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Honeybees & pesticides: We’re poisoning our own food supply

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 6:11 am in Bee decline, beekeeper, bees.

Photo by Flickr user Todd Huffman used under a Creative Commons License
honeybees2 Todd Huffman

Check out the Associated Press story below. We humans just don’t get it. We’re flooding the local environment with pesticides, killing the honeybees and poisoning our own food supplies. What a disaster. /Gary

BEES IN MORE TROUBLE THAN EVER …
By Garance Burke & Seth Borenstein (Associated Press Writers)

Associated Press – The mysterious 4-year-old crisis of disappearing honeybees is deepening. A quick federal survey indicates a heavy bee die-off this winter, while a new study shows honeybees’ pollen and hives laden with pesticides.

Photo by Flickr user wohack used under a Creative Commons License
honeybee wohack

Two federal agencies along with regulators in California and Canada are scrambling to figure out what is behind this relatively recent threat, ordering new research on pesticides used in fields and orchards. Federal courts are even weighing in this month, ruling that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency overlooked a requirement when allowing a pesticide on the market.

And on Thursday, chemists at a scientific conference in San Francisco will tackle the issue of chemicals and dwindling bees in response to the new study.

Scientists are concerned because of the vital role bees play in our food supply. About one-third of the human diet is from plants that require pollination from honeybees, which means everything from apples to zucchini.

Bees have been declining over decades from various causes. But in 2006 a new concern, “colony collapse disorder,” was blamed for large, inexplicable die-offs. The disorder, which causes adult bees to abandon their hives and fly off to die, is likely a combination of many causes, including parasites, viruses, bacteria, poor nutrition and pesticides, experts say.

Read the complete AP story: http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_14746150?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com

Photo by Flickr user Todd Huffman used under a Creative Commons License
honeybees3 Todd Huffman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Colony Collapse Disorder: http://tinyurl.com/usdaccd

The study in Public Library of Science One: http://tinyurl.com/beepaper

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One Response to “Honeybees & pesticides: We’re poisoning our own food supply”

  1. Sue Lewis Says:

    Gary,

    I love your column, it’s why I subscribe to the paper.
    I was in shock, when I didn’t find you on the second page. So happy- I finally found you, moved to the back of the paper.They replaced you, with a stupid column about highways- go figure.
    Please keep writing- your articles are so informative and enjoyable. Sincerely, Sue Lewis

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