Bees – Biological Geiger Counters

Bees – Biological Geiger Counters

International Medical Veritas Association

Approximately one-third of the typical American?s diet (primarily the healthiest part) is directly or indirectly the result of honey bee pollination.

On their travels, they transfer pollen from plant to plant, flower to flower, fertilizing the blossoms and allowing them to set fruit. This ancient partnership of pollinator and plant is essential to life as we know it. One-third of the food we eat comes from crops that need animal pollinators, a role often filled by bees but sometimes by butterflies, beetles, birds, or bats.

The New York Times and other major media sources have recently published scary articles about a catastrophe in the making, about a disaster that will soon have a direct impact on our collective stomachs. In 24 states throughout the country, beekeepers are getting the shock of their lives seeing hundreds of millions of their bees literally disappearing. Beekeepers go out to open their hives and find them empty. Bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply not returning to their homes, they vanish without a trace. Researchers say the bees are dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold. Researchers have labeled this affliction ?colony collapse disorder.?

Farmers across North America have been blitzing their fields with millions of tons of herbicides and pesticides for decades. And since the mid to late 1990’s massive numbers of genetically engineered crops have been planted.

Greg Ciola

Greg Ciola wrote in his book GMOs, Beware of the Coming Food Apocalypse, ?In one German study done at the University of Jena they tested bees on a field of genetically engineered rapeseed (canola). The bees were released onto the crop and then took the pollen back to their hive and fed it to young bees. When scientists analyzed the bacteria in the gut of the young bees they discovered that it contained the same gene traits as those of the modified crops. This study is very alarming because bees are one of the most important insects to mankind. From bees we get honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and bees wax. Irrespective of GM crops, there is already great concern in America over the health of the honeybee. American apiaries have been dealing with many other problems over the last few years. They can?t be too pleased to know that altered genes from rapeseed can now be transferred to the bee. Just think how many honeybees in America are now pollinating on genetically modified rapeseed! Better yet, how many honeybees are now pollinating on all genetically modified crops? When bees start dying off, it?s only a matter of time before men does too!?

Safe pastures where bees can forage without being poisoned by pesticides are becoming increasingly rare.

In the UK, there have been “a few but significant examples” of what experts call the “Marie Celeste phenomenon” – colonies abandoning hives altogether leaving no evidence of what caused their disappearance. Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain have also had their bouts with ?colony collapse disorder.?

More than 90 crops in North America rely on honeybees to transport
pollen from flower to flower, effecting fertilization and allowing production of fruit and seed. The amazing versatility of the species is worth an estimated $14 billion a year to the United States economy.

Honey bees are responsible for approximately one third of the United States crop pollination including almonds, peaches, soybeans, apples, pears, pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Investigators are exploring a range of theories, including viruses, a fungus and poor bee nutrition. They are also studying a group of pesticides that were banned in some European countries to see if these are somehow affecting the bees? innate ability to find their way back home. It has been noted that to give bees energy while they are pollinating, beekeepers now feed them protein supplements and a liquid mix of sucrose and corn syrup.

There are no tell-tale bee corpses inside colonies or out in front of hives, where bees typically deposit their dead nest mates.

Experts are speculating that it may be the consequence of a new infection, or of several diseases simultaneously, leading to a fatally compromised immune system. It is also possible that severe stress brought on by crowding, inadequate nutrition or perhaps the combined effects of prophylactic antibiotics and miticides sprayed by beekeepers to ward off infections. Another particularly sad possibility is that accidental exposure to a new pesticide may cause non-lethal behavioral changes that interfere with the ability of honeybees to orient and navigate; brain-damaged foraging bees may simply get lost on their way home and starve to death away from the hive.

Honeybees contribute to our food chain in more ways than any other animal species. They are vital to alfalfa and clover, which is processed into hay to feed beef and dairy cattle.

The public does not recognize the magnitude of the threat that these mysterious events present but we should be more than alarmed. Scientists have been observing how one species after another is disappearing from our planet but never before has one with such a direct bearing on food production been threatened. Extinction of a species doesn’t just affect the group that disappears – it tends to alter much more.

