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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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  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday March 30, 2012 @01:25PM (#39524743) Homepage

    I must have missed the part where the GP was laying responsibility at the corporations' feet for not figuring this out prior to putting the pesticide on the market.

    What I read was the straightforward and common sense argument that once science discovers a negative side effect of this pesticide that was previously unknown, and could plausibly contribute to the serious problem of colony collapse, that we should investigate it.

    Considering the importance of bees to agriculture, I think the potential of any link between pesticides and colony collapses warrants both extreme concern and funding.

    What's not as simple about that as it was made out to be?

    Are you saying maybe we shouldn't investigate the possible link between pesticides harming bee's ability to navigate and colony collapse? I guess because if a link was confirmed this could hypothetically mean we would want to make corporations have to be more thorough and test pesticides for non-lethal effects even though it is difficult and ? So to prevent that horrific future from coming about, we should refrain from figuring out of the link exists?

    Well whatever, I don't care. The link should be investigated. When we know the truth then we can worry about the ramifications for future policy.

  • by Dasher42 (514179) on Friday March 30, 2012 @01:50PM (#39525143)

    There's a troubling aspect of this thinking, and that's that people expect there to be a single smoking gun and either the pesticides are it, or there aren't.

    Living beings don't fit neatly into that. They process a large variety of inputs and can adapt to a number of stressors and heal; in fact, in machine culture we seem to take it for granted that living systems are at 100% because we're used to machines that are either working or very conspicuously broken.

    Bees have been shipped about fields, worked harder than even their natures. They're exposed to crops now genetically modified to include pesticides in their pollen. The sprays being used are increasingly pushed into use for profit without review. This leaves them in such a weakened state that if a mite finishes them off, you can't say it was just one factor.

    If you want a resilient system, you've got to pay attention to all of these factors.

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