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Story Publication logo November 17, 2020

Video: The Death of the Pollinators (Portuguese)


In Lucas do Rio Verde in the Amazon state of Mato Grosso, the terrible effects of one of these pesticides, Paraquat, accidentally sprayed over the population in 2006, can still be seen. It resulted in high cancer rates and the extinction of bees.

This year the Brazilian government has authorized the use of 325 pesticides. In Lucas do Rio Verde...

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A beehive at the João do Mel honey farm in Belterra, western Pará. Image by Gabriel Siqueira/BBC. Brazil, undated.
Uma colmeia na fazenda de mel João do Mel em Belterra, oeste do Pará. Imagem de Gabriel Siqueira/BBC. Brasil, data desconhecida.

João do Mel and his brother, Natalino, used to have over a thousand beehives, with one hundred thousand bees. Today, all they have left is a bee cemetery.

Their bees died due to the use of toxic pesticides in the region. The two farmers keep their remaining bees without extracting honey from them in an effort to preserve the species.

And João do Mel was left with no choice but to quit the trade that gave him his nickname.

This video was originally published by Amazônia Latitude, in partnership with the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund.

This story was originally published by Amazônia Latitude, in partnership with the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund. The video in Portuguese is also available on Amazônia Latitude's Vimeo.