What’s killing the bees may be worse than thought

A new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of the massive number of bee deaths, and it’s more of a disaster than previously thought.

Honeybee collapse: A new study pinpoints the causes of colony collapse disorder among honeybees.

Honeybee collapse: A new study pinpoints the causes of colony collapse disorder among honeybees.


A new study has pinpointed a mountain of causes for the massive death of honey bees, commonly referred to as colony collapse disorder. The results show that averting a complete disaster is going to be even harder than previously thought.

Colony collapse disorder has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, according to Quartz. The new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, identified a “witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives,” Quartz reported. The fungicides in particular, which are used both to protect apples from fungus and honeybees from parasites, may actually be harming honeybees instead of helping them, the study shows.

The previous culprits in the decline of bees have been noted as insecticides, parasites, monoculture and inbreeding. Without a clear culprit, various solutions are being tried. This May, the European Union passed a two-year ban on neonicotinoids, a pesticide that studies suggest interferes with honeybees’ neural development and ability to navigate. 

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Oregon Agency Blames Pesticide for Bumble Bee Kill


WILSONVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon officials say a pesticide is to blame for the deaths of tens of thousands of bumble bees in a shopping center parking lot southwest of Portland.

The state Department of Agriculture said Friday that tests on bees and foliage showed the deaths are “directly related to a pesticide application on linden trees” that was meant to control aphids.

It said an investigation is under way to see if the application of the pesticide Safari, done last Saturday, violated the law.

The Oregonian reports that the Agriculture Department, the City of Wilsonville, neighboring towns and some local landscape contractors have covered the sprayed trees with netting in an effort to prevent further insect deaths.

The Xerces (ZERK’-zees) Society for Invertebrate Conservation has upped its estimate of the bee kill to 50,000. Spokesman Scott Black calls that a very conservative number.


Insanity: US Approves Bee Death Pesticide as EU Bans It

Bee yellow flower

Anthony Gucciardi
May 13, 2013

Corporate politics is business as usual inside the United States, as I am once again shocked to report the EPA has sided with industry lobbyists over public health in approving a highly dangerous pesticide that the European Union recently decided to ban over fears of environmental devastation. Not only have neonicotinoid pesticides been linked repeatedly to mass bee deaths, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), but the continued use of such pesticides threatens other aspects of nature (and humans) as well.

What’s even more amazing is that the decision not only comes after the EU publicly discussed the major dangers surrounding the use of the pesticides, but after the USDA released a report surrounding the continued honeybee deaths and the related effects — a report in which they detailed pesticides to be a contributing factor. Just the impact on the honeybees alone, and we now know that these pesticides are killing aquatic life and subsequently the birds that feed upon them, amounts to a potential $200 billion in global damages per year. We’re talking about the devastation of over 100 crops, from apples to avocados and plums.

And there’s countless scientists and a large number of environmental science groups speaking out on this. The EPA has no lack of information the subject. And sure, there are other contributing factors to bee deaths, there’s no question about that. We have an environment right now being hit with Monsanto’s Roundup even in residential areas, we have chemical rain, we have insane amounts of EMF — but it’s pretty clear that neonicotinoid pesticides are at least a major contributing factor. And beyond that, they have no place in the food supply to begin with.

The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) details the EU ban that came right before the EPA acceptance of the death-linked  pesticide:

“The EU vote comes after significant findings by the European Food Safety Agency that these pesticides pose an unacceptable risk to bees and their use should be restricted. Along with habitat loss and pathogens, a growing body of science points to neonicotinoid pesticides as a key factor in drastically declining bee populations.”

So why are they approving this pesticide to now pollute the United States in what potentially amounts to an even larger capacity than the EU? A move that will ultimately escalate the price of food worldwide due to the likely nature of continued bee deaths and subsequent crop impact? That’s the power of phony corporate science.

Originally appeared at Natural Society.


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