Wednesday, March 21, 2012
New Study Links Honeybee Die - offs to Insecticide
I have been covering this tale for four years and now there is more weighty science showing up to mobilize the mainstream media. I am becoming more and more skeptical regarding the use of any form of chemical except as a last resort when our skills outright fail us. I have fought with enough couch grass to appreciate Roundup. I still want a protocol that sidesteps the actual need to use the chemical.
In the meantime the suppliers are working a strategy of denial and simply ignoring complainants. In the meantime, knowledgeable beekeepers now get assurances that the chemical has not been used close by before they arrive.
Honeybee die-offs linked to insecticide, study says
Dan Balilty / AP, file
Honeybees in a hive in the
of Ein Yahav in southern
in Sept. 2008. Israel
By msnbc.com staff
A newly published study draws a stronger link between mass die-offs of honeybees and an insecticide widely used on corn.
The study sheds more light on the worrisome phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees play a critical role in the pollination of crops, and thus a threat to bee colonies can potentially affect entire ecosystems.
The latest study, conducted by Italian researchers at the
and published in the journal Environmental
Science and Technology, focuses on a class of pesticides known as
neonicotinoids. The pesticides are popular because they kill insects by
paralyzing nerves but are less toxic to other animals. Springtime die-offs
of honeybees coincided with the introduction in University of Padova Europe
in the late 1990s of neonicotinoids as coatings of the corn seeds, according to a report by UPI, citing researchers.
The scientists postulated that bees were flying through clouds of the insecticide created by automated planting machines that expel a burst of air with high concentrations of pesticide-coated particles, UPI said.
Even before the latest study, some researchers had identified neonicotinoids as a potential factor in bee die-offs, along with other pesticides, tracheal and Varroa mites, the Nosema fungus and a variety of viruses. Some European countries, including
, have limited or suspended
the use of neonicotinoids. The Environmental Protection Agency, however,
continues to allow their use in the Italy . United States
"To EPA's knowledge, none of the incidents that led to suspensions [in
Europe] have been associated with Colony
Collapse Disorder," the agency said in an advisory.