Study finds a link between neonic pesticides and honeybee deaths

Grist

A new study, published on Thursday, shows a correlation between honeybee colony deaths and neonicotinoid pesticide usage in the United Kingdom.

Neonicotinoids generally come as a seed coating. When the seed sprouts, it takes in the pesticide, which then protects it against predators. But if that plant flowers, small amounts of the pesticide will linger in the pollen and nectar, which may hurt the beneficial insects, like bees, visiting those blooms to feed.

There’s some controversy about this: Scientists have found some indications that the neonics are hurting wild honeybees, but not domestic honeybees. As Maj Rundlöf, the lead author of one of those studies, told Nature: “This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any negative effects on honeybees, but so far I don’t see any evidence from field studies supporting that.”

Well, now there is a field study supporting that. This new study found a concerning association with just one neonic, imidacloprid, and the…

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