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Science

Studies Link Pesticides To Bee Colony Collapse Disorder 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-for-breaking-your-species dept.
T Murphy writes "Neonicotinoid pesticides, designed to attack insects such as beetles and aphids, have been shown to harm bees' ability to navigate back to the hive. While initially assumed safe in low enough, non-fatal doses for bees, two papers have shown that may not be the case. Although the studies don't directly study the Colony Collapse Disorder, the scientists believe these pesticides are likely a contributing factor."
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Studies Link Pesticides To Bee Colony Collapse Disorder

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  • ...lest they get sued by "big insecticide".
  • From 2010 (Score:5, Informative)

    by bacon.frankfurter (2584789) <bacon.frankfurter@yahoo.com> on Friday March 30, 2012 @11:31AM (#39523953)
    In Italy:

    Following France and Germany, last year the Italian Agriculture Ministry suspended the use of a class of pesticides, nicotine-based neonicotinoids, as a "precautionary measure." The compelling results - restored bee populations - prompted the government to uphold the ban. Yesterday, copies of the film 'Nicotine Bees' were delivered to the US Congress explaining the pesticide's connection to Colony Collapse Disorder. Despite the evidence, why does CCD remain a 'mystery' in the US?

    http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/nicotine-bees-population-restored-with-neonicotinoids-ban.html [treehugger.com]

    • by willpb (1168125)
      Obviously because the tobacco industry wants CCD to remain a mystery. It has to make up for declining numbers of smokers somehow. This is just a ploy to secretly get us all hooked on nicotine.
  • It looks like there are still more studies needed if we really want to understand what is going on here.

    The treated bees were about two to three times more likely to die while away from their nests, and the researchers said this was probably because the pesticide interfered with the bees' homing systems, so they couldn't find their way home.

    That seems like quite the leap in logic, but I don't have the actual study in front of me. That pesticide harms bees sounds like a REALLY obvious conclusion, I kinda li

    • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday March 30, 2012 @11:39AM (#39524067)
      Also note that the scientists are not declaring that the pesticides are 100% the cause as they don't have the evidence to support that. They are saying that it may be the cause. Bees are very important to agriculture so more research should be done. This is this first plausible link that scientists have had in figuring out the problem.
    • by na1led (1030470)
      Many years later, and all the Bees have died; the report comes - "We finally have come to the conclusion that pesticide does harm bees. Now what do we do?"
  • Before anything gets done about it, and I'm guessing it's nearly impossible to get that rubber stamp because someone will always cry "We Need more Proof!".
  • WAIT! I thought colony collapse disorder was caused by cell phone radiation...the science was settled. Everyone agreed. How can this be? (bee?)

  • ...that insecticide would have bad side effects on bees? What does one thing have to do with the other?
    • by na1led (1030470)
      They'll have to do more studies to confirm this. May take a few decades to get an answer, if there are any bees around by then.
  • But in my heart place I want to see everyone of those fuckers die in agony
  • That's a high enough bar to still call it a "study"? That may not be the case.
  • . . . which means that even if you stop using the pesticides, the trees are going to get you. And if you are going to go after the trees out of self-defense, that also puts the bees in a tight spot which, then, could spiral out of control and lead to a . . . script for an M Night Shyamlan sequel. Either way we're screwed.

One of the chief duties of the mathematician in acting as an advisor... is to discourage... from expecting too much from mathematics. -- N. Wiener

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