2 Sep 2008

Cover-up over Colony Collapse Disorder?

As reported on this blog over the past two years, beekeepers have reported an alarming and potentially catastrophic loss of bees from their hives ranging anywhere from 30-90 percent. This "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD) isn't just a problem for beekeepers and farmers, but for consumers as well, since bee pollination is essential for crop production; the USDA claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food is dependant on bee pollination. Experts have been researching CCD and have linked the die-off to a number of likely culprits (click on 'bees' label below for further discussions and the impact on Glos Beekeepers).

Photo: From Guardian article on Germany banning the chemical - see here.

It seems likely that one of the killers could be a new pesticide, clothianidin, approved by the EPA in 2003. Germany and France have banned this type of pesticide to protect their bee population. In the U.S., clothianidin was approved after Bayer CropScience, the chemical's maker, submitted required studies to the EPA regarding the chemical's impact on bees and the environment. Now the EPA is suspiciously and illegally refusing to release these public documents. To expose this cover-up and hopefully to save the bees, last week the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit against the agency. Learn more here. We await with interest.

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