Question from Alice:
Today I was at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, Ca. I was eating out side together with lots of people. When I saw a Bee Professional spraying a Hive from the side walk, way up high on a tree. I thought it was yellow jackets, but no, it was bees. At that point they were falling from the hive down , buzzing in agony. No body did cares! I wanted to cry but I got up and went to the administration office. Off course they think I’m crazy and that nothing could be done, they have to protect the clientele. I call the bee man company and was informed that they always remove the queen bee and save the bees, but in some cases it require to be spray. The bees all over the world are all ready in a crises! that spray is legal in California? What to do? who to talk too? How can we make it stop?
Answer from Pat:
I sympathize and feel for your cry of distress and dismay. Not only was the extermination that you saw deadly to bees it was also dangerous to people who were exposed to pesticide while eating a meal. I agree that something needs to be done to prevent such unwise and cruel practices, and a law needs to be passed to prevent the killing bees with pesticides. However, I am fully aware that I am not an activist, I am a writer. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. My task is to write and let people know the facts, but my task is not to go to Sacramento and get a new law passed. Someone who is a natural-born activist needs to take up the cause of bees and champion it and get laws passed that will protect them. Perhaps you are the one to speak to legislators and to bee keepers and to pass laws to protect bees. When I was a child in England I met a man called Grey Owl who saved the beavers in Canada from extinction by becoming a legislator and getting laws passed to save the beavers from the trappers. Our domestic bees need a new Grey Owl.
We need to realize also that the main dangers to bees are not the occasional cases in which they are sprayed. The worst dangers that we humans are inflicting on bees are the pesticides, such as imidachloprid (or Merit), that are saturating our environment. Imidachloprid, for example, is included in lawn fertilizers for the purpose of killing white grubs in lawns by confusing them so they cannot continue their normal life functions, but imidachloprid is a systemic thus it gets into trees and flowers frequented by bees and this is causing CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) a disease of bees that confuses them so they cannot find their hives. The Bayer Company and other pesticide companies are the villains since they will not admit their products are harming bees and unfortunately it’s difficult to prove. The companies that are making pesticides are also killing our children and giving them cancer and giving a lot of adults cancer also. So it’s not just bees that are being harmed by our unwise practices. Mankind is going so far over the line of what is wise that we may soon exterminate our entire human race. If we do that, the world will then heal itself. I am not worried about the planet. It is resilient, but I am worried about the future of the human race and of some of the animals and other creatures we are likely to destroy along with ourselves.
You are right “No one cares.” The fact that people don’t care comes from ignorance and in the case of companies, from greed. Companies have to make money so that their stock goes up in value. Thus they surge ahead to do whatever they can to make money without considering the side effects or consequences of what they do. You were right to go and complain. The company owning the facility was in fact not protecting their clientele. Instead, they were exposing people to pesticide. Bees don’t attack people unless they are Africanized bees that have been provoked. Also, spraying bees can actually result in an attack. There have been more than one case in which an ignorant man sprayed feral bees and the bees attacked the man who sprayed the hive and they killed him. So I cannot see that spraying is a safe thing to do and it is not a good way to protect the public. The correct way to remove a feral bee hive or a swarm of bees is to subdue them with smoke, usually at dusk, and then get the queen and put her in a box and the other bees will follow.
I wish I could tell you the proper way to proceed on this. I wish I had a good idea how you could help. My only thought is that being an informed person yourself you are doing good and spreading the word. Once again, I deeply sympathize with your point of view.
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