, not gonna hurt you/ I wouldn’t hurt my little honey bee”. At least for now…

By Dr. Jeffrey Lant

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About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Find out more at



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