Honeybee and pollinator experts agree that colony collapse disorder threatens to disrupt the human food chain, with a third of the foods consumed by Americans dependent on pollinators.
Researchers suspect that neonicotinoid pesticides may play some role in reported die-offs…But they don’t know much.
Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto are encouraging nonprofits, landowners and governments to plant more flowers and other plants that bees need to feed on. Their representatives are speaking at beekeepers conferences and visiting universities.
Jerry Hayes is the Bee Health Lead for Monsanto. He visited with farm broadcasters at the recent Trade Talk event in Kansas City about the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder for honeybees.
Honeybee colony losses in the U.S. the past five years have been especially acute, with reported annual losses of 30 to 45 percent, according to a study authored by university researchers.
The EPA is working on new risk assessments for neonics, while chemical companies are working on new bee-saving products like biological and chemical agents to fight mites and parasites.