Here is another reason to keep your bees in town. Dennis Murrell of BeeNatural talks about being Malathioned. I remember our bees getting overspray from soybeans planted across the road when I was growing up and the resulting pile of dead bees in front of the hives was heart-wrenching. Crop dusting specifically and chemically addicted agribusiness, in general, is bad news for everyone in more ways than just the obvious. Stopping this sort of madness is a matter of survival for humans, not just for bees. About one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the USDA.
Downstream, the agricultural chemicals threaten the human food supply again. It may not make for spectacular news footage, but the biggest threat to the Gulf of Mexico long term is not oil but hypoxic (low oxygen) water. The Gulf of Mexico dead zone is bigger than ever before because of more nitrogen- and phosphate-rich sewage, fertilizer and other agricultural runoffs flowing from the Mississippi River. In combination with the BP oil spill, 2010 is not likely to be a banner year for fishing in the Gulf.