It should come as no surprise that the use of Roundup comes with many negative effects, not
just on humans, but the environment. Things that live in our environment also cannot escape
the consequences of Roundup. For example, a recent study published by The Journal of
Experimental Biology found that Roundup actually causes honeybees to starve.
It is the first study to analyze both the short-term and long-term effects of the herbicide on
honeybees, and the effects are quite damaging. The study, conducted by researchers from the
University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, found that sub-lethal levels of Roundup still harmed
honeybees. Sub-lethal means that the dose is not strong enough to kill, but apparently enough
to maim. Using field-relative doses of the herbicide, researchers found that honeybees exposed
to Roundup exhibited decreased sensitivity to sucrose — leading to a decreased ability to track
and find food. Exposed bees also exhibited poorer learning performance, a decreased ability to
smell and poor memory. Bees exposed to glyphosate tend to exhibit higher frequencies of Colony
Collapse Disorder most likely because they cannot remember how to get back to their hive.
The researchers also noted that indirect exposure to Roundup was present as well. The honeybees
inadvertently brought home tainted nectar to the rest of the colony, poisoning them as well.
Exposure to glyphosate through tainted nectar also negatively impacted the entire hive’s ability
to function normally.
The honeybee population has been dropping steadily over the past ten years. The National
Agricultural Statistic Service has reported that the population has dropped from approximately
5 million bees to a mere 2.5 million. Examiner.com reports that about “One out of every three
bites of food we eat is from a crop pollinated by honeybees.” Honeybee-pollinated plants make
up about $20 billion worth of crops each year, just in the United States. If the honeybee population
continues to decline, the effects on the food supply will be disastrous. The United Nations
Environmental Programme reports that of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food,
71 require honeybee pollination. As beekeepers continue to report 40 to 50% disappearance
within a hive, how can we not be increasingly concerned? Especially when the EPA plans on
approving the use of glyphosate with an even more powerful chemical that could cause even
more environmental devastation.
The EPA not only fails to protect the environment, they actually plan on making things worse!