Tainted Honey: Bee-Poisoning Pesticides Found Globally

Randolph Lopez
October 8, 2017

"The increasingly documented sublethal effects of neonicotinoid pesticides at environmentally relevant concentrations on bees", the researchers note, "include growth disorders, reduced efficiency of the immune system, neurological and cognitive disorders, respiratory and reproductive function, queen survival, foraging efficiency", and decreased homing capacity.

We've known for some time that honey bees are on the decline-an alarming statistic considering that they pollinate many, if not most, of the fruits and seeds we consume.

Because of the growing concern about the possible negative effects of neonicotinoids on behaviour and health of bees, their use in some countries is controlled: for example, in France the use of neonicotinoids for commercial honey production is prohibited.

Approximately 75 percent of the honey sampled by researchers across the globe contains trace samples of pesticides, according to a study published Thursday.

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The presence of pesticides varied regionally - 86 per cent of the North American samples contained at least one of the five commonly used neonicotinoids that the study measured, while only 57 per cent of South American ones did. Even honey from the island paradise of Tahiti had the chemical. But the pesticides have been controversial, because a number of studies have found that they can hurt pollinators as well as pests.

The use of honey for pesticides. The honeys asians, on the other hand, had a contamination rate of 80 %. Almost one-third of the power of humanity depend of the plants that they pollinate.

The scientists say the chemical is not near levels that would come close to harming humans, but it is a big worry for bees. They said neonics are risky to all sorts of insects, even ladybugs.

Nearly half of all samples globally, contained more than one type of the pesticides, evidence that bees were often foraging in multiple sites affected by pesticides. University of IL bee expert Sydney Cameron and other scientists said those comparisons aren't right because neonics don't stay in an animal's system like DDT did and are applied to seeds and not sprayed in mass quantities. Mitchell's favorite is a dark and bitter honey from Africa.

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