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Rate of honey bee losses in the US 'economically unsustainable'

RATE THIS! +39
Posted in Science on 17th May, 2014 11:31 PM by AlexMuller

Losses of managed honey bee colonies in the US totalled 23.2% last winter. The report, produced with industry group the Bee Informed Partnership, showed that the death rate for October 2013 to April of this year was better than the 30.5% losses for 2012 to 2013, but worse than the 21.9% in 2011 to 2012.

 
Prior surveys found colony losses averaged 29.6% over the last eight-year span. Bee populations have been dying at a rate which the US government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of US consumer foods.
 
Scientists, consumer groups, and bee keepers say the devastating rate of bee deaths is due at least in part to the growing use of pesticides sold by agri-chemical companies to boost yields of staple crops such as corn. They pointed to a study issued on May 9 by Harvard School of Public Health that found two widely used neonicotinoids, a class of insecticide, may significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter.
 
“With the damning evidence mounting, pesticide companies can no longer spin their way out of this crisis,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who specialises in food issues. Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, and other agrichemical companies say the bees are being killed by other factors, such as mites.

Tags: beesColony Collapse Disordernatureenvironment

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Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-18
+3
For a long time the evidence of honey bee decline has been quite clear and alarming. Research into the causes was unfortunately not so conclusive but some of the factor now seem to be identified - pesticides are one. Action has to follow!
2 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-05-18
+1
There are earlier reports that exposure to pesticides at levels bees encounter in the field, has subtle impacts on individual bees, and can eventually make colonies fail. A small thing becomes a big problem! Reply
Reply


 

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