In colony collapse disorder, the entire population of mature bees in a colony unexpectedly die or disappear. It was first noted in 2006, and since then the disorder has steadily decimated hives internationally at the rate of 30 percent a year.
This is a problem, because we still rely on bees to pollinate roughly a third of our crops here in the U.S. For instance, every February over 50 percent of the nation’s beehives are carefully transported to California for annual almond pollination. With all our advancements, we haven’t developed green technology more efficient at pollination than bees.
Unfortunately, no one knows what causes colony collapse disorder, so there is no green technology to prevent it. Most scientific theories center around pesticides which accumulate in the environment over seasons of use, resulting in blossoms that are increasingly toxic to bees. One such chemical is clothianidan.
With the support of over 1.25 million petitioners, a group of beekeepers and environmentalists are calling on the EPA to ban clothianidan. They say the EPA didn’t thoroughly test the effects of the chemical with green technology. While the EPA admits they failed to live up to their own pesticide testing standards, they also say there is no evidence of a link between colony collapse disorder and the pesticide clothianidan.
How they could determine evidence without conducting thorough pesticide tests is lost on the petitioners.
It’s likely their request for a pesticide ban will at least be met with more testing, if not a ban on the pesticide altogether. Researchers recently expressed concern about another chemical in the same class as clothianidan, imidacloprid, which has since been banned from use on almond trees.
- Beekeepers ask EPA to ban pesticide toxic to bees(msnbc.msn.com)
- Study says insecticide used with GM corn highly toxic to bees(foodfreedom.wordpress.com)
- Bee Buzz Update – Pesticides Collapse Colonies(ibanniebtechsupport.wordpress.com)