According to a new study from Harvard, American honeybees are dying en masse due to exposure to pesticides. Lots and lots of pesticides. The article “Sub-lethal exposure to neonicotinoids impaired honey bees winterization before proceeding to colony collapse disorder” in the Bulletin of Insectology details the issue.
The two common insecticides identified in the study were imidacloprid and clothianidin. Imidacloprid is the most widely used pesticide in the world, and both are approved by the EPA. Both were pegged to be the primary culprits in Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD, a term coined to describe the very troubling pattern of honeybees abandoning their hives in incredible numbers over the course of the past ten years, has been increasing at an alarming rate since 2006.
The value of bees is almost always underrated. They usually only get credit for making honey, but what people often fail to realize is that they are vital natural pollinators and essential for agricultural crops worldwide. In fact, honeybees are responsible for the pollination of one third of US crops, including peaches, pears, strawberries, and almonds.