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Bayer Resolution on the agenda for next BBKA Annual Delegate Meeting

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wojciech 

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As a member of my local BKA I have been today notified of the resolutions going to next years ADM of the BBKA. I only found out about the financial relationship of the BBKA with Bayer when reading the report of this years ADM and was highly shocked as I remembered that my aunt was bought as a slave for medical experiments by Bayer when imprisoned in Ravensbruck in 1943 for sheltering Jews.

Putting aside the historical facts of Bayer being deeply involved in financing Hiler in taking over the Nazi party and profitting deeply from this, I am very concerned that by getting the BBKA Executive to accept money a major insecticide manufacturer has placed them in its' debt. This means that every time I read an article in the BBKA news telling me that insecticides are harmless to bees, I wonder to what extent this is the result of the money paid. The BBKA has sold its' objectivity and the respect of beekeepers in countries where bee losses to insecticides have been attributed to Bayer.

The Motion being put forward at the ADM allows for continued engagement with agro chemical companies, which will permit critical examination of their products while breaking off the receipt of money from them. In my opinion, this will enable the BBKA to take a more transparent and objective approach in any discussions about the comparative merits or dangers of insecticides.

When I heard of the sponsoring of the BBKA by Bayer I considered resigning from my local association but decided to postpone such a move in the hope that it would be overtuned at this years ADM. I appeal to all BBKA members to consider carefully what the implications are of the BBKAs financial link with this major insecticide manufacturer, debate it at district and county leverl and to press their delegate to speak at the ADM in favour of the motion to withdraw from the financial relationship with Bayer.
 

Heather 

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We are trying very hard to. Some Assoc in the South are extremely angry at BBKA behaviour. Many meetings and extra meetings are pushing for a new debate on this 'prostitution' of our Association.
 

Heather 

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Perhaps cos I am originally a northerner 'I speak my mind'. Really need to be a little more restrained sometimes - but I hate injustice.
And our delegate voted yes in the south east -without any consultation with us. She would have had a resounding NO. So rightfully angry. (but she is now aware and will fully consult any further amendments). So that is a little progress.
 

wojciech 

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Maybe it's because I am an old leftie that I find this to be an issue that cries out for redress. I hope that members who have not pressed this issue with their delegates were unaware of it like myself and will now pursue it.

It's worth noting that a member from Twickenham put forward a proposal at this years Forum in October that information on delegates voting should be made available to their members ie that they should be made responsible to the people that they represent. This was stronly opposed by the chair and no discussion or vote was permitted. It would therefore appear that the Exec does not wish delegates to be answerable to the people whom they represent when they take part in the vote. This makes it all the more important that members shoud make their feelings abundantly dlear to their delegate, idally by votes taken at district level within the branh.
 

Heather 

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Very few were aware- as the proposition was buried in a myriad of print (as usual!!) in the centre of a copy of December 2008 BBKA news.
They never mentioned Bayer - just an agrochemical company ( see page 3 of Exec propositions) Didnt even have the integrity to name the company!!
They rely on the fact that we dont have such boring lives that we can trawl through and sift out important from guff.
 

jezd 

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I did start to read this but you lost me at this point...
Bayer being deeply involved in financing Hitler in taking over the Nazi part
...along with the other comments you make I have no idea if they are fact or fiction but its not relevant to the BBKA issue.
 

Heather 

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I think he was just referring to Bayer history when it was the largest single company in Germany and it became the single largest donor to Hitler's election campaign.

I just dont want to be allied to such a company--but somebody voted that I did --That is what made my hackles rise
 

admin 

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I think it may of been a reference also to the fact that Bayer was IG Farben during WWII.

IG Farben built a factory (named Buna Chemical Plant) that produced synthetic oil and rubber (from coal) in Auschwitz, which was the beginning of SS activity and camps in this location during the Holocaust. At its peak in 1944, this factory made use of 83,000 slave laborers.

The pesticide Zyklon B (infamous for its use in gas chambers during the Holocaust), for which IG Farben held the patent.

Due to the severity of the war crimes committed by IG Farben during World War II, the company was considered to be too corrupt to be allowed to continue to exist.

The Western Allies however, in 1951, split the company up into its original constituent companies. The four largest quickly bought the smaller ones. Today only Agfa, BASF, and Bayer remain
 

wojciech 

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I did start to read this but you lost me at this point......along with the other comments you make I have no idea if they are fact or fiction but its not relevant to the BBKA issue.
I accept that most members are not interested in Bayers past, whether it be the payment of subsidies to Hitler or its' use of slave labour at Auschwitz and a myriad other factories (Thanks Admin for filling in some of the background) Those who consider these facts to be relevant can Google " Bayer bees" and find all the info they need.