Earth’s biodiversity is being overtaken by a mass extinction which, if allowed to proceed unchecked, could well eliminate between one quarter and one half of all species.
Norman Myers

Bees do make excellent biological geiger counters. They are especially valuable perennial mobile biomonitors of the local environment. Foraging honey bees fly and crawl into flowers and inspect many substrates and openings. As such, they come in contact with naturally-occurring materials in the environment as well as manmade pollutants including heavy metals and pesticides. Pollen and these exotic materials stick to their hairy bodies and are carried back to the nest cavity where they often become incorporated into the beeswax, pollen and honey stores. Thus, with their wide foraging range and collecting activities, they are natural monitoring agents for investigating the ebb and flow of floral resources and toxic substances within the environment. At least one researcher has effectively used honey bees to collect pollutants including heavy metals, radionuclides and pesticides, which are concentrated within their nests and can be subsequently analyzed using modern chemical analytical instrumentation.[i]

This reporting of ?colony collapse disorder (CCD)? is a very interesting lesson in science. Either scientists have lost their ability to think intuitively[ii] or the media is again demonstrating its dishonesty by refusing to publish essential but unpopular information that threatens incoming advertising dollars. Though it is not reasonable to assume that any single factor is responsible, it is a glaring error to omit from the equation the rising tide of mercury on the land, water and air to which both we and honey bees are exposed. Most beekeepers affected by CCD report that they use antibiotics and miticides in their colonies, though the lack of uniformity as to which particular chemicals are used makes it seem unlikely that any single such chemical is involved. Yet when one chemical weakens a biological system, another can come in with a killer blow.

The decline of honeybee populations has brought the agricultural community to the brink of a pollination crisis.

Scientists have already studied mercury levels in the head, abdomen and thorax of bees (Apis mellifera) from 20 bee populations coming from industrially contaminated areas with a dominant load of mercury (10 populations) as well as from uncontaminated areas. The following mercury levels were found in bees from the contaminated area: heads 0.029-0.385 mg/kg, thorax 0.028-0.595 mg/kg and abdomen 0.083-2.255 mg/kg. Mercury levels in samples from uncontaminated areas ranged from 0.004 to 0.024 mg/kg in the heads, from 0.004 to 0.008 mg/kg in the thorax and from 0.008 to 0.020 mg/kg in the abdomen. In honey samples from the contaminated and uncontaminated areas mercury levels ranged from 0.050 to 0.212 mg/kg and from 0.001 to 0.003 mg/kg, respectively.[iii] Researchers have also demonstrated heavy metal accumulation in honey suggested that honey may be useful for assessing the presence of environmental contaminants.[iv]

Because of their experimental traceability, recently sequenced genome and well-understood biology, honey bees are an ideal model system for integrating molecular, genetic, physiological and socio-biological perspectives to advance our understanding of converging environmental stresses. Honey bees have the highest rates of flight muscle metabolism and power output ever recorded in the animal kingdom. Researchers believe that it is likely that changes in muscle gene expression, biochemistry, metabolism and functional capacity may be driven primarily by behavior as opposed to age, as is the case for changes in honey bee brains.[v] Even at low levels of exposure, mercury can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and cause behavioral changes in people. Mercury is a harsh neurological poison that affects neurological tissues throughout the animal kingdom and it is very possible that it is affecting the sensitive brains of honey bees.

When gilial progenitor stem cells in the brain were exposed to 5 to 6 parts per billion (ppb) of mercury, these cells stop dividing and simply shut down! These cells are absolutely crucial in building the brain in infancy and beyond.

Professor Mark Noble
University of Rochester NY

Power plants are the largest unregulated source of mercury emissions, releasing 48 tons of mercury into the air annually in the United States alone. Oil, fertilizers, pesticides and the countless other chemicals, byproducts and debris that enter our water, air and land continually afflict species worldwide and produce damaging, long-lasting effects. Mercury is however one of the most prevalent and powerful poisons, and it manages to infiltrate everything.

Mercury pollution is making its way into nearly every habitat in the U.S., exposing countless species of wildlife to potentially harmful levels of this neurological toxin.

?From songbirds to alligators, turtles to bats, eagles to otters, mercury is accumulating in nearly every corner of the food chain,? says Catherine Bowes, Northeast Program Manager for the National Wildlife Federation and principal author of a recent report on the issue. ?This report paints a compelling picture of mercury contamination in the U.S., and many more species are at risk than we previously thought. Fish, long thought to be the key species affected by mercury, are just the tip of the iceberg.?

Global decline of amphibians has been a hot issue in recent years among both the scientists who study them and the general public. A paper by University of Georgia researchers in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry suggests that atmospheric deposition of mercury in aquatic habitats has the potential to have significant impacts on amphibians in the larval stage of development.[vi]

The National Wildlife Federation report, Poisoning Wildlife: The Reality of Mercury Pollution, is a compilation of over 65 published studies finding elevated levels of mercury in a wide range of wildlife species. The report highlights mercury levels in fish, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians living in freshwater, marine, and forest habitats from across the country. The accumulation of mercury in fish has been well-understood for years, leading 46 states in the U.S. to issue consumption advisories warning people to limit or avoid eating certain species of fish. However, scientists have recently discovered that mercury accumulates in forest soils, indicating that wildlife that lives and feeds outside aquatic habitats are also at risk of exposure to mercury.

