Insect-killing pesticides

Are bee diseases linked to pesticides? – A brief review

• Wild and managed bees have been declining in recent years.
• Parasites and pathogens are the main cause of the current bee demise.
• Stress agents acting on bees can promote pathogen spread and virulence.
• Sublethal doses of immunosuppressive pesticides favour the diffusion of bee diseases.
• Pesticides and their interactions contribute to stress-induced colony losses.

The negative impacts of pesticides, in particular insecticides, on bees and other pollinators have never been disputed. Insecticides can directly kill these vital insects, whereas herbicides reduce the diversity of their food resources, thus indirectly affecting their survival and reproduction. At sub-lethal level (< LD50), neurotoxic insecticide molecules are known to influence the cognitive abilities of bees, impairing their performance and ultimately impacting on the viability of the colonies. In addition, widespread systemic insecticides appear to have introduced indirect side effects on both honey bees and wild bumblebees, by deeply affecting their health. Immune suppression of the natural defences by neonicotinoid and phenyl-pyrazole (fipronil) insecticides opens the way to parasite infections and viral diseases, fostering their spread among individuals and among bee colonies at higher rates than under conditions of no exposure to such insecticides. This causal link between diseases and/or parasites in bees and neonicotinoids and other pesticides has eluded researchers for years because both factors are concurrent: while the former are the immediate cause of colony collapses and bee declines, the latter are a key factor contributing to the increasing negative impact of parasitic infections observed in bees in recent decades.

Editorial note: This article, published in the April-May 2016 edition of Environment International, pretty much sums up the link between pesticides and declining bee populatons.

Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412016300095

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Summary: EU settles dispute over major weedkiller glyphosate (11.2017)

Linkhttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42135437

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Summary: UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals (11.2017)

Linkhttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/09/uk-will-back-total-ban-on-bee-harming-pesticides-michael-gove-reveals?CMP=share_btn_link

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Summary: A giant insect ecosystem is collapsing due to humans. It’s a catastrophe (10.2017)

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/21/insects-giant-ecosystem-collapsing-human-activity-catastrophe?CMP=share_btn_link

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Summary: 75 Percent of Honey Contaminated With Pesticides (10.2017)

Link: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/10/17/honey-contaminated-with-pesticides.aspx

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Summary: Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers (10.2017)

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers?CMP=share_btn_link

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Summary: EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study (09.2017)

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/15/eu-report-on-weedkiller-safety-copied-text-from-monsanto-study?CMP=share_btn_link

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Summary: Pesticides could wipe out bumblebee populations, study shows (08.2017)

 Neonicotinoid drastically cuts egg-laying by queens, affecting their ability to start new colonies and increasing chances of local extinction, say scientists

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/14/pesticides-could-wipe-out-bumblebee-populations-study-shows?CMP=share_btn_link

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Summary: Peaches:  62 Pesticide Residues Found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program (07.2017)

Link: http://whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=PC&utm_source=groundtruth&utm_medium=alert&utm_campaign=what-hot-links&link_id=7&can_id=e4e0726e2d335985b21a1a48cda542c1&email_referrer=mega-merger-mania-mother-activist-pesticide-myths-2-2-2-2-2-2&email_subject=pruitts-pesticide-problem-new-bee-study-whats-on-your-peaches

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Summary: Large-scale study ‘shows neonic pesticides harm bees’ (06.2017)

The most extensive study to date on neonicotinoid pesticides concludes that they harm both honeybees and wild bees.

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40382086

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Summary: How pesticides threaten bee populations (06.2017)

Bees are dying out in winter because of the pesticides used in fields that protect crops.

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-40437684/how-pesticides-threaten-bee-populations

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Summary: Pesticides damage survival of bee colonies, landmark study show (06.2017)

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/29/pesticides-damage-survival-of-bee-colonies-landmark-study-shows

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Summary: Controversial pesticides can decimate honey bees, large study finds (06.2017)

Link: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/06/controversial-pesticides-can-decimate-honey-bees-large-study-finds

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Summary: High pesticide risk to honey bees despite low focal crop pollen collection during pollination of a mass blooming crop (04.2017)

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/srep46554

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Summary: How toxic pesticides in ‘insect-friendly’ plants sold in garden centres could be killing endangered bees (06.2017)

Link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4501520/Insect-friendly-plants-laced-poisoning-pesticides.html

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Summary: Home Depot Looks to Limit Pesticides to Help Honeybees

Link: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/home-depot-looks-to-limit-pesticides-to-help-honeybees/

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Summary: Two New Major Studies Link Pesticides to Decline of Honeybees (08.2015)

 Neonicotinoids—a potent class of pesticides used on many crops in the U.S.—have long been blamed for the widespread decline of our pollinators. Now a major new study has found a direct correlation between the use of these “neonics” and honeybee colony losses across England and Wales.

