18 Jun '11, 5pm
"The EPA is slow to move on pesticide blamed in honeybee collapse" #bees #honey #beekeeping #pesticides #organic
Ten years after the French ban, Jeffery Pettis, the leading bee researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, showed that bees fed low levels of imidacloprid in a laboratory were more susceptible to the deadly fungus Nosema ceranae-although he notes that these results have not been duplicated in the field. Germany, Italy, and Slovenia followed France's lead by banning clothianidin, another neonicotinoid pesticide. (Italy's 2009 clothianidin-free corn planting coincided with its first healthy bee season in 10 years.) When Bayer CropScience introduced it into the United States in 2003, the EPA approved it on the condition that Bayer study its chronic effects. Clothianidin became widely used, and, coincidentally, many U.S. bee colonies decreased by 30 to 90 percent.