Neonicotinoid Pesticides Tied To Crashing Bee Populations, 2 Studies FindSubmitted by emalvini on Thu, 03/29/2012 - 22:37
Neonicotinoid Pesticides Tied To Crashing Bee Populations, 2 Studies Find
By Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com
A widely used farm pesticide first introduced in the 1990s has caused significant changes to bee colonies and removing it could be the key factor in restoring nature's army of pollinators, according to two studies released Thursday.
The scientists behind the studies in Europe called for regulators to consider banning the class of chemicals known as neonicotinoid insecticides. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency told msnbc.com that the studies would be incorporated into a review that's currently under way.
A pesticide trade group questioned the data, saying the levels of pesticide used were unrealistically high, while the researchers said the levels used were typical of what bees would find on farms.
"Our study raises important issues regarding pesticide authorization procedures," stated Mikael Henry, co-author of a study on honey bees. "So far, they mostly require manufacturers to ensure that doses encountered on the field do not kill bees, but they basically ignore the consequences of doses that do not kill them but may cause behavioral difficulties."
"There is an urgent need to develop alternatives to the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops wherever possible," added the authors of the second study on bumble bees.