Posted: 22 Sep 2011 11:59 AM PDT
Unexplained honey bee die-offs in recent years, filed under Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), have been the focus of considerable research but very few solid answers. Now, according to the folks at the investigative news program Dan Rather Reports, the situation is worse than at first thought: “the whole food chain is at risk.”
Where is the finger pointing this time?
Systemic pesticides or neonicotinoids (derived from nicotine) are different from other types of pesticides used in agriculture. Neonicotinoids are absorbed by the plants to which they’re applied, making the entire plant toxic to insects. So the honey bees and other pollinators no longer would need to be sprayed directly or come into direct contact with a pesticide, in order to suffer the effects. The nectar and pollen themselves become toxic to honey bees.
According to the American news report, US beekeepers are worried for two reasons in particular. For one, the testing for safety is being done by the chemical companies who produce the systemic pesticides being tested, not the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — “it’s like the fox designing the best chicken coop” — and because scientists no longer agree on what the “safe level” is when it comes to long-term impacts of agricultural chemicals on honey bees.
Beekeepers are Worried: Dan Rather Reports Article by the Central Beekeepers Alliance - Honey Bees & Beekeeping in New Brunswick, Canada. Copyright © 2011 MindsEye Productions and Central Beekeepers Alliance. All rights reserved.
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