Harvard University: Honeybees Dying Due To Insecticide

This seems fairly definitive, but I’m sure some of you have other theories regarding CCD, pesticides and Harvard in general.

Picture: Jacopo Werther (CC)

Picture: Jacopo Werther (CC)

via Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds | Environment | theguardian.com.

The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insecticide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear.

“We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering ‘colony collapse disorder’ in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work.

The loss of honeybees in many countries in the last decade has caused widespread concern because about three-quarters of the world’s food crops require pollination. The decline has been linked to loss of habitat, disease and pesticide use. In December 2013, the European Union banned the use of three neonicotinoids for two years.

In the new Harvard study, published in the Bulletin of Insectology, the scientists studied the health of 18 bee colonies in three locations in central Massachusetts from October 2012 till April 2013. At each location, two colonies were treated with realistic doses of imidacloprid, two with clothianidin, and two were untreated control hives.

“Bees from six of the 12 neonicotinoid-treated colonies had abandoned their hives and were eventually dead with symptoms resembling CCD,” the team wrote. “However, we observed a complete opposite phenomenon in the control colonies.” Only one control colony was lost, the result of infection by the parasitic fungus Nosema and in this case the dead bees remained in the hive.


13 Comments on "Harvard University: Honeybees Dying Due To Insecticide"

  1. Gjallarbru | May 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm |

    In conclusion, insecticides kill insects? Who would have guessed…

  2. BuzzCoastin | May 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm |

    pestcides are necessary for large scale industrial monocroping
    putting a lot of one plant in one space creats a bug buffet
    the nice neat rows, tight spacing & all one plant
    make fast & easy eattin for bugs
    on the other hand
    I grow food on 2 acres without any pesticides
    my average garden bed has 15 different species
    the land has about 60 different species
    no species in one place, no rows, nobug damage
    lots of bees too

  3. Yep and monsanto and friends will continue to promote disnfo about the mite issue and israeli acute paralysis virus as being the reason and not their products. The fact that people believe them shows the lack of any knowledge in science or just common sense. The illiteracy on subject of even basic knowledge of science in this country is appalling.

  4. Anarchy Pony | May 12, 2014 at 7:38 pm |

    I thought they nailed down the whole neonicotinoid thing months ago.

    • emperorreagan | May 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm |

      Don’t worry, there’ll be a clause in the TPP that says that all Monsanto products are safe. Even when science says they’re not.

    • Nothing is nailed down in this country anymore. We’ve become the insane asylum of the planet.

      • And we have the biggest military on the planet.

        • Well, you have to be insane to feel so threatened when you’re the biggest, cruelest dog on the block.

          • Anarchy Pony | May 12, 2014 at 11:28 pm |

            When you’re the biggest cruelest dog on the block, people want you dead. But that’s sort of a vicious cycle.

          • That’s when the intervention comes in the form of a SWAT team.

  5. Ironic story by the bee study in the Guardian:

    “Grey wolf appears in Iowa for first time in 89 years – and is shot dead”

  6. Chad Burke | May 13, 2014 at 5:39 am |

    This is the first article I’ve seen about the bee die off in 2 or 3 years. Back then it was either wireless tech or, of course, CLIMATE DOOM! Insecticide? Who knew?

    • Not sure what your news sources are but this is like the 3rd time in the last month alone that I have heard it being caused by insecticides

Comments are closed.