Friday, January 7, 2011

Is Clothianidin Causing Colony Collapse Disorder?

Bees have been dying en masse for the past several years. While no definitive reasons for Colony Collapse Disorder have been proven, certain pesticides have long been thought to play a major role in the killings.

Obviously, beekeepers aren’t happy. But much of their recent anger has been targeted at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which may have placed more value in its relationship with the chemical giant Bayer than in society’s need for honeybees’ life-giving pollinating duties.

It seems as if the EPA wasn’t exactly forthcoming about a study involving the insecticide clothianidin. Here’s the first paragraph from a press release issued last month by the Pesticide Action Network and Beyond Pesticides:
"Beekeepers and environmentalists today called on EPA to remove a pesticide linked to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), citing a leaked EPA memo that discloses a critically flawed scientific support study. The November 2nd memo identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide clothianidin as unsound after EPA quietly re-evaluated the pesticide just as it was getting ready to allow a further expansion of its use. Clothianidin (product name 'Poncho') has been widely used as a seed treatment on many of the country’s major crops for eight growing seasons under a 'conditional registration' granted while EPA waited for Bayer Crop Science, the pesticide’s maker, to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide’s threat to bee colony health."
Click here to read the entire press release.

Click here to read the November 2nd EPA memo about clothianidin that concludes:

"This compound is toxic to honey bees. The persistence of residues and potential residual toxicity of Clothianidin in nectar and pollen suggests the possibility of chronic toxic risk to honey bee larvae and the eventual instability of the hive."
I would think it is safe to assume that the Bayer CEO’s bonus won’t be affected by this episode.


Lee said...

I find it very suspicious that the military is now involved in the research on colony-collapse disorder. More than suspicious, really, frightening.

A number of years ago, Military Intelligence Officer Milton William Cooper exposed a secret plan by a government faction to gain total control over the country by engineering a nationwide emergency, which would allow for the suspension of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He speculated that an epidemic spread by bees could be the artificial crisis. After publishing his findings, he was shot to death by a government agent.

C.C.D. could provide the military with the perfect smokescreen for the introduction of a human-killing strain to honeybee populations. I hope someone is investigating this possible link.

Chef Rob said...

There was an article in The New York Times several months ago about how civilian and military scientists are working together to figure out what's been killing the honeybees. Here it is: