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3 Studies Link Common Pesticides to Bee Decline (Slideshow)

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(1) Pesticides Fog Honeybees’ Brains

honeybee

In a study in the March issue of the journal Science, researchers at the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France fed bees sugar water laced with neonicotinoids. These insecticides are used as seed dressings, so they permeate all parts of the crops including pollen and nectar. The bees had miniature radio tags and were moved more than a half a mile from their hive.

In familiar territory, bees exposed to pesticides were 10 percent less likely to return home and only 31 percent less likely to do so in unfamiliar places. The chemicals cause “homing failure” in bees, so they are unable to find their way back to their hives. Using a computer model, the French scientists estimated that the hive’s population would then drop by two-thirds or more, depending on the number of worker bees exposed.

Some including a scientist for Bayer CropScience, the leading maker of neonicotinoids, and James Cresswell, an ecotoxicologist at the University of Exeter in England, have been critical of the study because it used a computer model. But May Berenbaum, an entomologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in the New York Times that she felt the study was “very well-designed.”

Photo by loco’s photos via Flickr

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Photo by No Minds Vision via Flickr

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73 comments

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4:00PM PST on Feb 20, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

3:41PM PST on Dec 29, 2012

Awful.

10:02PM PDT on Apr 27, 2012

wow took a genius to figure that out eh. Look at the back of any pesticides and it says harmful to bees.

9:32PM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Unless we want to view our food supply as a pest, maybe we should start rethinking non-organic pesticide procedures...

11:17AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

WHAT are GMOs doing to the bees?

10:49AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Tell the students this is already known. So what is going to be done about it? You kill off the bees and you're as good as dead yourself. I tell you, wherever man goes, death and destruction follow.

9:09AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

This should scare the hell out of every living being. I scares me. Their fate is our fate folks.
No bees = no life. It's as simple and as complicated as that.

Are YOU scared? You SHOULD be................................

9:35PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

Why is it that in today's world we have all of this crap? We/ve gone centuries without these life destroying chemicals, It makes me sick to go and buy fresh vegetables and fruits wondering what has been sprayed or added to their soil. In my own garden, I have seen less bees coming around for the past three years. It sadden me. I try to grow lots of flowers to bring them around to help pollen my vegetables and fruit plants. I have been signing all sorts of petitions to put a stop it it. I hope they do, before they kill us all. Thanks Kristina

5:59PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

We have known for years that pesticides kill the bees. Lets have more ACTION......ban pesticides!! What effect are pesticides having on birds and even us humanes??

5:49PM PDT on Apr 22, 2012

There is the potential for a huge worldwide famine in the next few decades that promises to affect America as well as every other country. And human activity is central to this possibility. Climate change is negatively altering the growing cycles of agriculture around the world. Super fires, floods, and other disasters destroy crops. Farm land is becoming more and more salty dues to irrigation practices. Genetic modification of crops promise the creation of foods that have increasingly toxic effects on consumers. We are over fishing our oceans and many species are on the verge of extinction. The oceans are becoming more acidic during this same time. Population numbers are now over 7 billion people and climbing. Add to this colony collapse syndrome, and we have all the elements for a huge decline in food production leading very quickly to worldwide famine. We simply do NOT have the luxury of waiting for further research on the devastating effects of these types of insecticides.

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