I must point out that while I mentioned some historic facts that are relevant to me for personal reasons, I moved on to emphasise what should be relevant to all beekeepers, irrespective of their politics: the acceptance of money from Bayer imperils the integrity and objectivity of the BBKA. Drug companies use a variety of tecniques to place potential stakeholders eg GPs in their debt but none as open and blatant as this payment. There is no "free lunch" and Bayer wil expect to be paid back in endorsement of their products and avoidance of criticism. Am I the only BBKa member to marvel at the incidence of articles in BBKA News that tell us that insecticides are harmless to bees ?
 

Heather 

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Am I the only BBKa member to marvel at the incidence of articles in BBKA News that tell us that insecticides are harmless to bees ?


Oh, No you are not- there are thousands of us - we talk - but few shout. And it wasnt a free lunch -but a bloody cheap one :dupe:
 

jezd 

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I think it may of been a reference also to the fact that Bayer was IG Farben during WWII.

IG Farben built a factory (named Buna Chemical Plant) that produced synthetic oil and rubber (from coal) in Auschwitz, which was the beginning of SS activity and camps in this location during the Holocaust. At its peak in 1944, this factory made use of 83,000 slave laborers.

The pesticide Zyklon B (infamous for its use in gas chambers during the Holocaust), for which IG Farben held the patent.

Due to the severity of the war crimes committed by IG Farben during World War II, the company was considered to be too corrupt to be allowed to continue to exist.

The Western Allies however, in 1951, split the company up into its original constituent companies. The four largest quickly bought the smaller ones. Today only Agfa, BASF, and Bayer remain
Nice history lesson, I never knew any of that, they are all big companies. My point is that anyone quoting the history of previous generations simply does not help a case against dealing with a company - you may as well say you refused to deal with Germany full stop, thinking about it how much of the English history is nothing to be proud of.


For Heather's post above, I would agree.....morally bankrupt but nothing to do with the history elements I dont think.
 
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wojciech 

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I did start to read this but you lost me at this point......along with the other comments you make I have no idea if they are fact or fiction but its not relevant to the BBKA issue.
What is relevant about Bayers past to beekeeping.?

When I first read of their subsidy to the BBKA in the minutes of the Delegate meeting earlier this year, the Executive was quoted as saying that a test of a company from which it took money was that it was of "good repute". The assurance that Bayer was such a company may have helped swing the vote of delegates who had been undecided against the resolution to cease acceptance of the subsidy.

Is it true to state that the company is of good repute in view of its' involvement in slave labour and genocide ? No doubt we'll be hearing that the then owners of the company were "just obeying orders" and the present company are "good Germans".

It was not my intention to dwell on Bayers history, knowing that this may be indifferent to many, but rather to point to the inapropriateness of the organisation that should be protecting the interests of beekeepers accepting money from a major pesticide manufacturer. However, for those that consider the company's reputatation as relevant there is much to explore in their history.
 

victor meldrew 

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First item on the agenda at the meeting immediately succeeding our AGM. 25th inst. is 'BBKA.s relationship with Agro-Chemical companies'.
This takes place on the same evening in a continuum form.
So we shall see :).

John Wilkinson
 

Heather 

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Go to it John - and was your Assoc.asked its opinion before the initial vote? :toetap05:
 

victor meldrew 

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Go to it John - and was your Assoc.asked its opinion before the initial vote? :toetap05:
Not that I'm aware of but obviously questions will be raised :svengo:.

John Wilkinson
I know which way our delegate voted at the last ADM.
 

wojciech 

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First item on the agenda at the meeting immediately succeeding our AGM. 25th inst. is 'BBKA.s relationship with Agro-Chemical companies'.
This takes place on the same evening in a continuum form.
So we shall see :).

John Wilkinson
Here's hoping that the discussion will throw light on a subject that was kept from members by the BBKA in the past.

Horncastle BKA took a vote last night after a discussion strictly of the ethics of the situation and a show of hands was overwhelmingly to support the resolution in the ADM. Our delegate at the last ADM did vote for the resolution and subsequently resigned after it was lost. The Lincolnshire vote may therefore not affect the ultimate outcome but it is important to bring the key facts into the open before the vote, hoping that members will mandate their delegates to vote in vafour.
 

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