A few weeks ago, the House Committee on Agriculture held a subcommittee hearing to examine the current state of pollinator research and concluded that the honey bee parasitic mite, Varroa destructor, was a major cause of colony collapse.
But they didn’t mention neonicotinoids! Michele R. Simon and Friends of the Earth recently published a report outlining the ways in which big chemical corporations are hiding the fact that these chemicals are killing our bees. This week, even more research was published by researchers from The Harvard School of Public Healt:
There was a steady decline in the size of all the bee colonies through the beginning of winter—typical among hives during the colder months in New England. Beginning in January, 2013, bee populations in the control colonies began to increase as expected, but populations in the neonicotinoid-treated hives continued to decline. By April, 2013, 6 out of 12 of the neonicotinoid-treated colonies were lost, with abandoned hives that are typical of CCD. Only one of the control colonies was lost—thousands of dead bees were found inside the hive—with what appeared to be symptoms of a common intestinal parasite called Nosema ceranae."
Photo: Jack Wolf, Creative Commons
- Study strengthens link between neonicotinoids and collapse of honey bee colonies via Harvard School of Public Health