Endosulfan is the only known cost effective generic insecticide which is soft on beneficials and safe for use during pollination. Only Endosulfan is recommended as a first spray during pollination by agriculture scientists and entomologists worldwide.
Alternatives have been found to be harmful to honeybees and beneficials. Some of these suggested alternatives is today banned or restricted for use in some countries of Europe but is freely used in India. The use of some of these alternatives are blamed for causing Colony Collapse Disorders (CCD) or Honey Bee Depopulation Syndrome (HBDS) among honeybees which worker bees from a beehive or a bee colony abruptly disappear.
Most alternatives of Endosulfan develop resistance of use within 3 to 5 years of product being introduced. Only Endosulfan has been used for over 50 years without any resistance getting developed. As a result of this unique property Endosulfan has been recommended for use in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Resistance Management (IRM) programs in agriculture.
If Endosulfan is banned in India, it would result in incalculable and irreplaceable harm to the farmer’s biodiversity and the agriculture ecosystem as there cannot be any replacement of honeybees for pollination in India. Can we have the foresight to realise that we will only discover it by hindsight if Endosulfan is banned?
Today farmers in Europe, USA and most of the developed world where Endosulfan is banned depend on use of bee boxes for pollination. They use bumble bees and honeybees to initiate pollination. Each bumble bee costs US$ 1 per bumble bee. Why should the Indian farmer pay Rs 50 for a bumble bee when honey bee is available free to him. On an average 1800 bumblebees are required to pollinate 1 hectare (primary data obtained from a tomato farm in Mexico). It would cost Rs 90,000 for the Indian farmer per hectare if there were no honeybees to pollinate his crops. More importantly why should the farmer pay for it when it is available for free as a gift of nature? Why should we abet an action that will result in destroying honeybees from the Indian ecosystem?