Saturday, May 25, 2013

For a Responsible Approach to Bee Health, Ignore the Activists

by Jeff Stier, May 24, 2013

Bees pollinate a host of important crops, from fruits and nuts such as oranges, blueberries, apples and almonds, to row crops such cotton, canola, and soy. But the last few decades have been tough for bee populations, which have experienced larger than normal winter die-offs.  Some raise the specter of massive colony collapses spreading around the world. This even has its own acronym, CCD, which stands for Colony Collapse Disorder. While bee health is critically important, and there's a real problem, those who suggest that the sky is falling and we'll run out of food because of CCD have another agenda. And it has nothing to do with bees.

Radical environmental activist groups like the Sierra Club are using such fears to target a relatively new class of pesticide called neonicotinoids - or "neonics" for short - which they claim are responsible for CCD.  If the activists get their way, however, the complex and costly problem of disappearing bees will continue longer than necessary. Instead, activists should put their (hefty) resources into addressing the most likely causes identified by leading scientists.  As far as the bees, the greens, and their pesticide conspiracy goes, the evidence points more strongly to less obvious culprits. Although an unnecessary pesticide ban would cost farmers, as well as all of us who enjoy their bounty, scientists suggest it would leave the real bee killers on the loose longer.

The irony is that neonicotinoids were developed….To Read More…..

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