It’s been talked about quite a bit in recent years: The EU has banned neonicotinoid-based pesticides over concerns that they’re causing widespread honeybee deaths, but research has been inconclusive—until now. Researchers say there’s a conclusive link between at least one class of neonics and honeybee deaths.
Called imidacloprid, the neonic pesticide is believed to be the cause of increased mortality rates among bees, cites new research by the Food and Environment Research Agency in the U.K.
The study looked at imidacloprid use over an 11-year period. The chemical pesticide is applied directly to seeds during planting, and stays present in the crop as it grows. Bees who were exposed to the crops treated with imidacloprid had mortality rates 10 percent higher than those with low or no exposure to the pesticide.
According to a of America’s beekeepers, almost a third of the country’s honeybee colonies did not make it through the winter.
That’s been the case, in fact, almost every year since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began this annual survey, six years ago.
Over the past six years, on average, 30 percent of all the honeybee colonies in the U.S. died off over the winter. The worst year was five years ago. Last year was the best: Just 22 percent of the colonies died.
“Last year gave us some hope,” says , research leader of the Agriculture Department’s Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, Md.
But this year, the death rate was up again: 31 percent.
- 37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario (undergroundhealth.com)
- Keepers feeding bees honey substitutes may contribute to colony collapse disorder, says study (bangordailynews.com)
- Oregon Bans Pesticides Following Major Bee Deaths – Update (guardianlv.com)
Recent reports of mass bee deaths at single locations have raised alarm among environmentalists, entomologist and concerned citizens around the world.
The June 17th Wilsonville Oregon incident resulted in over 50,000 dead bumble bees, honey bees and other pollinators. The bees literally dropped dead while feeding on the blooms of flowering Linden trees in a Target parking lot, after the pesticide “Safari” was sprayed on the blooming trees. This catastrophic event was a grim reminder of the devastating consequences of the use of deadly poisons by humans in their attempts to control nature.