Neonics May Or May Not Be Hurting Bees

Folks, here’s a link to two very interesting study on Neonics and bees. They should be required reading to understand how bias on both side of the organic-chemical divide/debate come into play. Note that I’m not a fan of chemicals in the garden but I don’t appreciate flawed research on either side as it’s not helpful
First Study Problems
There were serious flaws in the original neonics research and this report points them out. It also points out what’s happening in Europe (a reversion to older more dangerous chemicals) because of the ban on neonics.
As it turns out, this report of studies shows:

  • the original study was badly flawed,
  • it got picked up by the environmental movement as gospel and
  • we’re now creating other issues as a result.

You can read the report here.
Second Report
This report indicates there is damage to the brood rearing capacity when “normal amounts” of Neonics were applied. It’s not as great as when larger than recommended amounts (as in the first study) are used but there is still some damage. You can read this one here.
My Take
My take on this is that Neonics are only a small part of the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder. There are likely a wide range of environmental issues that created the problem. If the first study is to be believed, bees are rebounding and scientists don’t understand why that’s happening either. There’s some speculation that this is a cyclical thing and “just part of nature”.
As with all things, what you believe depends on what side of the organic/chemical fence you come down on.
I know two things
1) There are no easy answers and the more we understand, the more we know how environmental interactions are some of the most complex problems we face.
2) My responsibility is to walk as lightly on this planet as I can. And support those doing the same thing.

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