Thanks for including honey as a natural sweetener in the March 3 Health & Science article “It’s sweet! A periodic table.” As I am a beekeeper in Northern Virginia, it certainly got my attention. The accompanying graphic said honey “has antioxidants, but may contain pesticides.” I hope readers think about the survival of honeybees that make the honey and the other pollinators upon which we depend for most of our food.
If food plants have flowers, we need pollinators to visit those flowers to create the food we love and the seeds needed to grow that food. Wind pollinates grains: wheat, corn, rye, etc. Almost everything else requires a bee, butterfly, hummingbird or other pollinator. Pesticides contaminate honey and kill beneficial insects as well as less-desired ones.
I was surveyed recently about my beehives and honey, and I asked the interviewer how pesticides could be eliminated from use because they are so destructive. He said that he thought the chemical companies would take care of the problem themselves — when the pollinators are all dead and soybeans can no longer be grown.
I trust that we humans are not that stupid.
Pamela S. Popovich, Nokesville