For years now we have been discussing the link between pesticide use and bee deaths or health issues in bees. Now, Collective Evolution reports that Harvard University has conducted another study looking at this link. The results will not surprise you.
Chensheng (Alex) Lu, lead author of the study and associate professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health, along with a research team, collected “more than 70 percent of pollen and honey samples … from foraging bees in Massachusetts [that] contain at least one neonicotinoid, a class of pesticide that has been implicated in colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hives during winter,” Harvard Gazette reports.
The research team collaborated with beekeepers who were willing to collect and give them the samples. The samples came from 62 hives in 10 of Massachusetts’ 14 counties. The team analyzed 53 honey samples and 219 pollen samples, Harvard Gazette reports. Because the researchers found neonicotinoids in both pollen and honey samples in every location in every month the samples were collected, it is suggested that bees can be exposed to the pesticide at any time of year, at least in Massachusetts.
The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Chemistry, concluded: “Levels of neonicotinoids that we found in this study fall into ranges that could lead to detrimental health effects in bees, including CCD … The data presented in this study should serve as a basis for public policy that aims to reduce neonicotinoid exposure.”