Bee Killers

Neonic Pesticides Again Linked to Decline




kenkuza/Shutterstock.com

A study in the journal Nature Communications examined wild bee populations relative to the use of controversial neonic (neonicotinoid) pesticides from 1994 to 2011, and discovered that extinction rates paralleled their use on plants throughout the country.

The 34 species analyzed experienced a 10 percent population drop across the board, with five of the species seeing a decrease of 20 percent or more, and the most-impacted group declining by 30 percent. Researchers say this indicates that up to half of the population decline could be attributed to the use of neonics.

“It contributes, but there is a bigger picture,” says Jeffrey Pettis, an entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beltsville Bee Laboratory, in Maryland. Other factors are thought to include parasites such as varroa mites and nosema fungus (a bacterial disease known as foulbrood) plus viruses, drought and loss of habitat.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Earth (FOE) environmental group has launched a petition calling on the Ace and True Value hardware companies to follow Lowe’s and Home Depot’s example of phasing out the pesticides. FOE says, “If these garden retailers don’t act fast, they’ll lose customers. A new poll shows that 66 percent of Americans prefer to shop at Lowe’s and Home Depot because they’ve committed to stop selling bee-killing pesticides.”


Take action at Tinyurl.com/BanNeonicsPetition.


This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

FLORIDA'S WEED WOES

The still-evolving landscape around medical marijuana has a lot of Floridians asking questions. No worries—we have (almost) all the answers.

Local Chiropractor, Dr. John Stephan Kovar, Leaves Lasting Legacy

The Natural Awakenings family lost a great and kind soul with the January 5 passing of Dr. John Stephen Kovar. A Fort Walton Beach chiropractor for more than 36 years, he was devoted to natural health care and the ultimate wellness of his patients.

Kids and Kritters Parade Adds Pre-Parade Dance Show

Krewe of Wrecks, Pensacola Beach’s original Mardi Gras krewe, will host the Kids and Kritters Parade February 23 in the Casino Beach parking lot, across from Sidelines on Pensacola Beach.

Free Workshop Focuses on Backyard Homes

After decades of decline, the City of Pensacola is growing and changing, leading to concerns about housing supply, diversity and affordability.

Zen Facelift Facials Now Offered in Pensacola

Esthetician Susan Blanc is now offering Zen Facelift Facials at her office in Pensacola. Blanc recently trained in this noninvasive skin care technique, which uses massage to “awaken” the facial skin and activate its natural ability to rejuvenate.

Add your comment:

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT