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Honey Bees Show Evidence of Insecticide


...elusive dreamer
Apr 5, 2009

More than 70 percent of pollen and honey samples collected from foraging bees in Massachusetts contained neonicotinoids, a type of insecticide that has been linked to colony collapse disorder, researchers are reporting. The disorder causes adult bees to abandon their hives in winter.

In the new study, published in The Journal of Environmental Chemistry, researchers analyzed 219 pollen samples and 53 honey samples from 62 hives in 10 counties in Massachusetts. Honeybee colonies have experienced significant losses over the last decade, and the effects can be far-reaching: Bees are the prime pollinators of one-third of all crops worldwide.


perpetual student
Dec 3, 2007
Texas, USA
I just don't think this discovery is going to go anywhere. So many similar studies have not been productive. Big agriculture will do whatever it can to be productive. Big chemical companies will do whatever they can for their shareholders and executive salaries.

One of the best ways that can help the poor bees is for wildlife refuges to adopt measures to provide "sanctuary" for them. But the downside of this is that the bees will favor the refuge above the agricultural crop. It would at least give them an opportunity to revive. This is being done for the magnificent Monarch butterflies (http://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/). However the butterflies are not essential to our survival. This measure would have to happen globally.


New member
May 22, 2009
In my head
I am noticing that honey is $10.00 a jar now and almond butter is $10.00 a jar now. Is there a connection? Yes, almonds in the US are 100% dependent on honeybees:

What do almond trees have to do with honeybees? It turns out that when you grow almond trees in vast monocrops, pollination from wild insects doesn't do the trick. Each spring, it takes 1.6 million honeybee hives to pollinate the crop—about a million of which must be trucked in from out of state. Altogether, the crop requires the presence of a jaw-dropping 60 percent of the managed honeybees in the entire country, the US Department of Agriculture reports.
And almond growers have contributed to the insecticide killing of the bees:
Now comes more unsettling news: California's almond groves are being blamed for a large recent honeybee die-off.

[...]several years ago, beekeepers in almond-heavy Glenn County began having problems keeping their brood alive, as well as with developing new queens. They began to fear that the trouble came from a widely used fungicide called Pristine, marketed by the German chemical giant BASF, for almonds. The company, which claims Pristine is harmless to bees, sent representatives to the county to collect almond pollen samples. In them, Mussen told me, they found "significant" levels of an insecticide called diflubenzuron. (Here's a copy of an email from January 2013 that Mussen circulated on the topic.) The catch is that its maker, Chemtura, insists that diflubenzuron, too, is harmless to bees.

If the two pesticides are safe for bees on their own, what's the problem? Mussen says that almond growers are combining them along with substances called adjuvants—which are used to enhance the performance of pesticides—and then spraying the resulting cocktail on crops. "It now seems that when you roll these three things together, it has very negative consequences on the bees," Mussen told me.

He explained that originally, adjuvants were used to help spread pesticides more evenly. Sprayed on their own, pesticides tend to form into discrete droplets on a plant's leaves that might not come into contact with insects or mold spores. Mixed with adjuvant, pesticides coat leaves evenly, making them more effective