Doan is not alone in facing staggering honeybee losses. Declines in honeybees and other pollinator species have been reported by numerous authorities around the world. Data from the Department of Agriculture, the lead federal agency investigating pollinator declines in the U.S., indicate that the number of commercial honeybee colonies in the U.S. dropped from about 5.9 million in the late 1940s to about 2.5 million in 2011. The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that honeybees are in decline, but the agency isn’t convinced that clothianidin or any other pesticide is the only factor responsible. In July, EPA rejected a petition from a coalition of advocacy groups and beekeepers to immediately suspend the use of clothianidin, citing a lack of evidence linking the pesticide to a decline in honeybee populations.
by Britt E. Erickson |
October 15, 2012