Media shouting match over neonicotinoids isn’t helping bees

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[Bees have] become pawns in the ag wars, the subject of dueling bee-death narratives.

In one of those story lines, pesticides are the culprit. . . .

The other story is that the bees are fine. . . .

The pesticide side cites research showing that neonicotinoids kill bees. . . . But it ignores the fact that the risk to bees depends on the crop, . . . The bees-are-fine side shows . . . the number of colonies has held steady. . . . But it ignores the fact that. . . total colony number is stable only because beekeepers are replacing colonies. . .

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. . . .

[P]esticides matter. . . [says] May Berenbaum, [entomologist]. . . The problem, though, isn’t limited to one class of insecticides. . . . By contrast, “varroa is a horrible nightmare. It has not been captured by the media just how disastrous it has been.”

Related article:  Neonicotinoid insecticide ban, drought could cut French sugar beet yields 30-50 percent, USDA finds

. . . .

“Instead of. . . trying to make headlines,” says Jason Clay, . . . of [the World Wildlife Fund], the WWF approaches the stakeholders and tries to . . . identify common ground. . . .

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. . . .

Clay says that when issues like this play out in the media. . . “It will be a shouting match from here to eternity. Meanwhile, the bee populations aren’t doing any better.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: In a fight between environmentalists and farmers, the bees lose. And that stings.

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