Monsanto is often linked to the decline of bee populations. Well, we are involved: we are doing our best to protect the health of honey bees.
We naturally have a huge stake in what happens to the planet’s most vital pollinators as we depend on them to pollinate many of our crops. In France alone, we employ more than 5,000 bee hives to pollinate our oilseed rape crop.
We are an active member of the Honey Bee Health Coalition, working on improving honey bee nutrition, helping hive managers deal with the Varroa mite – for which we are developing an alternative to non-selective miticides (an agent that kills mites) currently used to reduce hive damage, and to bring growers and beekeepers together to reduce bee exposure to pesticides.
It is alleged that genetically modified plants (GMOs) are the culprit, but bee populations have still been declining in Europe and other regions where GM crops are virtually non-existent. There are other factors involved.
It is true that as part of its efforts to safeguard bee health, the European Commission restricted the use of neonicotinoid pesticides in 2013, but they are not produced by Monsanto. On the other hand, there are as yet no restrictions on the use of botanical insecticides in organic farming, which may also be toxic to bees.