This article started out as information on what is happening to honey bees in our country and it turned into a reflection on human trafficking. How do these two very different realities of life today fit together?

Image result for honey bee photos freeIn this part of our globe we are into the Spring season.  The earth is busting forth with new life everywhere we turn.  One out of every three bites of food we eat are pollinated by bees.  Bees, around the globe, are dying.  This tragedy has been going on for several years but is getting worse with each passing season.


One of the principal culprits in this dying is the use of pesticides in gardens, lawns and landscapes.  Exposure to neuonics (neonicotinoid insecticides) can kill bees and weaken their immune systems.

When buying various pesticides for your lawn or garden check out the label to see what is in the pesticide.  Don’t buy products containing:  Acetamiprid, Clothianidin, Dinotefuran, Imidacloprid or Thiamethoxam.  Needless to say these are very difficult names to pronounce but their effect on bees and other pollinators is devastating.  Ask your local garden store to stop carrying products with these ingredients.  For more information contact Friends of the Earth:  BeeAction.org.


One well known cereal company is actively supporting the bee action campaign by encouraging buyers of their cereal to plant organic or untreated seeds.  There is much we can do to help save honey bees and other pollinators.  By using eco-friendly pest control products, reading labels and not purchasing products containing neonicotinoids and sharing this information with family and friends we can all take some form of action to save bees and other pollinators.


So, what is the connection to human trafficking you might ask?  To begin, there are an estimated 21 million people around the world who are trafficked in various industries, from fishermen in Thailand, to children exploited online, to migrant women trapped in domestic servitude, to workers in agriculture.  Agricultural work plays a part in human trafficking.  Migrant workers are employed in industries such as dairy, nursery and landscaping, field work.  Because they lack legal status and often have a language barrier they live in fear constantly and face limited employment opportunities. Who do we think picks the tomatoes we eat during the winter months?

Who picks the oranges and other citrus fruits we enjoy in January?  Often it is poor and abused farm workers working long hours, doing difficult hard labor, for little or no pay and living in filthy conditions in fear of being deported.


Now, to repeat what does this have to do with bees and pollinators?  Well, both human beings and all the earth’s creatures inhabit this globe together.  We all breathe the same air.  We all can be taken advantage of for the profit of a few.   On April 22 we celebrate Earth Day and are reminded that we are one with the earth and all living creatures-human and non-human.  What can we do to make this world a better place in our own small corner of the earth?

Ann Kasparek,smr