?Scientific understanding of the extent of mercury contamination in wildlife has expanded significantly in recent years,? says Dr. David Evers of the Biodiversity Research Institute, wildlife toxicologist and leading researcher in this field. ?We are finding mercury accumulation in far more species, and at much higher levels, than we previously thought was occurring. This poses a very real threat to the health of many wildlife populations, some of which are highly endangered.?

The scientific studies compiled in the report show mercury in a wide variety of species:

Freshwater Fish: Brook Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Northern Perch, Largemouth Bass

Birds in Aquatic Habitats: Bald Eagle, Great Egret, Wood Stork, Northern Shoveler, Common Loon, Red-winged Blackbird, White Ibis, Common Tern, Belted Kingfisher

Birds in Forest Habitats: Wood Thrush, Red-eyed Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, Bicknell?s Thrush, Carolina Wren, Prothonotary Warbler

Mammals: Florida Panther, Indiana Bat, Mink, River Otter, Raccoon

Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates: Two-lined Salamander, Snapping Turtle, Crayfish, American Alligator, Bullfrog

Marine Life: Tiger Shark, Sperm Whale, Striped Bass, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Narwhal, Polar Bear, Beluga Whale, Ringed Seal

It is understandable that those who are at the helm of our system do not want to create a massive scare by creating an association between a disaster in agriculture (via the collapse in bee colonies) and the tremendous rise in mercury that the government is trying to suppress. This book, The Rising Tide of Mercury and Other Toxic Chemicals, (coming at the end of 2007 from IMVA Publications), will clearly demonstrate the threat of mercury which is now taking on gigantic proportions, and how virtually no one is effectively dealing with the crisis. What good is it for Europe to eliminate the use of mercury from the continent when it is being spilled into the environment in huge amounts by the United States, China and India? Mercury circles the globe just as radiation from nuclear accidents and the use of deleted uranium weapons does.

It is very possible that the honey bees are being affected in advance of other species in a massive way but it has already been demonstrated by scientists that humans, especially children, are also being seriously affected neurologically by mercury in the air. (See Chapter on Mercury in the Air and rising rates of autism.) The United States is being hit simultaneously by two increasing waves of mercury pollution: one could be responsible for triggering the collapse in bee populations, and the other long-standing issue of constant large tonnage being released each and every day.

The increasing occurrence and intensity of wildfires due to climate change is worsening mercury pollution in North America according to a new study from researchers at Michigan State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and the Canadian Forest Service. Wildfires are releasing mercury long since sequestered in Northern wetlands and will without doubt add to health problems in both humans and animals.

Industry puts out more than carbon monoxide into the air, tons of mercury are put out into the air each and everyday.

A 2002 study from the University of Santa Cruz, California illuminates the mechanisms of a second pathway where mercury is increasing. This study found that mercury from coal emissions in China ends up in rainwater on the California coast.[vii] Atmospheric mercury travels around the globe as a gas and must be oxidized into charged ions that will attach themselves to water molecules before they are washed out as rain. Ozone, abundant in industrial and urban smog, plays a key role in this oxidative process. When the gaseous mercury blows into San Francisco Bay from Asia, the local smog is there waiting to “enrich” it and set in motion the process of introducing more mercury into the food chain via rain onto surface waters. With China and India putting up new dirty coal fired plants at a furious rate it is literally raining mercury in the United States and all over the world. By 2020, the United States will emit almost one-fifth more gases that lead to global warming than it did in 2000, increasing the risks of drought and scarce water supplies, and of course, though no one is talking about it, mercury emissions will continue to rise.

Scientists from the University of Quebec who have been studying the Amazon basin since 1992, measured riverbank sediments for mercury levels in small increasing increments and discovered that the most recent sediments contained 1.5 to 3 times the amount of mercury compared to those of 40 years earlier. The timing of the mercury increases fits well with the huge colonization of the area initiated during the 1960s by Brazil’s National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform. Through this program, tens of thousands of families relocated from the poorer regions of northeastern Brazil to the Amazon basin. Most of these families turned to farming, and cleared more than 2.5 million hectares of Amazon forest using “slash and burn” methods. While most people are aware of the perils of deforestation in terms of global warming and depletion of protective ozone, only now are scientists beginning to understand that the consequent erosion of soils contributes to worldwide mercury contamination. “When you have forest cover, this mercury is extremely stable in the soils,” explains one of the researchers. “There is hardly any release to the aquatic ecosystem. The mercury is bound to clay, organic matter, humic acids, and so on.”[viii] Without the forest cover, exposed soil is washed into waterways as regularly as it rains. Once in contact with bacteria in the rivers, inorganic mercury is converted to methyl mercury and thereby introduced into the food chain.

Mercury continues to appear in places and via means that scientists could not have predicted. Two studies in the March 15, 2002 issue of Environmental Science and Technology describe the phenomenon of “mercury sunrise,” an event first described in 1998 in the Arctic north. During a span of only five months during the polar spring each year, the northern-most coast of Alaska receives more than twice the amount of mercury that would usually fall during an entire year on the northeastern coast of the US. This phenomenon also occurs on the southern polar region, and researchers estimate that as much as a hundred tons of mercury are dumped on both poles annually.[ix]

It has been clear since the infamous 1950s case of women in Minimata, Japan who gave birth to children with severe birth defects because of mercury-tainted fish in their diet, that exposure to high levels of mercury can be harmful. Subsequent studies have revealed that even low-level mercury exposure threatens normal development of the fetus. Problems with vision, hearing, language and motor skills are typical of mercury-related neurological damage. Some recent studies indicate that men with elevated mercury levels may suffer more heart attacks. Animal studies suggest that low-level mercury exposure produces autoimmune diseases and other immune system anomalies.[x] The mercury is there but the recent publicity about this issue is centered on how safe it is to eat mercury contaminated fish!

Because mercury is everywhere – in our water, foods, air, soil, vaccines and dental amalgam – it needs to be factored into ALL disease etiologies.

Are we next? Will humans start to fall like the bees? It is very possible, more likely than not, that top federal health officials have already previewed the looming disaster but cruelly refuse to face the public with the truth. It is either that or they are the most ignorant medical scientists in the universe. Instead of warning humanity and directing the government?s efforts to reduce and even eliminate mercury, as the European Union is setting out to do with earnest, health officials each and every year, at an increasingly frantic pace, are warning of hundreds of millions of deaths from influenza and the bird flu. Never once will you hear them quote research that indicates that mercury toxicity increases the frequency and intensity of influenza symptoms and could be one of the root causes of death from the flu. We know that mercury is rising in threatening concentrations, it is a scientific fact. Yet the United States government is doing practically nothing to stop mercury pollution. To the contrary, a hundred and fifty new coal fire plants are on the drawing board.

The unprecedented human pressure on the Earth’s ecosystems threatens our future as a species. We confront problems more intractable than any previous generation, some of them at the moment apparently insoluble.  BBC News

Mercury is an inherent insanity in the medical and dental communities. Doctors, dentists and health officials will not admit the dangers of mercury. If a physicist denied the basic laws of physics we would find that more than ridiculous but we allow doctors and dentists to shame themselves in front of medical history every day. With what we might call intellectual barbarism or chemical terrorism, they insist on exposing people and children to its dangers in clinical practice. Thus the medical and dental professions cannot be trusted with anything when it comes to mercury and its dangers.

There is no way to ignore the fact that we all share one earth,one biosphere in which our transgressions against nature, either from ignorance or greed or malice, eventually affect us all.

Humanity is beset by stresses covering every aspect of reality. We do now, and will continue to, receive signs and symptoms of massive but hidden forces in motion that the public media will not report on. Finally there has been a turn around when it comes to climate change. Unfortunately, with something as huge as the weather, the information is coming too late for us to change the course of destiny. With mercury it is much the same. Instead of decreasing mercury pollution, it is increasing through rapid expansion of the use of coal for the creation of electricity.

Treatments for Mercury Toxicity

The BBC reports that hazardous chemicals are now found in the bodies of all new-born babies, and an estimated one in four people worldwide are exposed to unhealthy concentrations of air pollutants. But this vastly understates the problem because it does not include the invisible almost radioactive cloud of mercury that is virtually everywhere, even in the most pristine environments thousands of miles distant from the nearest point of mercury pollution. When it comes to mercury everyone is exposed and is at risk though in the southern hemisphere we would expect to find much less exposure than in the industrial north.

Instead of highly toxic vaccines containing even more mercury or drugs like Tamiflu, the public needs to be given a crash course in mercury detoxification and chelation. Again doctors fail us here, because they can only come up with more toxic substances to get rid of other toxic substances and a dwindling percentage of the population can afford these drugs and the doctors that prescribe them. Fees are as high as $900 an hour for consultations with certain doctors who specialize in this type of work. Because we live in a heavily polluted world, our exposure is not only constant but increasing year by year so there is a need for safe non-toxic substances that we can use safely throughout our lifetime. Instead of using toxic substances, we can use natural items that not only sweep the chemical toxins from our bodies but also provide basic nutrition that strengthens us in many ways.

