Tens of millions of bees near Ontario, Canada, have dropped dead following a recent planting of genetically modified (GM) corn. David Schuit, a beekeeper in Elmwood, reportedly lost 600 hives containing some 37 million bees, the direct result, say scientists, of neonicotinoid pesticides that damage bees’ immune systems and navigation abilities, resulting in mass die-offs.
According to Ontario’s The Post, the bees died just days after GM corn seeds were planted in the vicinity. The crops were sprayed with so-called “neonics” produced by Bayer CropScience Inc. that have already been banned in the European Union for harming beneficial pollinators. But in North America, neonics are still permitted because of heavy influence from the chemical industry.
“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” stated Schuit to reporters, lamenting the serious losses to his Saugeen Honey operation.
Another local grower by the name of Nathan Carey, a member of the National Farmers Union, says he has observed major bee losses on his own farm in recent weeks. Affirming the latest science on the subject, Carey believes that neonics are directly responsible for the bee losses occurring not only in Ontario but around the world.