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Friday, January 21, 2011

Are pesticides the causes of bees' decline?

A few weeks ago, I reported that a great majority of the agriculturally-useful bumblebee population is vanishing in Asia, Europe and the US.
According to a report by The Telegraph dated 20 January, pesticides could play a role in the population decline of the honeybee--a relative of bumblebee--that may make them susceptible to diseases.
A research done in the US called for a ban in the UK. It showed that pesticide chemicals called "neonicotinoids" even in minute amounts could make the insects easily receptive to diseases.
Neonicotinoids can mimic the insect-killing properties of nicotine. These chemicals are commonly used in crops and ornamental plants in Britain.
However, bee-enthusiasts do not unanimously agree with this finding.
UK experts argued that among the factors for the decreasing bee population are: paucity of food sources or disease. They also said that further investigation is warranted before singling out the pesticides.
It was pointed out by Dr. Julian Little of Bayer CropScience--the prime maker of neonicotinoids--that the US study has not yet been published and reviewed.
Little further stressed that proper government-backed investigations have found no untoward effects to bees if used properly.
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