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posted by martyb on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:10AM   Printer-friendly
from the be-nice-to-bees dept.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40382086

The most extensive study to date on neonicotinoid pesticides concludes that they harm both honeybees and wild bees. Researchers said that exposure to the chemicals left honeybee hives less likely to survive over winter, while bumblebees and solitary bees produced fewer queens.

The study spanned 2,000 hectares across the UK, Germany and Hungary and was set up to establish the "real-world" impacts of the pesticides. The results are published in Science [open, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1190] [DX]. Neonicotinoids were placed under a temporary ban in Europe in 2013 after concerns about their impact on bees. The European Commission told the BBC that it intends to put forward a new proposal to further restrict the use of the chemicals.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by fraxinus-tree on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:22PM (4 children)

    by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Saturday July 01 2017, @01:22PM (#533895)

    Some logic applied: Glyphosate is a herbicide. Bees are insects, not herbs. Neonicotinoids are insecticides, i.e. a lot better suspect.

    Up to now the bees survived a lot of agricultural chemistry by either dying right away from something (so "something" is never more tried near bees) or working as usual when treated with something else (so "something else" is tried some more and then applied in a scale).

    Neonicotinoids are in the middle: bees work ALMOST as usual, but in the long run some hives get irreversibly depleted of bees. Details are still not clear. The effect went unnoticed for a while, untill the substances developed a stable market. Now, they have a lot of friends (because they are effective) and debugging the problem is a lot harder.

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  • (Score: 2) by datapharmer on Saturday July 01 2017, @04:56PM (1 child)

    by datapharmer (2702) on Saturday July 01 2017, @04:56PM (#533938)

    Debugging? I see what you did there...

    • (Score: 2) by fraxinus-tree on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:56PM

      by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:56PM (#533951)

      Pun not intended. I know, I know, but in my brain "debugging" and "bug" do not really relate to insects.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:05PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 01 2017, @05:05PM (#533940)

    no, it's never been a big mystery to non-whore beekeepers. the poison industry has just suppressed and ignored the obvious evidence.

    • (Score: 2) by fraxinus-tree on Saturday July 01 2017, @06:08PM

      by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Saturday July 01 2017, @06:08PM (#533955)

      I don't say it is a mystery what insecticides of almost any kind do to the bees. Solving a problem that affects a lot of parties is more complex than just nailing the substance. Do we need to kill the neonicotinoids completely? Alter their application, quarantine periods? Do we have some remedy which can be applied to the bees themselves?