On Monday, the European Commission voted to place a two-year moratorium on most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are a widely used class of chemicals suspected of contributing to a severe global decline in honeybee health. In the wake of Europe’s decisive action, the US Environmental Protection Agency dithered.
Well, it did release a joint report with the US Department of Agriculture on Thursday, generated from a “National Honey Bee Health Stakeholder Conference” the two agencies held last fall. The report fingered no single culprit behind colony collapse disorder, the name for the steep annual bee die-offs that have been stumping beekeepers since 2006. Instead, it pointed to a “complex set of stressors and pathogens,” including poor nutrition (mainly from loss of flowering weeds due to increased herbicide use), viruses, gut parasites, and, yes, pesticides. But it includes a summary of a presentation by USDA scientist Jeff Pettis noting that “several studies” have shown that low-level exposure to neonics make bees more vulnerable to the common gut parasite Nosema. (Pettis himself is the coauthor of one of those studies.) Read the rest of the story here… http://localsustainability.streamshare.com/posts/4375
Category: Farm-Agri News and Info