The system of concentration of capital, the one that dominates the world, poisons the bees and ends with the refuge of the butterflies. It is the same system that starves children, shoots them in the back and separates them from the territory of privilege due to its low profitability.
The death of 72 million bees in Traslasierra, the twilight of the honey, the danger of extinction of the monarch butterflies and the consequent withdrawal of the spirits of the dead that travel with them is the decline of life. There are one and a half million fewer hives in the country than in 2010.
And glyphosate is devastating the milkweed where monarchs feed and lay their eggs. It was SENASA that finally confirmed that the death, just over a month ago, of 72 million bees was due to poisoning with agrochemicals. And it is INTA itself that admits that 80 percent of crops depend on pollination. Beautiful process, work of bees and butterflies. However, the production model based on super-profitability, monoculture and pesticides is a skull and two lumps on the road of life. The death of the bees collapses pollination, domestic consumption and exports by 168 million dollars. Besides that country of milk and honey, the land promised to children. “And what are they going to do with this?
Because the production model is not going to change ”, Luis Miguel Etchevere told SADA beekeepers (*), still on the alert for the massive deaths. And they responded that “the bees are disappearing. Because its mountains, its forests, its flowers are disappearing "because" the field turned brown and was submerged in poisons, which today the hypocrisy of many calls phytosanitary products. Because INTA, last year, banned the use of the noun agro-toxins in Argentina. As if the words poisoned. "With bees, the rest of the wild pollinators also disappear, and with it a good part of the fruits and vegetables that we eat, as well as those that feed our animals."
A month after the massacre of honey bees, Nature of Rights - based on official data from the Ministry of Agroindustry - revealed the disappearance of 44% of the hives in eight years: in 2010 there were 3,264,649. In 2018, 1,828,203. The beekeeper map matches the soy map.
They are silent victims of a food production model that uses poison as its main tool, albeit a grim paradox. Millions of liters of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides pave the way for the wealth of a bunch of companies without a flag, sustained by the transgenesis of seeds and the devastation of everything that is unnecessary. Vain. Surplus. Although in the backyard of the system they are the final support of life.
The Nahuatl culture that flourished in the Valley of Mexico saw them arrive and greeted the return of the spirits of their fallen dead in defense of the land. For them the monarch was called quetzalpapalotl or sacred butterfly.
Each year they undertake their prodigious migration process that consumes four stages of their lives and four generations. Adult butterflies travel from southern Canada to the forests of south-central Mexico to winter. Like bees, monarchs are protagonists of the ecosystem: they are professional pollinators and their close and loving bond with milkweed makes them essential to each other and vice versa: it is the only plant that hosts the eggs that will later become larvae and later Caterpillars that will lock themselves in the chrysalis to change and come to life in the glittering butterfly outfit.
No scientific research has been able to know how the monarchs, several generations later, continue to find the migration route that their ancestors have followed to withstand the winter. Without gps or googlemaps, they always find their way back, coinciding in time with the birth of the spring milkweed.
However, since the 90s they are fewer. About 60% less. Changes in land use, indiscriminate logging, the farmer hostage model of agrochemicals, the ferocious use of glyphosate in certain areas of the United States have been devouring the milkweed. And the monarch butterflies (**).
They arrive in Mexico on the day of the dead. That's why it's a party. Because spirits appear by the millions, colorful and beautiful, to celebrate life. For the Aztecs they are the souls that have their home in heaven. And the warriors sacrificed on the pyres. And the women who died in childbirth.
Amid the blood and death of the conquest, Nahuatl hope rested on the November butterfly. Papalotl in hand, they gazed at her and whispered their wish. Papalotl listened, motionless. Afterwards, it would fly out. Even the flower where the goddess Xochiquetzal lived, who had the last decision on that wish. The Nahuatl were quiet when their secrets were whispered to them: they have such a long and rolled tongue that they can hold millions of secrets and desires that they will never share with anyone. Except with Xochiquetzal.
"When the last bee dies, four years later, the human species will disappear"Einstein said, so far from glyphosate and 2-4D.
Traslasierra beekeepers, with the corpses of their honey plants in their hands, tell Etchevere that “the current agro-industrial model is unethical, because it destroys the social, productive and economic fabric of our communities, condemning its citizens to misery and is ecocidal, because it irreparably damages the land, water and air, poisons our food and kills our bees ”.
The only possible path is pesticide-free agriculture. A return to the land and its healthy productivity. A process that does not affect the profitability of the producers but that of the companies and laboratories that produce the poisons. Those who today are steering the levers of change on the planet. And always directed towards your interests.
It will then be necessary to swerve to life that is declining. Bring her to these shores, where the boys travel in a butterfly in search of other worlds that can be built with everyone. Where hunger is abolished with carrot swords and flute bread. And he sported the poison with a hive and milkweed hit. With bees and monarchs standing.
By Silvana Melo
May 2, 2018
(*) Argentine Society of Beekeepers
(**) “The decrease in monarch butterfly populations in recent decades coincides with the appearance of genetically modified crops to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate, or to resist insects that could be considered a plague (…) The massive use of glyphosate in the Midwest of the United States is destroying the presence of milkweed plants and other plants that are a source of nectar for feeding butterflies; Milkweed is particularly sensitive to glyphosate, and so far no milkweed resistant to this herbicide has been reported (Emmanuel González-Ortega, Biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean).
Source: Rag Ball