bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CCD finger-pointing at imidacloprid

The search for the cause of CCD continues and there is some finger-pointing at the neonicotinoid group of chemicals, particularly imidacloprid, a seed treatment commonly used in Europe and the United States, as a possible cause, says the New York Times and others. Imidacloprid is a systemic treatment that finds its way in minute traces into pollen, and, I think, nectar.

In the late 1990s, French beekeepers blamed Gaucho, a brand name for imidacloprid, for disorienting and indirectly causing bee colony deaths. The chemical was banned for use with sunflowers and later maize. Apparently, Bayer's internal research says the chemical is harmless to bees, but independent French researchers disagree.

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