The relationship of bees to alfalfa is symbiotic: alfalfa producers rely on bees to pollinate their crops, and bees rely on alfalfa flowers for food.
There is no shortage of fascinating factoids about bees, but for now, we’ll focus on their sense of sight. The eyesight of a bee is very different from that of a human: where we might see a field blanketed with color, a bee sees a detailed landscape of individual food sources bathed in UV light.
That ability to see UV light, in particular, highlights plants with blue, violet and purple flowers of high nectar content, including alfalfa. The adoption of Roundup Ready alfalfa throws a beautiful relationship badly out of whack, as is apparent in the alfalfa industry’s profitable side hustle: honey.
While glyphosate is an herbicide — designed to kill plants rather than animals — recent studies indicate it alters the gut flora of honey bees, potentially weakening them so they are more susceptible to other threats like viruses, mites, and predators.
GMO alfalfa isn’t just an agricultural boondoggle, it’s also a dangerous bait-and-switch for pollinators.
Source Credit: livingnongmo.org, depositphoto.com