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Pesticides Severely Affecting Bees

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  • Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - 03:01am


    Wendy S. Delmater

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    Pesticides Severely Affecting Bees

In a new study in Nature, researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, UK, show that low-level exposure to a combination of two pesticides is more harmful to bumblebee colonies than either pesticide alone. This suggests that current methods for regulating pesticides are inadequate because they only consider lethal doses of single pesticides. Low doses of pesticides have subtle yet significant effects on individual bees, and can thus seriously impact colonies

Bees are the world’s most important pollinator, and without them the planet would quickly go hungry.

Imidacloprid is widely used for pest control in agriculture. Other uses include application to foundations to prevent termite damage, pest control for gardens and turf, treatment of domestic pets to control fleas, and protection of trees from boring insects. Recent research suggests that widespread agricultural use of imidacloprid and other pesticides may be contributing to honey bee colony collapse disorder, the decline of honey bee colonies in Europe and North America observed since 2006. As a result, several countries have restricted use of imidacloprid and other neonicotinoids.

Imidacloprid has many brands and formulations for a wide range of uses from delousing or defleaing animals to saving Hemlocks, Maple, Oak and Ash Trees. Here are a few—Admire, Advantage (Advocate) (flea killer for pets), Gaucho, Mallet, Merit, Nuprid, Prothor, Turfthor, Confidor, Conguard, Hachikusan, Kohinor, Optrol, Premise, Prothor, Provado, Intercept, Winner, and Xytect.


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