“Silver Bullet Solution” for the Vanishing Bees
There has been a lot of very understandable concern over the diminishing bee population, especially in the United States and Europe.
For some time, it was also a mystery as to WHY the bees were dying off and disappearing. However, reliable studies have pointed the finger at “neonicotinoids,” which are a type of pesticide.
Convincing farms not to use pesticides, however, would be a very tall order indeed. So…can a new pesticide really save the bees (and perhaps, by extension, us?) A team of UK scientists seems to believe that they have developed a workable solution.
Read the details below the break!
Good news on the honeybee front — a team of scientists in the UK have created a biopesticide made from spider venom and plant protein that may provide hope for the endangered pollinators.
A study published in the research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B states that the experimental, nontoxic biopesticide Hv1a/GNA is “unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees.”
Is this a silver bullet solution for bee colony collapse?
For almost two decades, the world has been experiencing a mass die-off of honeybees — a full third of commercial beehives, which equates to over a million colonies each year. Classified as one of the biggest threats to our food supply by the USDA bee and pollination program, the cause of this mysterious syndrome was unknown up until recently. Four studies have shown that a major player in colony collapse turns out to be a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids.
Even though Hv1a/GNA has potential as a safe pesticide alternative to neonicotinoid, colony collapse disorder is a complex dilemma, requiring a multi-pronged approach to correct. As Schiffman notes:
“Scientists believe that exposure to toxic pesticides is only one factor that has led to the decline of honey bees in recent years. The destruction and fragmentation of bee habitats, as a result of land development and the spread of monoculture agriculture, deprives pollinators of their diverse natural food supply. This has already led to the extinction of a number of wild bee species. The planting of genetically modified organism (GMO) crops — some of which now contain toxic insecticides within their genetic structure — may also be responsible for poisoning bees and weakening their immune systems.”
Source: Collectively Conscious
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