The cause of the collapse of bee colonies are Pesticides

Saturday, April 7th 2012. | Science News

honey beePesticide corporations fighting back

Scientists have been hard at work cracking the “mystery” of colony collapse disorder. [“Studies link pesticides to decline of bee colonies,” News, March 30.]

A new study released yesterday, and two published last week, strengthen the case that neonicotinoid pesticides are key drivers behind declining bee populations — alone and especially in combination with other stressors. This class of pesticides covers 143 million acres of U.S. countryside, and more damning studies are awaiting publication.

Yet, pesticide corporations like Bayer and others are running a predictable PR defense aimed at delaying action by manufacturing doubt — it’s called the “tobacco strategy.” We need to make sure that the EPA and our national and state legislators who will decide the fate of bees, know what’s at stake.

Without bees, our food supply is at great risk, and we can’t afford to wait until EPA completes its review of neonicotinoids in 2018. Enough is known to take decisive action now!

Pollinators are critical

Bees are still dying off, and the public conversation around colony collapse disorder remains mired in misinformation.

There is no smoking gun behind CCD. The story is complicated and involves a combination of factors (pathogens, nutrition, pesticides) acting in concert to make bees sick. In the last year, and especially in the last two weeks, neonicotinoid pesticides have rapidly risen to the top of that list as a critical catalyst.

Pollinators are a critical part of agriculture. We cannot afford to lose them because we could not gather the will to act in the face of irreducibly complex science.

Uncertainty is a fact of science — it is the condition of science. We as the lay public must remain clear on the distinction between certainty, and knowing enough to act.

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