The BUZZ is a group of individuals who came together in 2013 concerned and curious about the decline in bee populations, both locally and worldwide. What was causing the decline and what could it mean for Bermuda’s food security?
In 2014 we held a Bee Fair to gather together members in the community who either work with bees or who, like us, are interested in the role of bees in the eco-system.
In 2015 we brought down an organic beekeeper from Vermont to share his thoughts and practices.
We were also focused on the question of the health impacts from the use of pesticides… to bees, humans and nature in general. At first it seemed to us that the greatest threat to bees was from a family of systemic pesticides known as neo-nicotinoids. In May 2015, just as we were preparing to push for a ban on these pesticides, the Minister for Health announced a ban on the importation of products containing glyphosate (like RoundUp and Rodeo). She was being prompted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) research that named glyphosate as a ‘probable carcinogen’. Further, there was also to be research conducted locally to test for glyphosate residues left as a result of use in Bermuda, particularly by roadside spraying.
In light of this development, we shifted our focus to glyphosates.
We spent 2016 focusing on understanding the value to Bermuda of formally adopting an Integrated Pest Management programme and on Bermuda’s 2009 Pesticide Safety Act (which, to date, is still not in force).
In 2017 we consulted with a renowned soil expert and biologist, Dr. Elaine Ingham, to learn about the importance of healthy soil. We also wrote to various government Ministers with a comprehensive list of concerns and suggestions about the use of pesticides in Bermuda.
This year, 2018, will likely be spent communicating with individuals and groups to expand the discussion, formulate potential actions and advance ideas and solutions.