Colony Collapse Disorder and the Ingenuity of the Free Market

Peter Churchman - Libertarian Nominee for the 17th District


A decade ago, every environmentalist would tell you that bees were on the short list of the next species to become extinct. We were warned that we would all face a global level of extinction because we’d have no food supply. Jerry Seinfeld even made an animated movie about the declining bee population. If the United States government didn’t immediately step in to save the bees (and us), we would all face impending doom. Colony collapse disorder was going to usher in the apocalypse!

Our federal government didn’t step in. A few states signed in some sparse patchwork regulations, but that did very little to solve the problem. Having noticed no famine in present day America, what exactly happened to change our fatal destiny? The beekeepers, and the farmers who depended on them to pollinate their crops, stepped in and rescued all of us. The American farmer is the most productive in the world; they have a long history of innovatively solving problems that affect their business model.

The problem of colony collapse disorder was caused by a new class of pesticides: neonicotinoids. This pesticide increases the bees susceptibility to the varroa mite. The varroa mite harms the queen bee and her reproductive capabilities.  Commercial pollinators were also putting an inordinate amount of stress on the bees with their practice of shuttling them from farm to farm without giving the bees adequate time to acclimate to their new environment. This further contributed to the colony collapse disorder. When the queen would die, the rest of the bees would leave the hive. The apiarists would come back to an empty hive with no trace of the bees.

The apiarists solved this problem themselves, without government regulations or unnecessary involvement. It was apparent to them that if they wanted to keep BEEing beekeepers (see what I did there?), they would have to change their way of operating. They ramped up the production of new bees to replace the bees that were lost, and they required that the crops they were pollinating were not treated with neonicotinoids. To reduce the stress associated with moving the bees between locations, some farmers set up their own stationary bee colonies. They did this in order to save their businesses. There was no need for government intervention. The resiliency of the beekeeper and the free market solved this problem faster than any government agency could.

In this case, a ban on neonicotinoids themselves would have been a misstep by the government. Since neonicotinoids were introduced in the late 1990s, they’ve resulted in many agricultural products coming to markets at a lower cost, a higher quality, and with less overall use of insecticides. Neonicotinoids serve their purpose when used by farmers in ways that suit everyone’s needs. They are another step forward in the ever changing agricultural market. In the capable hands of the American agriculturist, the free market was the best solution for the problem of colony collapse disorder. I’m glad that the government didn’t get in the way with yet another useless, expensive and potentially harmful regulation.


Peter Churchman can be contacted at 512-644-5197,, or



Author: Peter Churchman

Mr. Churchman is the Libertarian Party Nominee for the 17th U.S Congressional District of Texas. He is a blue collar worker with a wife and 2 kids. The campaign has one main issue - end needless federal spending.

3 thoughts

  1. “Since neonicotinoids were introduced in the late 1990s, they’ve resulted in many agricultural products coming to markets at a lower cost, a higher quality, and with less overall use of insecticides.”

    I am one that does not believe in government regulatory overreach, but I also believe in providing accurate information. According to many different sources, these insecticides are being debated as to their actual usefulness in agriculture, especially corn and soybeans. It has also been reported that these insecticides are linked to the decline in migratory bird populations as well as in the water, thus impacting fish populations.
    What I would say is the jury is still out on these products and further study needs to occur by independent scientists not associated with Bayer or Syngenta, the major producers of these insecticides who would provide findings as to the impact and effectiveness of these products.


  2. The US is collapsing.

    The USA is an immoral bankrupt warmongering police state.

    The US is heaven now if you love tyranny.

    The US is hell now if you love freedom.

    The US failing in every area. Alcoholism, drug use, homelessness, and STD’s are rising. Test scores are falling.

    Obama is called an asshole for destroying the US with wars, debt, and tyranny, but Americans then turn around and say Trump is a god for supporting wars, debt, and the police state.

    Americans say that they are victims and blame everyone except themselves for the collapse.

    Americans are so enslaved today that they attack anyone who criticizes their government overlords.

    Americans walk around like zombies pretending everything is just fine even though the decay is obvious.

    Anyone who questions the wars, debt, and tyranny is called a nutjob or racist and is censored, banned, given an IRS audit, arrested, or killed.

    The US only has 5 Libertarians now, but they’ll go to the concentration camps defending freedom because they can at least say that they tried to wake people up.

    How can Americans look in the mirror now without feeling complete disgust and shame?

    How can you let your country fall and say nothing?



    1. “How can you let your country fall and say nothing?”
      Because people today do not view the country is failing.
      Individual thining can be controlled. Communist have known that for years. You begin with kids in school. You control little by little their way of viewing government. Over a number of years you change their thinking. And it does not take long. Less than 50 years ago, fathers, mothers and maybe a few grandparents demonstrated at Berkley and other universities to promote free speech. Today those individuals offspring are demonstrating to restrict free speech. Who has taught these kids about the first amendment?
      You also divide the country. You control the thinking of the next generation and weaken the older generation by dividing them as much as possible. Even with Libertarians, there are differences in the level of Libertarian thinking. Few are 100% Libertarian in their thinking, so dividing any group that’s not of the brainwashed snowflake generation is easy.


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