Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson warned that if we continued to spray vast quantities of pesticides indiscriminately over our farms, forests, and wildlife, we would end up with a poisoned world in which birds would no longer sing. Few people listened to her warnings, in her book Silent Spring, and today 2.268 billion kilograms of pesticide are poured on to the planet every year. It's now almost impossible to find any place on earth where pesticide residues are not detectable. And almost every human being on earth is exposed to chemicals from conception until death.
All around the world bees are under threat from pesticides, diseases, industrial agriculture and other stresses, and New Zealand is no exception. In some parts of New Zealand bees are dying mysteriously, and that’s why I have called on the government to develop a strategy to protect our bees and I'm prove their health.
I presented a Save the Bees petition to Parliament last year, which the Environment committee considered, but has to present a report on.
I believe its essential that we take steps now to ensure we don't get Colony Collapse disorder in New Zealand, a syndrome which is causing massive bee deaths around the world.
The demise of our bees would be ruinous to our agricultural nation. I've been contacted recently by several beekeepers who are worried about what is happening to our nation's honey bees. A Bay of Plenty beekeeper recently lost 230 of his beehives - or half of his operation. He's been beekeeping since 1981, and has never had losses like this before. He says other beekeepers have experienced similar losses. A Northland beekeeper recently lost 900 of his 1000 hives; another has lost 400 hives, and others last year lost half of their hives.