New evidence has emerged that neonicotinoid pesticides are killing honey bees populations. What is called "colony collapse disorder" has hit bee keepers all over the world including half of the US last spring. Now it has spread to all but a handful of states.
The correlation between these pesticides and colony collaspe has been drawn in two separate studies recently. The neonicotinoid incecticides, the researchers concluded, impaired the homing ability of bees and exposed bees were two to three times more likely to die while away from the hive. That "high mortality ... could put a colony at risk of collapse" within a few weeks of exposure, especially in combination with other stressors, they noted.
Powerful pesticide lobbying groups are pressing the EPA not to ban these chemicals in the U.S., although they are now banned in Europe to help save their bee populations there.
Let's face it and not be short-sighted. Combating Colony Collapse Disorder is hardly an esoteric exercise. The USDA notes that "bee pollination is responsible for $15 billion in added crop value, particularly for specialty crops such as almonds and other nuts, berries, fruits, and vegetables. "About one mouthful in three in the diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination," it adds. (MSNBC 3-29).
Let's send a clear message to the EPA that we want America to take responsibility for its actions and not bow to the pressure of this ill-conceived lobby.