Editor’s note: The following is in response to the May 14-20, 2014, article “Pesticide companies smoke screening bee crisis?” by Copy Editor Susan Johnson. Read part two of Johnson’s series about the bee crisis, “Are pesticides a threat to bees? — part two,” in this week’s issue.
Thank you for the article by Susan Johnson, “Pesticide companies smoke screening bee crisis?” [May 14-20, 2014].
I am a beekeeper in Champaign County. I attended the Bayer Bee Care Tour very early in 2013 when it made a stop at the I Hotel at the University of Illinois. I thought “the tour” was a farce then … and after reading your article, I am convinced that I’m still right.
I am convinced that chemicals (pesticides and herbicides) are destroying our environment. Honey bees don’t have a chance, nor do many, many other insects. I have been saying to my contacts over the past year, “honeybees are the ‘canaries in the mines’ of this decade.” The losses of honey bees are a sure sign that there is a vast imbalance in the environment worldwide. My farmer friends and neighbors know there is a problem. They are caught up in the vast agribusiness controlled by the companies named in the article. Something has to change and soon. In my opinion, your article is focused in the right direction.
St. Joseph, Ill.
From the May 21-27, 2014, issue