More and more consumers are choosing to go organic when it comes to the food and products they buy. The science is clear that organic is better for our health, our families and our communities. But going organic can also help an essential part of our food systems: bees and other pollinators.
It’s no secret that neonicotinoids can harm bees and other insects—they’re designed to kill pests, after all. But an increasing body of evidence is uncovering just how serious an impact these pesticides are having on the environment.
The first study to investigate the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bee queens finds that these chemicals may contribute to bee colony mortality by affecting queen health. It strengthens calls for more thorough environmental risk assessments of these widely used pesticides to protect bees.
On August 27, Organic Consumers Association (OCA) published an action alert urging consumers to ask Burt’s Bees to cut ties with the corporations that make neonicotinoid pesticides. Neonics are a class of pesticides implicated in the mass die-off of honeybees.
The most comprehensive survey to date of pollution in the US from a controversial group of pesticides has found the chemicals are widespread in streams and rivers. Though not considered a human health threat, the findings underscore the environmental ubiquity and potential for ecological harm of neonicotinoids.
The orange groves in Fort Myers, Florida, have turned to poison for David Mendes’ honeybees. The onetime winter havens for bees have been treated with a popular pesticide that he says kills his livelihood.
To the horror of beekeepers around the country, it appears that the worrisome decline in honeybees is getting even worse. According to the latest annual government study, U.S. beekeepers reported losing 42.1 percent of the total number of colonies managed from April 2014 through April 2015, much higher than the 34.2 percent from the year prior.