Published on May 15, 2013
In the wake of a massive US Department of Agriculture report highlighting the continuing large-scale death of honeybees, environmental groups are left wondering why the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to approve a “highly toxic” new pesticide.
The continuing mass death of honeybees, known scientifically as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and a “pollinator crisis,” could well strain production of over 100 crops in the US including apples, zucchinis, avocados and plums. The agriculture value of these products is estimated at over $200 billion globally per year.
As RT recently reported, a new USDA report has taken a broad look at the decline of bee colonies in the country, highlighting a dire situation as the number of colonies has plummeted from 3 million in 1990 to 2.5 million this year. Demonstrating that the decline is a long-term issue, that same report points to the existence of 6 million honey bee colonies in 1947.
Though dire, the report does not offer any immediate solutions, as scientists continue to examine the potential causes for the mass colony collapses, during which adult bees abandon their hives, along with the queen, brood and food supplies.
The USDA cites “multiple factors… including parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure,” while also citing last summer’s drought as a contributing factor. http://www.panna.org/
Many environmental groups seem convinced that pesticides are a main factor in the continuing colony collapse situation. One group, Beyond Pesticides, has called the EPA’s recent green light for use of a new insecticide known as sulfoxaflor irresponsible in light of its “highly toxic” classification for honey bees.