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New Studies Point to Insecticide Family as Vector for CCD

posted Mar 30, 2012, 11:56 AM by Mike Stamper   [ updated Mar 30, 2012, 12:05 PM ]
  One class of insecticides, neonicotinoids, has long been suspected as a major factor in Colony Collapse Disorder. Two new studies, one out of the UK and the other out of France, lend support to this speculation.  These pesticides directly attack the central nervous systems of target pests.  The effects are similar to those of malathion and parathion, both linked to significant colony kills when they were commonplace during the latter part of the 20th century.  While neonicotinoids have been cleared as safe for honeybees and bumblebees for many years, many researchers have raised a red flag.  They were concerned that sub-lethal effects of these now ubiquitous insecticides were not being factored into the decision making process.  There has long been evidence that a key, sub-lethal side effect of exposure is deterioration of the part of the bee's central nervous system that controls navigation.  As related to CCD, this would mean that the bees lose the ability to find their way home.  

   Check out the following articles in the popular press for more information:
   An older study, done in England in 2009, is available in PDF form below.
Mike Stamper,
Mar 30, 2012, 11:56 AM