Science is clear on the bee issue

External sourcein Conservation & Ecology

A reader forwarded an article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal pertaining to the current state of honeybees and native pollinators. Put bluntly, it was riddled with misinformation, misleading examples and false statements.

Here are some of the egregious errors with comments to follow: "The 'science' says bees are not in trouble, bee populations in the U.S. and Europe are healthy, bee populations are at healthy levels in the U.S. for adequate pollination, the evidence for pesticide poisoning (specifically the systemic neonicotinoids) is circumstantial and flawed, only a few outspoken beekeepers and anti-pesticide activists are creating the fuss."

The facts: 'Science' says bees and pollinators often suffer from (among other things) pesticide poisoning and resulting vulnerability to disease and developmental problems. Multiple respected independent research groups in the U.S. and Europe have confirmed this. Bee populations in Europe are regaining their health because there is a moratorium on the use of systemic pesticides there. The evidence for pesticide poisoning as well as other chemicals is conclusive with researchers finding over two dozen manmade harmful chemicals in some autopsied bees. Currently there are not enough bee colonies in the U.S. to adequately pollinate all the various crops. As an example, thousands of bee colonies are imported from Australia and other countries every year to help pollinate the almond trees in California. The article implies it is only a few 'activists' and mouthy beekeepers that are concerned about this, when in fact the problem is taken seriously by independent research institutions worldwide, reputable consumer groups, and all beekeepers.

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Conservation & ecology