It’s common knowledge that bees are constantly under threat from a number of environmental factors – the varroa mite, small hive beetle and over work, to name but a few. So it makes sense that the cocktail of toxic pesticides used on non-organic cotton, known as “the world’s dirtiest crop” would also have a huge impact on bees in the same area. The Australian beekeeper in this article by Sean Murphy of ABC News certainly puts the wiping out of millions of his bees down to the neighbouring cotton farm: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-18/bee-loses-due-to-chemical-use-by-cotton-industry-keeper-says/8276130
As beekeepers ourselves (though admittedly on a far smaller scale!), we are very concerned about any threat to the health of bees and fully appreciate their value to plants and the wellbeing of the planet generally.
Even though the conventional Australian cotton farm involved tries to use a less pervasive pesticide regime, reducing spraying of these toxic chemicals to just three times in a season, the beekeeper still believes that it is this that’s responsible for wiping out millions of his bees.
So, yet another reason for switching to organic cotton – help save the bees!
To read more about the many benefits of organic cotton, take a look at an earlier blog post here.