Update on Honeybees and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

Honeybeeby Catherine Haug, April 2, 2013

(Photo of honeybee, right, from Bug Guide)

It is becoming more and more clear that pesticides are largely responsible for the decimation of honeybees by colony collapse disorder, and that Big Ag is to blame.

Getting to the Bottom of the Story

At one time, it was believed that the combination of a virus and a fungus was responsible (as reported by Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk at UM; see my earlier post More on Honeybee CCD Discovery, (4)). But as more and more research and data pile up, it is becoming increasingly clear that the problem is chemical – a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which include clothianidin, imidacloprid, and/or thiamethoxam. (1)

According to the Alliance for Natural Health, USA (1), “a study by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has labeled the pesticide clothianidin as being an “unacceptable” danger to bees (2). … Clothianidin, which is used to treat up to 90% of US corn, much of canola, and increasingly soy as well, expresses itself through the plants’ pollen and nectar—the honeybee’s favorite sources of food.” (2) Other studies in the US also point to neonicotinoids as the primary culprit in the loss of honeybees, either through plant nectar or from high fructose corn syrup, or HFCS, fed to the bees in hives.

One particularly tricky wicket, is that the above mentioned seeds (corn, canola and soy) are coated with this pesticide, as reported in Mother Jones (3) last year.

Yet despite all the mounting evidence against neonicotinoids, our own Environmental Protection Admin (EPA) is doing nothing about the problem, asserting that the problem attributed to neonicotinoids is not CCD (1). What; are they blind or are they being bribed?

What is the solution?

All of this ugly conspiracy has me agreeing with ANH: “The vital importance of the humble honeybee is just one more reason why we should abandon the industrial farming model in favor of organic farming. Dangerous pesticides and genetically engineered foods are not needed, and in the long run they are proving costly both to the economy and to human health.” (1)


  1. Alliance for Natural Health (ANH): Pesticides definitively linked to bee colony collapse
  2. The Guardian (UK): Insecticide ‘unacceptable’ danger to bees, report finds
  3. Mother Jones: 90 Percent of Corn Seeds Are Coated With Bayer’s Bee-Decimating Pesticide
  4. The EssentiaList: More on Honeybee CCD Discovery (Oct 2010)

Related Articles on The EssentiaList

Comments are closed.