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Bee, Wasp Venom Shortage Could Be Dangerous for Those With Allergies

Pesticide overuse has a much greater impact than many realize. CNN reports that a shortage of bee and wasp venom is hindering the manufacture of lifesaving shots used in venom immunotherapy. 

That there is a shortage of this venom should not be a surprise to anyone who has followed the troubling bee colony collapse disorder that has been decimating the bee population for years. Neonicotinoids have been increasingly blamed for bee deaths (and were implicated in the 2013 mass bee die-off of 25,000 bumblebees along with millions of bee deaths in Canada). 

The majority of soybean, corn, canola and sunflower seeds planted in the U.S. are coated with neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics). The chemicals, which are produced by Bayer and Syngenta, travel systemically through the plants and kill insects that munch on their roots and leaves.

Neonicotinoids are not the only chemicals the bees have to worry about. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, may also play a role in bees' deaths. In many cases of bee die-offs, the bees become disoriented, suggesting endocrine hormone disruption. Glyphosate is a very strong endocrine hormone disruptor.

To avoid harming bees and other helpful pollinators that visit your garden, swap out toxic pesticides and lawn chemicals for organic weed and pest control alternatives. Even some organic formulations can be harmful to beneficial insects, so be sure to vet your products carefully.

Better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant an edible organic garden. Both flower and vegetable gardens provide good honeybee habitats. It's also recommended to keep a small basin of fresh water in your garden or backyard, as bees actually do get thirsty.

Keep in mind that you also help protect the welfare of all pollinators every time you shop organic and grass fed, as you are actually "voting" for less pesticides and herbicides with every organic and pastured food and consumer product you buy. You can take bee preservation a step further by trying your hand at amateur beekeeping.
 
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