According to the Marine Technology Society, brown seaweeds, such as kelp, contain fucoidan and algin, which have been shown to remove lead, mercury, cadmium, barium, tin and other heavy metals from tissues. Seaweeds also help remove radioactive isotopes from the body. Using seaweeds both as a condiment and at least several times a week as a vegetable (so that you consume a half-cup serving) is necessary for chelating action to take place.[xi] Iodine also concentrates in seaweed and is another chelator of mercury. Ninety percent of the population is deficient in iodine.[xii],[xiii] Spirulina and chlorella have also been used widely in this regard.

Several years ago a researcher studying a possible connection between chronic bacterial infections and heavy metals in the body found that some patients released mercury into their urine after eating Vietnamese soup containing cilantro (Coriandrum sativum).[xiv] This effect has been replicated in other studies, although scientists have not yet determined exactly which constituents in cilantro have mercury-chelating effects. As a preventive, then, cilantro can be eaten, fresh and raw, as a regular part of the diet to orally chelate not only mercury but lead and aluminum as well.

Several doctors have paid attention and have created chelation formulas that are safe and effective to use without medical supervision. Dr. Georgiou, after 3 years of research settled on a golden triangle of natural chelation using Chlorella Growth Factor, Cilantro leaf tincture and Homeopathic energized cell-decimated chlorella vulgaris. He calls his product HMD (Heavy Metal Detox).

Dr. Allan Greenburg?s golden triangle uses cilantro, chlorella and ALA and his formula provides important support substances: selenium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, E, MSM (Methysulfonylmethane), NAC (N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine), L-Glutamine and Taurine, which turns Chelorex into an effective and complete nutritionally-driven chelation prescription tested for the removal of 16 toxic metals. This is crucial because the higher the level of intra-body toxins, the more that an individual’s detox nutrients are utilized, and the greater the likelihood of adverse effects from toxins. (Important news for the medical community is that Chelorex is now available in a liquid form and this is very good news for children who are mercury toxic.)

The International Medical Veritas Association promotes the heavy use of transdermal magnesium therapy as a crucial element in any detoxification and chelation program. Experimentation with transdermal iodine therapy is now also beginning. We have been heavily involved in creating awareness of childhood immunization and the gigantic epidemic in autism and other neurological disorders, so we favor transdermal and liquid formulations that are much easier to administer to children.

Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
Director International Medical Veritas Association


[i] Bromenshenk, et al. 1995

[ii] Albert Einstein said, ?I think with intuition.? Intuition is different than conceptual or intellectual thought process as it is different from the imaginative level of consciousness. It is a special perceptual ability to sense from a distance, to literally feel the totality of a situation. See HeartHealth by IMVA Publications available end of 2007/early 2008.

[iii] Toporcak J, Legath J, Kul’kova J. Univerzita veterinarskeho lekarstva, Kosice.

[iv] Environ Monit Assess. 2005 Oct;109(1-3):181-7. Determination of heavy metals in honey in Kahramanmaras City, Turkey.Erbilir F, Erdogrul O. Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam, Kahramanmaras, Turkey.

[v] J Exp Biol. 2005 Nov;208(Pt 22):4193-8. Muscle biochemistry and the ontogeny of flight capacity during behavioral development in the honey bee, Apis mellifera.Roberts SP, Elekonich MM. Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004, USA.


[vii] Mercury in California Rainwater Linked to Industrial Emissions in Asia; Media Alerts Archive, December 19, 2002;

[viii] R.C.Willis, Mercury Rising: Deforestation and gold mining in the Amazon basin cause the release of toxic metal, Today’s Chemist at Work, March 2001, vol. 10, No. 3, pp 30-36

[ix] T. Steele, “Mercury sunrise” effect found in Antarctica, EurekaAlert!;

[x] N. Shute, Heavy Metal Fish, U.S. News & World Report, March 17, 2003

[xi] S. Weed, Healing Wise, Ash Tree Publishing, 1989, p.223.

[xii] Iodine; Why you need it, Why you can?t Live without it; David Brownstein MD;

[xiii] Seaweed sold in the United States has a tremendous variation in the amount of iodine content. In Japan, the average Japanese eats around 13.8 mg of iodine per day with the vast majority of that iodine coming from seaweed that has been specifically grown and cultured to maximize iodine trapping in the seaweed. To my knowledge, this particular type of seaweed is not being sold in the United States at the present time. Gupta: Consequences of Iodine Deficiency

[xiv] D. Williams, Poor Man’s Chelation Therapy, on-line version,


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