(Image source: Wired)

 

BY GINA COOK

ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

Bee populations -- particularly queen bees --- are disappearing in the U.S. and other parts of the world.  

USA Today explains how the mysterious issue -- called colony collapse disorder -- is affecting more than just bee hives.

“Colony collapse disorder is marked by bees emptying out of hives and not returning. Bee colony losses have alarmed U.S. farmers, who rely on about 2.68 million managed bee colonies to pollinate crops, a $15 billion industry...”

Two recent studies are the first to examine bees outside of the lab and in the fields--where researchers say the drop in bees is because of a commonly used pesticide called neonicotinoid. France’s Institute for Agricultural Research -- the INRA -- did one of the studies.  

Here’s how they tracked honeybees.

“To follow or keep track of the fate of any individual bees thanks to smaller micro-chips that we can glue on their back.”

A second study observed bumblebees dosed with the pesticide. The study found those hives to be smaller -- much smaller. Only two queen bees were in dosed hives, as compared to 14 in the undosed hives.
 

The Edmonton Journal has one critic’s response to the findings saying,

“The French honeybee study, though clever in the way it used microchips to follow the bees, is seriously flawed because the dose of pesticides given to the bees was  ‘really way too high...’"

But the BBC says the pesticides won’t be going away anytime soon and quotes an entomologist who says,

“...neonicotinoids could be banned everywhere in the world, and honeybees would still have problems with pathogens, parasites, habitat degradation and overuse of just about every other class of chemical pesticide."

Queen Bee Population Shrinking

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Mar 30, 2012

Queen Bee Population Shrinking

(Image source: Wired)

 

BY GINA COOK

ANCHOR LAUREN ZIMA

Bee populations -- particularly queen bees --- are disappearing in the U.S. and other parts of the world.  

USA Today explains how the mysterious issue -- called colony collapse disorder -- is affecting more than just bee hives.

“Colony collapse disorder is marked by bees emptying out of hives and not returning. Bee colony losses have alarmed U.S. farmers, who rely on about 2.68 million managed bee colonies to pollinate crops, a $15 billion industry...”

Two recent studies are the first to examine bees outside of the lab and in the fields--where researchers say the drop in bees is because of a commonly used pesticide called neonicotinoid. France’s Institute for Agricultural Research -- the INRA -- did one of the studies.  

Here’s how they tracked honeybees.

“To follow or keep track of the fate of any individual bees thanks to smaller micro-chips that we can glue on their back.”

A second study observed bumblebees dosed with the pesticide. The study found those hives to be smaller -- much smaller. Only two queen bees were in dosed hives, as compared to 14 in the undosed hives.
 

The Edmonton Journal has one critic’s response to the findings saying,

“The French honeybee study, though clever in the way it used microchips to follow the bees, is seriously flawed because the dose of pesticides given to the bees was  ‘really way too high...’"

But the BBC says the pesticides won’t be going away anytime soon and quotes an entomologist who says,

“...neonicotinoids could be banned everywhere in the world, and honeybees would still have problems with pathogens, parasites, habitat degradation and overuse of just about every other class of chemical pesticide."

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