 

Link: https://www.ecowatch.com/two-new-major-studies-link-pesticides-to-decline-of-honeybees-1882086940.html

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Summary: Harvard Study links pesticides to colony collapse disorder (05.2014)

A new study seems to strengthen the evidence linking pesticides used on crops to colony collapse disorder in honeybees.

Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/harvard-study-links-pesticides-to-colony-collapse-disorder-2014-5?IR=T

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Summary: Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides (04.2013)

Link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-22335520

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Summary: Timeline of a bee massacre. EPA sill allowing hive-killing pesticide (12.2010)

Beekeepers across the U.S. are reporting record low honey crops. One third of American agriculture is at stake. The problem may be a Bayer-branded pesticide used on corn. But the EPA knew that clothianidin could be toxic to bees when the product came on the market in 2003. So why is it still on the market?

Link: https://www.fastcompany.com/1709815/timeline-bee-massacre-epa-still-allowing-hive-killing-pesticide

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Summary: Worldwide Honey Bee Collapse: A Lesson in Ecology (06.2013)

Link: https://www.ecowatch.com/worldwide-honey-bee-collapse-a-lesson-in-ecology-1881760601.html

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Summary: Bees Extinction – Solving The Mystery [Documentary] (2008)

Why bees are such an important element of human nature and life? Are they at risk of extinction and what would be the consequences?

“Bees Extinction – Solving The Mystery” is a moving, documentary investigation into the phenomenon leading to a global catastrophe. For more than a decade, the mass extinction of bees has been observed worldwide. This process is still proceeding and has a tragic consequence: the negative impact on the environment, the development of agriculture and the economy. What are the reasons for this? Did human activity directly contribute to this catastrophe? The documentary’s creators are trying to answer these extremely difficult questions.

Link: https://www.monalisa-prod.com/vi/catalogue.php? id=75 (in French)http://www.planeteplus.pl/dokument-zagadka-zaglady-pszczol_46887 (in Polish)

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Summary: Australian scientists may have solved the mystery of bee colony collapse (02.2015)

Link: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/australian-scientists-may-have-solved-the-mystery-of-bee-colony-collapse-20150209-13a6ss.html

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Reports:

Title: Country-specific effects of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees and wild bees (06.2017)

Abstract: Neonicotinoid seed dressings have caused concern world-wide. We use large field experiments to assess the effects of neonicotinoid-treated crops on three bee species across three countries (Hungary, Germany, and the United Kingdom). Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure.

Link: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6345/1393

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Title: Center for  Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) – The impacts of neonicotinoids on honeybees  (01.2015)
– A large-scale, pan-European field experiment

Project overview:  Here we aim to quantify the impact on honeybees of two commercial neonicotinoid-based seed treatments in commercially grown crops of oilseed rape (‘Clothianidin’ Bayer CropScience and ‘Thiamethoxam’ Syngenta) via a pan-European, field experiment (during the 2014-2015 cropping season). The results will provide policy makers and regulators with independent, high-quality scientific evidence on the effects of neonicotinoids on honeybees and help to inform their decisions.

CEH researchers designed and oversaw the delivery of this trial, with all aspects of the project scrutinised by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee, chaired by Prof. Bill Sutherland of Cambridge University. This work aligns with NERC and CEH’s scientific aim of monitoring the impacts of human actions on the environment.


Link: 
https://www.ceh.ac.uk/our-science/projects/impacts-neonicotinoids-honeybees

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Title: Pesticide Action Network – North America: Pesticides & Honey Bees (05.2012)

Link: http://www.panna.org/resources/publication-report/report-pesticides-honey-bees

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Title: Greenpeace International: Bees in Decline

A review of factors that put pollinators and agriculture in Europe at risk

Link: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/publications/Campaign-reports/Agriculture/Bees-in-Decline/

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Summary: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Protecting Bees and Other Pollinators from Pesticides

Link: https://www.epa.gov/pollinator-protection

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Summary: European Commission: Pesticides and bees

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/live_animals/bees/pesticides_en

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