David Fischer, head of the ecotoxicology section at Bayer CropScience, insists that imidacloprid as a seed coating is not dangerous for honeybees. According to Bayer's and other studies, he says, the lowest level of imidacloprid that could cause an effect on honeybees is 20 ppb. When imidacloprid is used to coat seeds, the residues of the product in the pollen and nectar are never higher than 5 ppb, a level that "poses only a negligible risk to honeybees," he explains.
by Bette Hileman | June 18, 2007
The researchers found that honeybees exposed to the treated crops had lower overwintering success in Hungary and the U.K. They did not observe such effects in overwintering honeybees in Germany. In all three areas, bumblebees and red mason bees exposed to the treated crops had lower reproductive success.
by Britt E. Erickson | June 29, 2017
Markey (D-Mass.) is urging EPA to examine a possible link between neonicotinoid pesticides and the decline of honeybees. In an Aug. 22 letter to agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Markey asked for information about EPA’s efforts to assess the impacts of neonicotinoid pesticides on bees and whether the agency has taken any actions to limit or restrict their use.
by Britt E. Erickson | August 27, 2012
—Europe Bans Three Neonicotinoids “Regulation: Chemicals linked to disastrous honeybee population declines cannot be used for at least two years, European Commission says” The European Commission (EC) plans to move ahead with a two-year ban on three neonicotinoid pesticides. The move came after member states failed to reach a majority for or against the ban during an appeals committee vote on April 29.
by Britt E. Erickson | May 02, 2013
—Pesticides Shown To Damage Bee Brains “Regulation: Latest research adds fuel to a lawsuit calling for EPA to ban neonicotinoid insecticides” As the Environmental Protection Agency faces a lawsuit over its policy to allow use of a pesticide class implicated in global honeybee die-offs, new evidence that the compounds may damage the brains of bees could convince the agency to reconsider. Scientists are investigating many possible causes of honeybee deaths. Neonicotinoid pesticides are under particular scrutiny, however. A growing body of field research studies links these compounds to behavior changes that affect bee survival, including impaired memory and navigation. Until now, neonicotinoids’ effects on bees’ brains have been unknown.
by Carmen Drahl, Britt E. Erickson | April 01, 2013
—Fipronil blamed for historical bee deaths “” Researchers in the UK report new evidence that the pesticide fipronil, not the neonicotinoid imidacloprid, caused a massive die-off of honeybees in France from 1994 to 1998 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2018, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1804934115). Both pesticides hit the market in the early 1990s. Philippa Holder and colleagues at the University of Exeter and Fera Science, a UK public-private agricultural science venture, quantified the toxicity of the two pesticides to honeybees and used bioassays to determine the likelihood that they would bioaccumulate in bees. They used the information to predict mass mortality in a honeybee population at environmentally relevant concentrations.
by Britt E. Erickson | December 16, 2018
—Electronic Tongues Sense MSG “Sensors: Electronics float like a butterfly and detect umami compounds like a bee” Electronic tongues can now discern the fundamental, savory taste quality known as umami using carbon nanotubes and protein receptors borrowed from honeybees (ACS Nano 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b03031).
by Matt Davenport | November 30, 2015
Syngenta’s request “comes at a time when researchers are discovering that even ‘near-infinitesimal’ exposure to this class of pesticides can result in harm to honeybees and other wild pollinators,” the group says. Syngenta’s action comes just days after Canadian beekeepers filed a class-action lawsuit against the company, claiming thiamethoxam and its breakdown product clothianidin led to more than $400 million in damages from 2006 to 2013.
by Britt E. Erickson | September 12, 2014