Thursday, September 27, 2012

Experts Reluctant to Blame Pesticides for the Honeybee Decline

It seems that general conviction on pesticides being responsible for the gradual annihilation of honeybees has to be revised as the UK scientists deny there’s the immediate connection between pesticides and the bees colony collapse.
Now, a more thorough research has to be conducted to predict the impact of the popular agricultural insecticides ( often referred to as neonicotinoids) on honeybee population.
The scientists from the University of Exeter and Food and Environment Agency point out that there are several inconsistencies in the report published in Science, April 2012 which predicted that neonicotinoids could be the main reason for the honeybee colony collapse. The neonicotinoids are commonly used in agriculture as insecticides. Unfortunately, honeybees ingest residues of the pesticides while gathering nectar and pollen from treated plants. The April report has been widely cited by scientists and politicians who claimed the impact of these pesticides on honeybees is detrimental. As a result, French government has decided to put a ban on the use of thiametoxam, the active neonicotinoid included in Cruiser OSR, the pesticide produced by Syngenta, the Swiss company.
Yet, the new research underestimates the findings of the previous one, arguing that the calculations in April report were wrong as they failed to reflect the rate at which honeybee colonies recover from losing its individuals. The previous research indicated that bees died more often having drunk nectar laced with neonicotinoid pesticide, which is thiamethoxam. Now, the recent research published in September proved that the calculation may have used an inappropriately low birth rate.
It seems that neonicotinoids do affect honeybees, but there is no infallible proof that it puts bees colony at the risk of a collapse. Still, there is an urge to introduce a proper plan that would protect bees from the exposure to chemicals used by humans to boost their crops. 

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