Mystery solved: Here's what's killing bees
Researchers finally pin down the most likely cause of the insects' widespread collapse -- and the fix will not be easy.
Colony collapse disorder, as it is called, has destroyed as much as half of the honeybee hives that farmers need to pollinate fruit and vegetable crops. As a result, some experts are predicting crop shortages and higher food prices.
But to fix the problem, you need to find the cause. A new study out this week points to the most likely factor: a combination of pesticides and fungicides that farmers use to keep crops healthy.
Those chemicals hurt bees' ability to fight infection from a parasite called Nosema ceranae, Quartz reports. The fungicides are particularly harmful because bees that ate pollen with those chemicals were three times as likely to get infected by the parasite.
The pollen the researchers collected for their study was from the East Coast and had an average of nine pesticides and fungicides. One sample, however, contained 21 chemicals.
Researchers still aren't able to say that those fungicides are the definite cause of bee death, but this is as close to an answer as we have at this point. "There's growing evidence that fungicides may be affecting the bees on their own and I think what it highlights is a need to reassess how we label these agricultural chemicals," the study’s lead author told Quartz.
If fungicides are the culprit, it would be a surprise to many farmers, since fungicides have to this point been considered safe for pollinating bees.
But the link is there. And what farmers do with that information could affect the survival of bees across the country.
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And what farmers do with that information could affect the survival of bees across the country...
not to mention the survival of the people across the country -- no bees, no food.
WHY is this only a "surprise" to farmers and the companies that sell this crap with massive price supports using Federal ENTITLEMENT programs and MY tax dollars!
Good lord people read a science book once in awhile (one not coauthored by a Monsanto crony that is).
A generation ago America learned this lesson. Birds, from common sparrows to the American Eagle, were dying off because of overuse of chemical pesticides. President Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent these kind of national poisonings.
Now, the big conglomerates have paid off politicians to crush the authority of the EPA, and that has allowed several corporations to sneak around the protective regulations that kept America's food supply safe.
Want safe food? Demand more funding for inspectors and the EPA. Safe foos should not be a political football.
A world with an affordable human population wouldn't need all the pesticides and fungicides (and fossil fuels and pollution and energy). Very little will stay the same or improve.
That is, until the elephant in the living room, global population, is first put on a markedly negative growth rate.
I'd like to see the experimental design, the data and the stats.
Couldn't find anything in that link related to this story. There is no mention of who is on the "team of scientists", what peer reviewed journal their work was published in or what their source of funding was...
"Researchers still aren't able to say that those fungicides are the definite cause of bee death."
Then i guess the Mystery has not been solved then has it?
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