What Might Be Killing Honeybees

By Natalie Valdes 4-2-2013


John (cygnus921)/Creative Commons

A mysterious disease might be responsible for killing honeybees.

It first surfaced 8 years ago.

Beekeepers and researchers say there is growing evidence that a new class of pesticides could be a factor.

This new pesticide is called neonicotinoids and it  is incorporated into the plants themselves.

Pesticide industry officials disagree, but say they are open to studies and research to clarify what, if anything, is actually happening.

The annual loss for beekeepers used to be between five and 10 percent.

After the disease surfaced, it affected one-third of all bees.

Now, it has wiped out between forty and fifty percent of the hives needed to pollinate our fruits and vegetables.

Fewer bees can mean smaller harvests and higher food prices because a quarter of the American diet depends on honeybee pollination.

Beekeepers attribute this loss of bees to a growing number of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides commonly used to control pests.

Even though each of these substances is certified, their combined effects are given less attention.

Next month the Federal Agriculture Department will issue its own assessment.