The Surprising Culprit to Bee Decline That Could Rival Pesticides
Many theories have been put forth on the rapid bee decline and colony collapse disorder as well as the concerning decline of other pollinators.
Many researchers have pointed fingers at neonicotinoids. In other cases, Monsanto and other chemical companies have been discovered to fund studies that show every other answer but their pesticides for the cause of bee declines.
However, there may actually be another chemical accomplice hiding in the bunch…perhaps overlooked this whole time.
Scientists have found what they believe to be the strongest factor leading to the worryingly steep decline of bumblebees… fungicides.
The discovery has now been added to the growing list of threats that could potentially lead to the extinction of the essential pollinators. The revelation that common fungicides are having the strongest impact on the insects came as a surprise, as they typically affect mold and mildew, but appear to be killing bees by making them more susceptible to the nosema parasite or by exacerbating the toxicity of other pesticides.
The journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B published the study, which used machine learning technology to analyze 24 different factors and how they impacted four bumblebee species.
The report continues:
The study collected ‘subjects’ from 284 sites across 40 US states and tested them against various factors like latitude, elevation, habitat type and damage, human population and pesticide use.
For context, about 75 percent of the world’s crops are fertilized by pollinators. The widespread decline of bees has been attributed to a number of factors including pesticides, destruction of their habitats, disease and climate change, but until now it was unclear which was the most decisive factor.
Again, we don’t want the focus taken off neonicotinoids, especially when Big Ag companies fund studies that grasp at other straws…
But listen to this:
The unexpected culprit behind bee decline means “people have not been looking in all the places they probably should,” according to lead author of the study, Cornell University’s Scott McArt.
“We threw everything but the kitchen sink at this analysis and the ‘winner’ was fungicides,” McArt said to UMass. “It turns out that fungicide use is the best predictor of bumblebees getting sick and being lost from sites across the U.S.”
Of course, now, they plan to focus a lot more on fungicides as they relate to bee decline….
And another recent study, published in the same journal, found that chemicals are causing severe nutritional stress on honey bees, affecting their survival rates by a shocking 50 percent.
Canada recently ignored the plea of environmentalists opting to keep neonicotinoids in the marketplace and revisit the problems of pesticides in in March 2018.
What can we do?
We can definitely stop using fungicides and reach out to farmers to do the same. We can talk to our reps about fungicide use and buy organic (especially citrus!) in order to create demand for fungicide-free food! Fungicides are also an overlooked culprit to human health, too!
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