1 Tahrcountry Musings: Crash in bee population - indirect effect of pesticides

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crash in bee population - indirect effect of pesticides

A study, led by Dr Jeffrey Pettis, the head of the US Department of Agriculture's Bee Research Laboratory has come up with solid evidence that pesticides may be a major cause of collapsing bee populations. Read this against backdrop of more than 70 of the 100 crops that provide 90 per cent of the world's food getting pollinated by bees.

Researchers found that bees deliberately exposed to minute amounts of the pesticide were, on an average, three times more likely to become infected when exposed to a parasite called nosema. Environmentalist has been crying themselves hoarse for sometime that new group of insecticides called neonicotinoids are behind a worldwide decline in honey bees.  Links between widely used pesticides and pathogens have been scientifically proved now.

Imidacloprid is the bestselling neonicotinoid. Neonicotinoids are "systemic" pesticides. They effectively become part of the plant, including the pollen and nectar that bees and other pollinating insects carry away.

The new study has evinced interest worldwide

Details of the study appears in the journal Naturwissenschaften

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