Roger-Luc Chayer

False news, it rains a profusion on the Internet thanks to tools that facilitate their dissemination, but also because of people who, sometimes in good faith or with bad intentions, share what touches them or what can help their opinions to spread in society.

One of these news quite surprising, which circulates since a few years, but which was propelled again in the first rank by the French journalist David Louvet-Rossi, scientific editor at Sciencepost.fr title: « The bees officially recognized like species in Endangered ». This is amazing, surprise at least and even shock!

Obviously, the first reflex environmentalists and people who respect nature is to share the news as much as possible to alert their friends and especially, to arouse public opinion a wave of panic to the idea that the main species of Pollinating insects could disappear from the planet, removing all the trees, flowers, fruits and vegetables that are the result of bee pollination. The journalist goes so far as to quote the serious United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Department of Wildlife, who « recently officially classified bees as endangered, reinforcing the threat to the entire world. » life cycle, including humanity. « Obviously, presented like this, we can not remain silent and especially not react against all these evil chemical companies, these odious farmers and all governments that authorize and use products. which would contaminate bee breeding.

One catch, the news is false! In front of the immensity of this announcement, I sharpened my old reflexes of investigative journalist to get to the bottom of the question.

First of all, we have to check how long this false news has been circulating. By simply entering the words « bees hoax » (bees rumor) on Google, we get very interesting results. The very serious page of the American Council on Science and Health (acsh.org) offers a dossier « The apocalypse of bees

never been real, here’s why « , which explains with scientific and proven facts, why this rumor persists to circulate, often thanks to bad journalists who do not check their information before publishing them. The organization, through research and statistical studies conducted since 1995, shows, in support of tables, that not only pollinating colonies of bees do not decline or are not extinct, but that they have increased, especially since 2015. In 1995 there were 2,648,000 colonies in the United States, whereas in 2017 there were 2,669,000. We are far from extinction! In Canada, during the same period, they even went from 515,000 to 715,000!

Google also refers to 4,480,000 occurrences of news about the extinction of bees, a real plague that must be controlled. Most government or university science sites respond with factual research to this false news. One of the most persistent false news is the death of 37 million bees in a cornfield in Ontario. After being confronted with his claims, the environmental activist Organic Health admitted to having no source that could corroborate the publication of his article.

Finally, I had to check on the website of the Fish and Wildlife Service if such a statement had been made and by entering the word « bees » on the endangered species search engine, only two results were released. on the status of two mammals. The only mention of the government site on bees publishes tips to improve pollination and proliferation of bees, no mention of extinction.

Conclusion? People like uninformed journalists who disseminate false news based on their fears or personal opinions do not help the real news, which must compete with « fake news » of all kinds. Recently, Google, Facebook and Twitter have put in place ways to limit the sharing of these false news. A tip, when it seems too serious and unthinkable, it is precisely that it is! Bees are doing very well …