Love The Bees? Meet Bayer

no gmos

San Antonio showed up for this international march against Monsanto last year (including this adorable couple marching for the bees). I wonder if they will show up to meet Bayer, whose “Bee Care Tour” arrives in San Antonio on Thursday for a several-day PR stint at the Commodity Classic Convention & Trade Show.

bee bayer protest

The producer of controversial neonicotinoids, an insecticide family chemically similar to nicotine that has been banned by the European Union for its known hazards to bees, is on a national tour to re-cast the company as a champion of bee well-being.

Protestors in Corvalis, Oregon, didn’t take the bait, meeting the company in the rain (right) with their complaints.

Bayer company officials insist their profitable neonics have been unfairly saddled as a major culprit behind Colony Collapse Disorder. To be fair, CCD is a complicated phenomenon, but one that clearly involves Bayer.

According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, whose Bennett Hall not only got the requisite “both sides of the story” but also spoke with a scientist about the claims and counter-claims:

OSU honeybee expert Ramesh Sagili said it’s true that there are multiple factors involved in the decline of honeybee populations and that there’s no conclusive evidence connecting neonicotinoids to colony collapse or honeybee declines.

But he also said it’s disingenuous for manufacturers to pretend that pesticides don’t play a role in the problem.

“We don’t have a number to put on them, but everybody agrees they are part of the problem,” Sagili said.

For a deeper read on the issue, check out this 2012 review of the research by the Xerxes Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which suggests the pesticides make the bees more vulnerable to a range of parasites. “The overall evidence points to the fact that the neonicotinoids are harming bees,” the report concludes.

Bayer’s Bee Care Tour will be in San Antonio from Thursday to Saturday.