Harvard study: Colony collapse disorder most likely caused by neonicotinoid insecticides.


Here’s a PDF of the article from the Bulletin of Insectology.

I’m wondering what the response of the pesticide industry will be. Will they act responsibly or are they preparing their talking points as I type?

Insecticide that kills insects. Whatever next?

Their response will be to continue selling their products right up until the day they are forced to stop via court order, and even then some product will continue make it’s way across the counter illegally.

Don’t know a whole lot about bees or farming, but if farmers are the primary users of these pesticides (are they?), wouldn’t they want to avoid killing the bees that provide much of their pollination? (don’t they?)

Companies like Monsanto and DuPont sell seed in bulk to farmers. Stuff like corn is grown from purchased seed every season.
Orchard owners on the other hand would be very concerned I would imagine.

That purchased seed is grown by someone somewhere and it results from pollination.

I should add that, if I’m not mistaken, the corn plants need to be pollinated before they’ll actually produce ears of corn. The same goes for other fruiting crops (as opposed to root or leaf crops).

to complicate matters.

seed production might be done in areas that aren’t near the crop production areas.

individual interests in the short term may be contrary to protecting the commons in the long term.

Which is why protecting the commons is a legitimate function of government.

Corn is wind pollinated.

This is interesting, and, like other posters, I’d expect nothing to change until it’s mandated. Sad. I know a few apiarists, who are doing their best to spread the word about the importance of insect pollinators. People often don’t realize the differences between wild native bees and domestic honeybees.

According to this Tumblr post (haven’t really bothered to follow the links — apologies in advance), the manufacturers are suing the EU for the right to continue using these pesticides.

So bye bye bees. :slight_smile:

This is old new, the Harvard study is just confirming it. Until we first heard of the impact of neonicotinoids on bee colonies, we stopped using it in our garden. It hasn’t been used for at least 3, maybe 4 years here. The good news is that when I weeded my herb garden today, I saw a bee in a nearby flower that had seeded itself among the herbs. Needless to say, I didn’t ‘‘weed’’ that one!

As Leaper’s link points out, Bayer is the biggest producer. I think they should be judged for their crimes and ordered to repair the situation as much as they can. It’s going to be tough to rebuild the bee population. Meanwhile, I wonder how much impact a boycott of Bayer could have. They are the world’s foremost producers of imidacloprid, the most widely used pesticide in the world.

I followed the links, and it looks like this lawsuit is from 2013. I’ll try and find out what happened.

Interesting. At the time of the Staff Report, the science seemed to be settling on a virus-fungus interaction. It may be time to update the Report.

I can only guess that the farmers that benefit from pesticides aren’t the same ones that require bee pollination. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be suicidal?

(I am not an expert on agriculture, but I once raised bees.)