CBS News reports that a new EPA rule has been proposed that would, if enacted, create temporary, pesticide-free zones when certain plants bees use as food are in bloom. The rule would also apply when the bees are on a beekeeper property and not a neighboring one. Also, the new rule does not apply to residential beekeeping and residential pesticide use. This being done after beekeepers reported seeing losses of up to forty percent that has been the result of bee colony collapse disorder resulting from studies stating CCD is the result of neonicotinoid pesticide use.
However, as Vox reported May of last year, the claim that bees and their colonies dying off due to neonic pesticide use is questionable. The media hype surrounding CCD was the result of a scientific study authored Harvard researcher named Chensheng Lu making the link. Even beekeepers and entomologists heavily criticized the manuscript’s findings. However, it has not prevented the media and environmentalist groups from purporting Lu’s study as fact.
The media and green groups have no interest in a more recent study conducted by University of Maryland (UM) scientists and published in the journal PLOS ONE points out that pesticides are not the sole cause of bee colony collapse. Researchers observed the effects of imidacloprid (a strain of neonicotinoids) on bee colonies over a three year period. The times when bee colony collapse occurred was when the dosage of insecticide used was four and even twenty times more than recommended levels.
While the UM manuscript does not entirely absolve pesticides from having an effect on bee populations, it does point out pesticides and insecticides are factors but not the sole cause. Other contributors to bee colony demise include parasites, disease, climate stress and malnutrition. The research was headed by Dr. Galen Dively emeritus professor of entomology at University of Maryland in which Click Green went on to quote him saying:
For the study, Dively and his colleagues fed pollen dosed with imidacloprid to honey bee colonies. The team purposely constructed a worst-case scenario, even at lower exposure levels. For example, they fed the colonies tainted food for up to 12 continuous weeks. This is a much longer exposure than bee colonies would experience in real-world scenarios, because most crops do not bloom for such an extended period of time.
Environmentalists have used the issue of bee colony collapse and have blamed the usage of neonic pesticides as the reason why it is occurring. This University of Maryland study puts claims made that bee colonies are on the decline and it is due to a combination of neonic pesticide use to bed. As this new manuscript makes crystal clear, honey bees have a lot of things they have to deal with such as malnutrition and threats from other predators. Bee exposure to insecticides is a factor but not the sole villain leading to bee colony demise.
However, I have no doubt in my mind that despite the University of Maryland scientist findings it will not prevent or halt efforts on the part of environmentalists to continue to seek prohibiting neonicotinoid and other pesticides that are used to fend off insects and other pests from infesting crop yields that feed people. Environmentalists hate human beings and the best way to speed up the demise of the human race is to attack the one thing that helps sustain and enhance human populations: our food supply. Rid the planet of pesticides and the result is lower food crop production since farms that grow fruits and vegetables have a harder time preventing insects from consuming crop yields. This, in turn, results in reduced crop production which leads to hunger, starvation, and ultimately death.