Environmental groups who spent a lot of time and money promoting a Beepocalypse (and blaming it on a class of modern targeted pesticides called neonicotinoids) are getting really desperate to shore up their campaign.

They have been promoting a 1994 quote from physicist Albert Einstein who worried about the loss of bees.

Einstein died in 1955.

But that is just a detail when the goal is saving Gaia. The ends justify the means and all that. 

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.” 

Wait, what? 

It is wrong on multiple levels. First, the honeybees that is the target of the fundraising campaign actually do little for food pollination. Their primary food benefit is only to farmers of exotic, expensive things like almonds, or in remote places like Alaska. In neither case are they natural, they are being shipped in to do a job and then removed again. They are not useless like Aedes aegypti mosquitoes when it comes to food pollination but the honeybees that activists drone on about could have their role taken up by 25,000 other species if they disappeared. And that is just bee species. Lots of other insects would add even more potential pollination.

So the thinking is flawed, but they weren't talking about science anyway. They were talking about getting subsidized.

Snopes first debunked that Einstein stuff in 2008 , noting that the beekeepers who manufactured that quote weren't talking about any Beepocalypse brought on by the Evil Science progressive NGOs hate, it was about protecting their income.

European beekeepers were complaining about lower-priced imports. Not pesticides or houses or nuclear energy or all of the other stuff that gets rolled out to raise money for lawsuits.

European beekeepers had been under economic pressure for a while and it was getting worse. Nearly 80 percent of the agricultural subsidies for the entire world are paid by Europe to European farmers so they can remain competitive. When the dollar is low, American farmers sell more while a cheap dollar meant European farmers needed even more subsidies to compete. And cheap honey had been flooding Europe.

So beekeepers were protesting that President Clinton had not boosted the dollar, but why would he? Exports, coupled with tax cuts forced on him by a Republican Congress had made the American economy robust.

Those 16,000 European beekeepers cared about their incomes, not the bees or the neonics which had not been invented yet. They invoked Einstein and put words in his mouth decades after he died without skepticism because the World Wide Web was still new. The quote took off while fact-checking showing  that it was manufactured needed time to catch up.

Snopes deems it "a classic case of a useful quote being invented and put into the mouth of a famous person for political purposes" and such instances are called 'classic' because they work so well.

If you hate science, anyway.