Approximately 500M bees died in Brazil in just 3 months this year.
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One entire bee colony was wiped out in less than 48 hours in early 2019, according to Aldo Machado, the VP of a beekeeping association in Brazil.
‘As soon as the healthy bees began clearing the dying bees out of the hives, they became contaminated. They started dying en masse.’ — Machado to Bloomberg
According to Greenpeace’s investigative media outlet Unearthed. Brazil is the largest buyer of pesticides in the world. The country’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has reportedly approved a record number of pesticide sales since he was elected to office in January.
The country reportedly allows pesticides to contain chemicals that are banned elsewhere. Unearthed’s report found 193 weedkillers and pesticides containing chemicals banned in the European Union were registered in Brazil between 2016 and 2019.
A 2014 study from Harvard University found that pesticides are a primary contributor to honey bee deaths in the U.S. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approx 75% of the world’s crops depend on bee pollination.
‘Each one of us has an individual responsibility towards protecting bees and we should all make pollinator-friendly choices. Even growing flowers at home to feed bees contributes to this effort.’ José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, FAO.
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