Back in 2014, The London Times uncovered senior scientists linked to environmentalist groups plotting to introduce a study geared to corrupt scientific literature with a manuscript geared to preordain conclusions in an attempt to condemn neonic pesticides. The Times obtained notes from the four scientists who would discreetly select scientists who would conduct peer review of their research so as to ensure publication in a scientific journal. Had the plot not been exposed, upon publication, a case would be made by environmentalist groups to extend a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides in Great Britain.
Now, according to BBC, a recent study released by the UK government’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) claims to have found that long term population bee populations in Britain are on decline and are linked to neonic pesticides. However, according to manuscript, the catch is bee population reductions are also linked to intensive farming that uses pesticides. Fortunately and to their credit, the researchers behind this new study caution against simplistic solutions like banning chemicals and instead prefer a more holistic approach.
However, a new research piece published in the Journal of Economic Entomology this spring reveals the opposite of the British scientists conclusions. According to the Yakima Herald, entomologists at Washington State University concluded that bees exposed to neonics are at low risk since they aren’t exposed enough to neonics do much harm to begin with.
With the cooperation of 92 Washington beekeepers, a team of WSU entomologists studied apiaries in urban, rural and agricultural areas in Washington state. The team collected samples of beebread, or stored pollen, from 149 apiaries across the state.
During the one-year trial, researchers looked at potential honey bee colony exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides from pollen foraging.
Neonicotinoid residues were detected in fewer than 5 percent of apiaries in rural and urban landscapes, according to the study.
Two kinds of neonicotinoids — clothianidin and thiamethoxam — were found in about 50 percent of apiaries in agricultural landscapes.
But the amounts were substantially less than what other studies of shown to not effect honey bees colonies.
“Based on residues we found in apiaries around Washington state, our results suggest no risk of harmful effects in rural and urban landscapes and arguably very low risks from exposure in agricultural landscapes,” said Allan Felsot, WSU Tri-Cities professor of entomology and environmental toxicology who co-authored the study.
Unfortunately, environmentalists seem to be attempting to latch on to its findings while ignoring the researchers’ cautionary approach. Obviously to make the case to make the case that a temporary ban on neonicotinoid pesticides be made permanent within the European Union. The WSU manuscript is much more comprehensive and realistic since it observes how bees are affected by neonics in their natural environment in which the effect on them is minimal. Not surprisingly, the greens will also ignore the Washington State University manuscript since it doesn’t fit their fable of the bees (pun intended).
Despite the claims of a beepocalypse, bee populations are at an all time high. Environmentalists’ politicization of science is one other manner they will use to make the case to ban pesticides that are used to protect crop yields from insect infestations. Studies like the WSU manuscript be damned. Make it harder to protect crops and starvations occur resulting in more human deaths.