Honey bees are the angels of agriculture, but they're disappearing at a startling rate in a mysterious phenomenon dubbed Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).
Since 2007, North American honey bees are literally disappearing without a trace. There are no massive dead bee bodies appearing in or around the hives—the bees are simply GONE, bewildering beekeepers and scientists alike.
In fact, serious honey bee die-offs have been occurring around the world for the past decade. The U.S. and the U.K. both reported losing a third of their honey bees in 2010.
Italy lost half of theirs.
One of the observed effects of these insecticides is weakening of the bee's immune system.
Forager bees bring pesticide-laden pollen back to the hive, where it's consumed by all of the bees. Six months later, their immune systems fail, and they fall prey to natural bee infections, such as parasites, mites, viruses, fungi and bacteria. Indeed, pathogens such as Varroa mites, Nosemav , fungalvi and bacterial infections, and Israeli acute paralysis virusvii (IAPV) are found in large amounts in honey bee hives on the verge of collapse. In addition to immune dysfunction and opportunistic diseases, the honey bees also appear to suffer from neurological problems, disorientation, and impaired navigation.
A bee can't survive for more than 24 hours if she becomes disoriented and unable to find her way back to the hive.
Even our butterfliesviii are suffering at the hands of "pestitution"… to borrow the documentary's clever pun. A decline in the North American monarch butterfly population has been linked to increased plantings of herbicide-tolerant GM crops, and overuse of the herbicide glyphosate, which is the key chemical in Monsanto's Roundup. Glyphosate is killing milkweed plants, upon which monarchs rely for habitat and food.