Harvard study confirms bees being killed by neonicotinoid bug sprays

From Arjun Walia, on Collective Evolution:

“The human race is really starting to feel the consequences of their actions. One area we are waking up to is the massive amount of pesticides we spray (especially in North America) on our food that has not only been linked to human disease, but a massive die off in the global bee population within the past few years.

A new study out of Harvard University, published in the June edition of the Bulletin of Insectology puts the nail in the coffin, neonicotinoids are killing bees at an exponential rate, they are the direct cause of the phenomenon labeled as colony collapse disorder (CCD). Neonicotinoid’s are the world’s most widely used insecticides. (1)

“The results from this study not only replicate findings from the previous study, but also reinforce the conclusion that the sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids is likely the main culprit for the occurrence of CCD.” (1)

For this study, researchers examined 18 bee colonies at three different apiaries in central Massachusetts over the course of a year. Four colonies at each apiary were regularly treated with realistic doses of neonicotinoid pesticides, while a total of six hives were left untreated. Of the 12 hives treated with the pesticides, six were completely wiped out.

Neonicotinoids insecticides, persist in “extremely high levels” in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of crops treated with these insecticides. This runs contrary to industry claims that the chemicals biodegrade and are not a threat. These pesticide components are found in soil, they are also found in fields where the chemicals are not even sprayed.  Bees also actively transfer contaminated pollen from primarily pesticide treated corn crops and bring it back to their hives. Furthermore, bees transfer these pesticides to other plants and crops that are not treated with the chemicals, which goes to show just how persistent these chemicals truly are in the environment.

There has been an enormous amount of research which shows that our current regulations which protect the creatures that pollinate much of our food is extremely inadequate. It’s been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals showing how widely used pesticides have a very damaging effect on bees.

A paper published in the journal Nature discusses how bees are twice as likely to die when exposed to pesticides; two-thirds of the bees are lost when exposed compared to a third when not exposed. The exposed bees are also half as successful in gathering food. (2)…”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Harvard study confirms bees being killed by neonicotinoid bug sprays

  1. william

    Disappointed with the “Harvard” study.
    Pesticides as well as mites are two fundamental stresses on bee populations.
    I am disappointed because the bee ‘nutrition’ is what suppresses the bee colonies health. Like in humans, bee health cannot be expected to battle against mites and pesticides if the bee/human diet consists of sugar water…..

    • Gary Wilson

      Hi william:
      Another william would agree with you.
      “It’s not the overpowering invader we must fear but the weakened condition of the victim” – William Albrecht, Ph.D.
      “A paper published in the journal Nature discusses how bees are twice as likely to die when exposed to pesticides; two-thirds of the bees are lost when exposed compared to a third when not exposed.”
      There is the evidence right in the article. For one third of a bee population to die without exposure to pesticides indicates that bees in that population must have weakened immune systems. So the evidence really says that if you subject bees with weakened immune systems to pesticides (poisons), twice as many die compared to bees with weakened immune systems that are not subjected to pesticides (poisons). Big deal. The real question to research is to ask why the one third of the bee population without pesticide exposure is dying. When you can solve that problem and create a healthy bee population, then subject those bees with the same exposure to pesticides as was done in this study and see what happens.
      Hint to researchers: try looking at the protein potential of the soil where the bees gather the pollen (also pretend that this was your own original idea so you name will be forever remembered in the history books).

  2. Reblogged this on Le Petit Canard Farm and commented:
    It’s sad and tragic that we have to wait for the “consequences” to inflict so much damage before we believe it’s true. Time to connect the dots on a massive scale.

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