Bee Smart: Avoid Honeybee-Killing Pesticide
I just had to write about this news that sheds light on the probable cause of massive honeybee die-off and hive collapse. Given that we are entering Memorial Day weekend, a traditional garden planting time, the article might stop the buying any of these pesticides and save some bees!
You may have heard of the massive honeybee colony collapses threatening the world’s food supply and one that has worried farmers everywhere. Up to 70 percent of honeybees have disappeared, and many hives have died off completely.
Ninety-nine percent of bees in a die-off in Germany carried pesticides of the neonicotinoid family, and Germany has now banned these pesticides from being used. France banned them in 1995 because of their toxicity to bees.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are a synthetic version of nicotine. They are applied systemically to the plant and is highly neurotoxic to insects. All of these pesticides are classified for general use. Imidacloprid was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1992 and is possibly the most widely used insecticide of the group. It, and Thiamethoxam, are highly toxic to honeybees.
Neonicotinoid pesticides are commonly available as dusts, granules, seed dressings, soluble concentrates, and suspension concentrates. Brands include Assail®, Tristar®, Acetamiprid®; and for Imidacloprid, Admire®, Advantage®, Gaucho®, Merit®, Premise®, Touchstone®; and for Thiamethoxam Cruiser® and Platinum®.