A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.
Christian Krupke, professor of entomology, and then-postdoctoral researcher Elizabeth Long collected pollen from Indiana honeybee hives at three sites over 16 weeks to learn which pollen sources honeybees use throughout the season and whether they are contaminated with pesticides.
The pollen samples represented up to 30 plant families and contained residues from pesticides spanning nine chemical classes, including neonicotinoids - common corn and soybean seed treatments that are toxic to bees. The highest concentrations of pesticides in bee pollen, however, were pyrethroids, which are typically used to control mosquitoes and other nuisance pests.
"Although crop pollen was only a minor part of what they collected, bees in our study were exposed to a far wider range of chemicals than we expected," said Krupke. "The sheer numbers of pesticides we found in pollen samples were astonishing. Agricultural chemicals are only part of the problem. Homeowners and urban landscapes are big contributors, even when hives are directly adjacent to crop fields."
"If you care about bees as a homeowner, only use insecticides when you really need to because bees will come into contact with them," she said.
Organic vegetables with a few insect-caused holes taste better than unblemished supermarket ones.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 01 2016, @06:52AM
Can we get some citations about carcinogenicity of pesticides allowed in organic farming? And even red meat is "probably carcinogenic" and already Paracelsus knew in the 1500s that "does makes the poison"; If something can cause cancer but only in massive concentrations nobody gets exposed to it's fairly irrelevant.