Colony collapse disorder, a mysterious ailment that has been killing large numbers of honeybees for several years, is expanding, wiping out 40 to 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of America’s fruits and vegetables.
Some beekeepers and researchers cite growing evidence that a powerful class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, which hinder the bees’ brain learning function and leave them unable to make the connection between floral scents and nectar, could be a key factor.
Although manufacturers claim the pesticides pose no threat to bees, a recent British honeybee field study found enough evidence to convince 15 of 27 EU member governments and the Executive European Commission to support a twoyear ban on three of the world’s most widely used agricultural pesticides in this category, starting this December. The action followed a European Food Safety Authority report in April that indicated these toxins pose an acute risk to honeybees.
Source: Voice of America