Inadvertently, he also predicted how the increased use of Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops would spur Colony Collapse Disorder in bees.
When Colony Collapse Disorder hit in 2006, others picked up where Kaatz left off.
In 2010, Terrence N. Ingram, a commercial beekeeper for 55 years, published an article in 2010 in Mother Earth News that detailed the struggles he'd had since his neighbors started spraying Roundup on their genetically engineered herbicide-tolerant soy in 1996. He went from producing 15 tons of honey a year down to four.
"The bees never had a chance," he wrote, "and all of the hives were dead before winter."
In 2012, his bees disappeared while he was out of town. This time it wasn't the neighbor's herbicide sprays, it was the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA). Under the pretense that Ingram's hives were infected with foulbrood, the agency destroyed them to prevent the spread of the disease.
Ingram believed IDA's action had more to do with his 15 years of research into the effect of Roundup on honeybees. His suspicions were fueled by the fact that IDA's theft included the hive of a queen bee that may have had a genetic resistance to Roundup.
"Knowing that Monsanto and the Department of Agriculture are in bed together, one has to wonder if Monsanto was behind the theft to ruin my research that may prove Roundup was, and is, killing honeybees," Ingram told local Prairie Advocate reporter Tom Kocal.
Ingram hasn't been able to get his bees back. But his hunch that Roundup was killing his bees is gathering support.
The suspicions voiced in Ingram's 2010 Mother Earth News article were backed up with scientific evidence in 2013, when plant pathologist Dr. Don Huber published a paper written for the Center for Honeybee Research that names glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, as a possible cause of Colony Collapse Disorder.
According to Huber, "The exposure, physiological damage, and biological impact of glyphosate are consistent with all of the known conditions related to CCD. Of all of the potential individual factors implicated in CCD, glyphosate is the only compound extensively used worldwide where CCD occurs that impacts all of them."
2. Monsanto's insecticide-producing, genetically engineered "Bt" Crops
In research from 2001-2004, Hans-Hinrich Kaatz conducted another investigation into the impact of Monsanto's genetically engineered crops on honeybees. This time, he looked at "Bt crops" that have been genetically engineered to produce insecticide.
Kaatz found that genetically engineered Bt toxin didn't kill healthy honeybees.
But as it turned out, not all the bees in his study were healthy. Just by chance, some of the bees were simultaneously exposed to a parasite along with the engineered toxin. In that group, there was a "significantly stronger decline in the number of bees." According to Kaatz, the bacterial toxin in the genetically modified corn may have "altered the surface of the bee's intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry."
Because of the harmful effect that the pollen of Bt crops could have on bees, in 2012, Poland's Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki imposed a complete ban on growing MON810 corn, a Bt crop that is the only genetically engineered crop grown in the EU.
3. Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds treated with Bayer's insecticides