U.S. Bee Deaths Caused By EPA Approved Pesticide

Bees_Collecting_PollenCould this be the answer to the mysterious case of the disappearing bees? It could certainly be one reason for colony collapse. Report from Fast Company:

The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined–electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

The leaked document (PDF) was put out in response to Bayer’s request to approve use of the pesticide on
cotton and mustard. The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees:

Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn’t enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration…

[continues at Fast Company]

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  • StZed

    of course the epa KNEW, they just dont care. nature will collapse because of profit and progress. billions of years of evolution and greed ends it all…

  • StZed

    of course the epa KNEW, they just dont care. nature will collapse because of profit and progress. billions of years of evolution and greed ends it all…

  • emperorreagan

    Seeking to externalize as much cost as possible is how American capitalism works.

  • emperorreagan

    Seeking to externalize as much cost as possible is how American capitalism works.

  • Hotbuttonpress

    I do think the very common malathion (highly toxic to bees according the MSDS) hurts bee populations, too. Malathion is used regularly in many US counties during mosquito season, especially in smaller communities where a quick-fix adulticide is desired.

  • Hotbuttonpress

    I do think the very common malathion (highly toxic to bees according the MSDS) hurts bee populations, too. Malathion is used regularly in many US counties during mosquito season, especially in smaller communities where a quick-fix adulticide is desired.

  • BlueRose

    I thought it was cell phone useage killing the bees?

  • BlueRose

    I thought it was cell phone useage killing the bees?

  • Synapse

    Time to bring back DDT?

    • Wishingonthesatellites

      hahaha I think the birds are dropping fast enough now so that we don’t even have to worry about them being able to reproduce…

  • Synapse

    Time to bring back DDT?

  • Tony Bolan

    I have noticed fewer bees in my garden. Everyone needs to grow flowers and vegetables for the bees. You also need to stock up on food because it may take a while to figure out how to correct the problem we’ve created. Go to http://grow.myefoods.com and get free food

  • Tony Bolan

    I have noticed fewer bees in my garden. Everyone needs to grow flowers and vegetables for the bees. You also need to stock up on food because it may take a while to figure out how to correct the problem we’ve created. Go to http://grow.myefoods.com and get free food

  • Wishingonthesatellites

    hahaha I think the birds are dropping fast enough now so that we don’t even have to worry about them being able to reproduce…