Collier and Lee Counties Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

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

Lissa Rankin on Moving from Fear to Freedom

Fear often arises in us because of stories we unconsciously harbor in our mind—and understanding that unleashes the calming power of our intuition.

Try Some Stretches

Not all stretches are alike, so it helps to know what kind to do for what purpose.

Pumped Up About Geothermal

People are finding that geothermal pumps, which draw on the below-ground temperature of 50 degrees to heat and cool buildings, make sense environmentally and economically.

Preventing, Reversing and Managing Diabetes Naturally

When we’re aware of the physical and emotional components of diabetes, it’s easier to make the lifestyle changes that ward it off.

Climate Change Conversation in Naples

The SWFL Justice4All Coalition will devote its seventh Moral Monday Meetup meeting for the public to a Climate Change Conversation beginning at 6:30 p.m., November 6, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples.

Add your comment: