News & Media :: Daily Log
Leadership in Action
Apr 28, 2011
The evidence is mounting rapidly that nicotinyl insecticides are the missing piece in the puzzle as scientists have tried to determine the cause of honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). In particular, recent insights have placed the focus squarely on the seed treatment uses of imidacloprid (Gaucho) and clothianidin (Poncho).
European scientists, some regulators, and many beekeepers are now convinced that springtime exposures to nicotinyl insecticides applied as seed treatments are a major cause of bee problems. Nicotinyls are systemic, which means they move through the vascular system of newly germinating plants.
Scientists have proven that even very low doses of nicotinyls can trigger a series of complex changes in the health and functioning of bee immune systems and neurobehavior.
Immune system depression renders the bees, and hives as a whole, more vulnerable to a host of common pathogens, and the neurobehavioral impacts lead to inability to return to the hive and a breakdown in the social structure and activities of bees inside the hive. Both impacts weaken hives and increase the odds of CCD.
See the paper "Prevention, not profits, should drive pest management" for more on how and why the nicotinyl seed treatments have emerged as the most likely explanation of CCD.
For more on research in Europe on CCD, see the presentation of Dr. Hedwig Imkerbund.