If after hearing about the mysterious mass honey bee deaths in recent years, you found yourself wondering, “why are bees dying?” Researchers studying the phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder have recently published a study in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, titled “Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particular matter Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds.” As the title of the publication indicates, the researchers have discovered a correlation between colony collapse disorder and the insecticides used to coat corn seeds.
Neonicotinoid insecticides, according to the research study, rank amongst the “most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralyzing nerves but have lower toxicity for other animals.” The seeds are coated using a process which incorporates pneumatic drilling machines used to suck the seeds in and spray them with neonicotinoid insecticides prior to planting the seeds.
Honey bees are essential to many ecosystems due to their natural ability to pollinate plants. For us humans, the honey bees’ ability to pollinate is a necessity when it comes to ensuring the success of food crops. Scientist believe that the disruption of pollination has the potential to dramatically affect ecosystems.
The researchers behind the aforementioned published study wrote in their study:
“In view of the currently increasing crop production, and also of corn as a renewable energy source, the correct use of these insecticides within sustainable agriculture is a cause of concern.”
Initially, beekeepers were the first to notice that the honeybees were dying around the time of corn planting when neonicotinoid insecticide coated corn seeds were used.
Up until now, colony collapse disorder has left researchers scratching their heads in bewilderment as to what could cause so many honey bees to die. Initial speculation resulted in the belief that honey bees were disappearing and not actually dying as it turns out.
A Colony Collapse Disorder video published on YouTube over 1 year ago makes quite clear their belief that neonicotinoids are indeed the culprit behind CCD. Here is that video for your viewing pleasure, titled Colony Collapse Disorder: It’s Pesticides, Stupid!
via Yahoo! News