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Earth Biotech Science

Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder 217

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-bees? dept.
walterbyrd (182728) writes in with news about a new study from Harvard School of Public Health that links two widely used neonicotinoids to Colony Collapse Disorder. "Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or the widespread population loss of honeybees, may have been caused by the use of neonicotinoids, according to a new study out of Harvard University. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine. They were first developed for agricultural use in the 1980's by petroleum giant Shell. The pesticides were refined by Bayer the following decade. Two of these chemicals are now believed to be the cause of CCD, according to the new study from the School of Public Health at the university. This study replicated their own research performed in 2012."
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Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

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  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday May 11, 2014 @10:59PM (#46976617)

    Pesticides need to come with graphic images of deformed bee larvae covering at least 50% of the packaging.

    As a non-apiarist, I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'd be wondering why the slimy white things were on the package. I don't even know what healthy bee larvae look like, so how am I supposed to recognize deformed one?

    If "the answer is in marketing", I'd strongly suggest they hire someone else to come up with a message that better communicates the point.

  • by sjames (1099) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:58AM (#46977535) Homepage

    The studies showed that the mechanism of action seems to be that the neonicotinoids render the hives more susceptible to common parasites. So if those parasites are less common somewhere, CCD will also be less common even in the presence of neonicotinoids.

    That still suggests that wherever the parasites are common, the neonicotinoids should not be used.

  • by Pinky's Brain (1158667) on Monday May 12, 2014 @06:31AM (#46977917)

    Just ban the chemicals needed for factory farming and it becomes economical ... we'll need a far greater percentage of our population working on farms though.

  • by Captain Splendid (673276) <capsplendid.gmail@com> on Monday May 12, 2014 @09:53AM (#46979213) Homepage Journal
    Hi. Organic farmer here.

    The term organic is meaningless, and is as much a marketing tool as anything else. Buying organic food without checking out ingredients/growing methods is as stupid as not checking the provenance of anything else.

    Having said that, there are many methods of protecting your crops that do not involve complex pesticides and other "highly unfriendly to certain types of living organisms" products. Really, it all boils down to whether you're lazy, or really want to produce and eat food that isn't going to do you or your environment any extra harm.

    So do a little research before you buy. There's plenty of us growing this way and we're happy to detail exactly what we do and don't do to our food. Just ask.
  • by tibit (1762298) on Monday May 12, 2014 @01:48PM (#46981975)

    A modern industrial robot on a moving base with a modern industrial vision system should handle that very efficiently. Possibly more efficiently than the bees themselves.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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