Neonics – The Debate Continues

The risk to bees, and other pollinating insects, from neonicotinoids is still unclear if these reports are to be believed.

Dead Honey Bees
Dead Honey Bees

Damian Carrington in today’s Guardian reports on a study published by researchers at Harvard University under the headline “Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds”.

“The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insecticide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.

Read the full story here.

Colony numbers remaining static despite increased use of neonics
Colony numbers remaining static despite increased use of neonics

While Forbes magazine in February highlighted a story pointing out that  in the USA colony numbers have remained at about 2.5 million since 1996, and are showing signs of an increase.

Read the full story here.

One thought on “Neonics – The Debate Continues

  1. Both articles are interesting, and there seem to be no firm conclusions. The Forbs magazine article is flawed in a couple of ways especially with regard to the bee colony statistics. Beekeepers will try to keep the number of their colonies constant even if there is a greater die-off, as it’s their profession or passion. There has been an increase in hives globally as a greater population produce more beekeepers and a greater demand for honey – especially as a higher GDP per capita increases demand for ‘luxury’ goods.

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