Honeybee Deaths Spike Again
Beekeepers say problem got much worse in 2012
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2013 12:28 PM CDT
Deaths of honeybees rose sharply again last year.   (AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin)

(Newser) – Headlines about honeybees dying off may seem to have tapered off, but that doesn't mean the problem has gone away. In fact, it appears to have gotten "drastically" worse in the last year, reports the New York Times. Commercial beekeepers say 40% to 50% of their already diminished hives were wiped out in the last months of 2012, though official federal stats won't be out until May. Beekeepers continue to blame a new class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, though conclusive proof remains elusive.

The pesticide industry disputes the claim, but seems to be backing off a bit as pressure mounts. The European Union, for example, is poised to institute a ban on "neonics," prompting leading producers Syngenta and Bayer to promise a more thorough study of colony collapse disorder, reports Reuters. It's not clear whether the offer—along with other ideas such as planting more bee-friendly habitats—will forestall the expected ban. One thing is clear, however: With an estimated 25% of the US diet dependent on bee pollination, expect food prices to rise in correlation to the bee deaths.

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Showing 2 of 6 comments
donwine
Mar 29, 2013 3:34 PM CDT
It's the bees in Mexico that should concern everyone. That is where most of our food comes from! I never did mind a bug or two - that at least told me the food was safe. Big perfect tasteless food is scary!
fractal
Mar 29, 2013 2:33 PM CDT
They tried to tell us DDT was just a harmless little mosquito killer, also. Tell that to the eagles. Plants are the premier bio-chemists on this planet. We need to be asking them what to use.