“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha
Sometimes you just know something, you know. And when there isn’t any scientific evidence to prove it, you just have to wait until the science catches up. Well, it looks like they’re finally catching up.
I have posted about what might be causing colony collapse in the past. Over the summer, Italy’s rebounding bee populations after banning neonicotinoids seemed very promising (Leave me the birds and the bees, please …). It’s the theory that made the most sense to me then, and still does. At the very least it seems to be a significant contributing factor in colony collapse, IMHO.
But, I do try to keep an open mind. I briefly got my hopes up again when a report of another study claimed colony collapse was due to a fungus (All the complicated life in the hive …) — but that research ended up being seriously suspect. And I do mean seriously. And then, I was thrilled to learn of bee scientist Marla Spivak being awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant for her work on colony collapse (A better place for us all …).
So, I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing me harp about this, but I thought you should know that the Pesticide Action Network of North America and Beyond Pesticide have released an internal EPA memo that indicates that it seems that the EPA has been ignoring warnings from its own scientists about the neonicotinoids used on the most widely planted crops in the US — corn, sugar beets, soy, wheat, and sunflowers. The EPA’s own research has shown that honeybees are at risk due to the way this particular class of pesticide is taken up by the plant’s vascular system, affecting the pollen and nectar. Grist has an easy to understand article about it, with links to the relevant references.
AHA! I knew it!
Anyway, I vote for banning neonicotinoids, like they did in Italy, as a precaution … at least until we’ve got this sorted out. I think Buddha would agree:
“after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” Buddha
P.S. If you like to encourage native bee populations, here’s a great gift idea for your gardening friends. It’s beautiful, not too expensive, and provides the perfect habitat for those hyper-pollinating, stingless, mason bees. Happy holidays!