Colony Collapse Disorder
The colony collapse disorder of honeybees has become a very problematic issue. The Natural Resources Defense Council states that nearly that nearly one-third of all honeybee colonies in the country have vanished, putting many fruits and vegetables at risk. A controversial type of pesticide called neonicotinoids has become a prime suspect in this phenomenon, as it affects bees’ sense of direction and making it hard for them to find home. In order to prevent this disaster from continuously occurring, neonicotinoids should be banned or used more sparingly and replaced with an alternative type of pesticide.
Author Brandon Keim, author of article “Controversial Pesticide Linked to Bee Collapse” states neonicotinoids began to be used in the mid-1990s as less-toxic alternatives to human-damaging pesticides. Soon enough, they became very popular as one of the fastest growing pesticides used in North America. This was dangerous due to their unknown affects on non-pests. Eventually, honeybee numbers inexplicably started to decline and were first noticed in the mid 2000’s. Soon after, the Environmental Protection Agency soon performed various studies on neonicotinoids and their effects to the environment and later reported they “were shoddy and unreliable.” Other researchers found signs that neonicotinoids, while they didn’t directly kill bees, they still affected their ability to learn and coordinate sense of direction.
A biologist from the French agricultural research institute, Michael Henry, led a study in which roaming honeybees were tagged with RFID chips that allowed researchers to track their movements. When dosed with neonicotinoids, bees were more than twice as likely as bee’s without the pesticides to get lost and die outside their hives. This evidence effectively supports the idea that the neonicotinoids have negative effect on the honeybees and could be a great possibility for the colony collapse. The U.S. Environmental Protection...