'Wild bees, such as bumblebees .. 're in much greater jeopardy.'

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'Wild bees, such as bumblebees, don't get as much love as honeybees, but they should. They play just as crucial a role in pollinating many fruits, vegetables and wildflowers, and compared to managed colonies of honeybees, they're in much greater jeopardy.

A group of scientists in the United Kingdom decided to look at how bumblebee queens are affected by some widely used and highly controversial pesticides known as neonicotinoids. What they found isn't pretty.

Neonics, as they're often called, are applied as a coating on the seeds of some of the most widely grown crops in the country, including corn, soybeans and canola. These pesticides are "systemic" — they move throughout the growing plants. Traces of them end up in pollen, which bees consume. Neonicotinoid residues also have been found in the pollen of wildflowers growing near fields and in nearby streams.


The results are likely to strengthen calls for further restrictions on use of the pesticides. The European Union imposed a temporary moratorium on use of neonicotinoid pesticides on many crops in 2013, and is now considering proposals to make that moratorium permanent. Pesticide companies and some farmers are fighting those restrictions. They argue that the moratorium has led to lower yields of canola and an increase in spraying of other pesticides to fight insects that previously were controlled by neonicotinoid coatings on seeds.'

- Dan Charles, Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs, August 14, 2017


Pesticide reduces bumblebee colony initiation and increases probability of population extinction, August 14, 2017