Honeybee Decline and Clothianidin?

Pollen sticking to a bee. Insects involuntaril...

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A coalition of beekeepers and environmentalists is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to remove a pesticide from the market because it might kill honeybees.

This request is a response to the leak of an internal EPA document that questions the 2003 approval of clothianidin, a Bayer CropScience product that is used on corn.

“We have been made aware of the unauthorized release of a document relating to clothianidin and honeybees. The EPA has admitted this is a draft document and should not have been released.

The letter was sent by honeybee associations and representatives of Beyond Pesticides of Washington, the Pesticide Action Network of North America of San Francisco and the Center for Biological Diversity of Tucson as well as from beekeeper associations.

EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said the study found useful information for risk assessment, but wasn’t one routinely required to support registration of a pesticide. The agency will continue to work to help find a cause of colony collapse disorder, which causes large numbers of bees to leave a colony and die, said Kemery.

Nearly a year ago, Bayer CropScience removed its pesticide Spirotetramat from the market after a federal judge ruled the EPA skipped steps required in the pesticide approval process, including taking public comment.

Scientists are worried about honeybees this winter. The problematic deaths — typically occurring during cold months — have not stopped since 2006.

Pollination is at the base of our food chain.  It is an essential step in pro-creation for many species that we use as food.  According to the Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops in the United States each year. An estimated 29 percent of U.S. honeybee colonies died last winter.

There are many other speculations as to the cause of CCD.  These include climate change, pesticides, viral or fungal pathogens, electromagnetic radiation, etc.

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