In a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.
When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.
Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.
When I see how many bottles, bags and whatnot of pesticide, fungicide and other stuff goes out of just my store on a daily basis it is no wonder millions of bees are dying. People are spreading huge bags of broad spectrum insecticide across their entire properties and it is killing everything including them...just a little more slowly. I have a real problem keeping my mouth shut as I check this stuff out and I can't begin to say how guilty I feel about it. It is all I can do to to keep from screaming at these folks, little children in hand, as they haul these baskets full of poison home to spread around willy-nilly.