Protecting Our Chief Pollinators

Last week the European Union voted to ban neonicotinoid pesticides in an effort to fight colony collapse disorder among honeybees.  Although research has clearly fingered these pesticides in bee behavioral problems, the ban is still rather speculative, as multiple environmental factors may be at play in CCD.  Greg Laden writes "navigation over long distances, communicating with other bees about newly found hard to get and far away sources of food, mechanisms of controlling reproduction within the colony, thermoregulation of the hive, building and maintaining architecture," and other bee necessities offer many points of vulnerability.  Several EU member countries, including the UK, voted against the ban, resulting in a short-term imperative that Greg calls "more of a giant experiment than an actual ban."  Still, it's a step toward understanding and alleviating the plight of one of humanity's dearest friends.

More like this