Do farming and chemicals hurt overall honey bee health? Much the opposite, concludes independent study

While recent media reports have condemned a commonly used agricultural pesticide as detrimental to honey bee health, scientists with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture have found that the overall health of honey bee hives actually improves in the presence of agricultural production.

The study ... evaluated the impacts of row-crop agriculture, including the traditional use of pesticides, on honey bee health. Results indicated that hive health was positively correlated to the presence of agriculture. According to the study, colonies in a non-agricultural area struggled to find adequate food resources and produced fewer offspring.

“We’re not saying that pesticides are not a factor in honeybee health. There were a few events during the season where insecticide applications caused the death of some foraging bees,” says Mohamed Alburaki, lead author and post-doctoral fellow with the University of Tennessee Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology (EPP). “However, our study suggests that the benefits of better nutrition sources and nectar yields found in agricultural areas outweigh the risks of exposure to agricultural pesticides.”

[Read the full study here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Scientists Say Agriculture Is Good for Honey Bees

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  • T Jensen

    Bull. Shit.

    • Kevin Patti

      What a compelling and fact-filled rebuttal.

    • JP

      Wow. You’ve convinced me!

  • TallCanid

    Methinks this is corporate lobbyist-sponsored “research” which is increasingly being done in our nation’s funding-hungry educational institutions at the behest of the corporate types holding the purse strings. Make the “research” results corroborate their corporate message and the dollars keep coming.

    I also note it does not address the stresses and strains that the pollination industry imposes on the hives it trucks all over creation to serve fruit and nut growers in CA, for example.

    It also is IMO suspiciously silent on the documented, widespread
    decimation of pollinators, amphibians and avian populations caused by the (over)application of ag chemicals, like Monsanto’s RoundUp.

    There are sound reasons why bans on various ag chemicals e.g. neonicotinoids, are being considered and passed all over the world — EXCEPT in most US states and especially not in rural agricultural states, like (tadaahh!) Tennessee.

    So while I’m not as succinct in my comments as T Jensen below, I’m coming to the same stinky conclusion: b.s.

    • Gramma Jan

      We only have four hives but are very careful to NOT use anything that could harm the honeybees – regardless of those “experts” who try to convince us otherwise! Strange how so many facts were ignored. Facts about honeybees come from the keepers and NOT from corporate offices and folks behind desks. One has to wonder if they have even BEEN in a beeyard? It is good to see that SOME parts of the world are banning the problem chemicals…hopefully the U.S. will wake up and do likewise.

    • Kevin Patti

      And you used just as many facts as he did, too.

    • Damo

      In other words, when the facts don’t align with your beliefs, rather than changing your beliefs, you blame the facts.

      I don’t know how correct this science is, and I am not going to defend it, but when we insist it must be corrupt because it doesn’t say what we want it to say, we are wrong.

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