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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Insecticide Treatments Harm Honeybees

Recent studies described in Iowa State and Purdue literature explore some ways that honeybees are affected by insecticide treatment, especially neonicotinoids.

"...neonicotinoid exposure is likely a combination of direct contact; indirect contact with dosed weeds/crops, talc or soil; and through ingestion from pollen in dosed plants. " 

Neonicotinoids will be used on about 250 million acres of cropland this year, says the ISU paper.  It is extremely lethal to honeybees.  Poncho,Cruiser and Gaucho are some products with this insecticide.

No one is saying definitively that neonicotinoids are the root cause of the honeybee decline, but it is pretty hard to avoid the conclusion that they may be detrimental to honeybees, and we need bees.   

These papers have some recommendations that all of us can use to minimize the effect of neonicitonoids on honeybees.

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/CropNews/2012/0406hodgson.htm

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0029268

 

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Nebrfarmr
Veteran Advisor

Re: Insecticide Treatments Harm Honeybees

I kind of wondered, if all the plowing up of native grasses would have negative effects. 
Locally, we have plenty of bees, but we aren't in the 'all farmed' area, either.  A friend of mine came back from a trip over East, and commented that the row crop farmers are tearing out trees, and fences, to gain a couple more rows of corn or beans.  I wonder if long-term, we all wouldn't be better off having those fencerows and trees?

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