Bees Have Their Addictions Too
by Sandy Swegel
Nature magazine published a scientific study with the odd news that bees, when given a choice, prefer nectar with the neonic pesticides in them. Given a choice, even though scientists don’t think bee can smell or taste the pesticide, bees opt for neonic-treated plants or neonic-treated sugar solutions. Why? It’s because of the “nics.” The nics in neonics are nicotine compounds. A bee sipping on a flower gets the same rush as human dragging on a cigarette. Wow! We really have to get this substance out of the environment.
The study looks at both honey bees and wild bees. Both wanted the nicotine hit.
Of course, it was just last year that Science magazine reported that bees get addicted to caffeine too and prefer nectar and flowers with caffeine over other nectar.
Bees and Humans both love our drugs.
Earlier in the week, I was feeling hopeful because about 90% of the plants at our local Home Depot were neonic-free. Last year virtually all of them had been treated with the pesticide, but Home Depot is requiring more and more of its growers to be neonic-free. That’s hundreds of thousands of plants in our area.
But the Nature article shows us that while we can enjoy the small victories, but we have to keep paying attention to who is silently poisoning our environment.
We know you are our allies with the bees. You use our untreated seeds and you plant our wildflower mixes. Let’s keep up the good fight.