Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
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OCA's Save the Bees Campaign

Honeybee Deaths Linked to Corn Insecticides

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Farm Issues page, Honey Bee Health & Colony Collapse Disorder page, and our Environment and Climate Resource Center page.
What was killing all those honeybees in recent years?  New research shows a link between an increase in the death of bees and insecticides, specifically the chemicals used to coat corn seeds.

The study, titled "Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particulate Matter Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds," was published in the American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology journal, and provides insight into colony collapse disorder.

Colony collapse disorder, or the mass die-off of honeybees, has stumped researchers up to now. This new research may provide information that  could lead to even more answers.

According to the new study, neonicotinoid insecticides "are among the most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralyzing nerves but have lower toxicity for other animals."

Beekeepers immediately observed an increase in die-offs right around the time of corn planting using this particular kind of insecticide. 

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