Tag Archives: CCD

Bees and “electrosmog”, Bayer and Clothianidin

bee hive honeycombWe’ve mentioned Colony Collapse Disorder – the official name for the disturbing trend of bee colonies failing around the world – a couple of times before, and it’s a syndrome troubling and mysterious enough to have baffled any number of scientists for a few years now. [image by rockymountainhigh]

Some research has suggested that “electrosmog” (a technophobic UK tabloid media term for the electromagnetic radiation emitted by modern technology) may be the culprit, but via Shaun C Green we find there is a far less widely reported (but far more plausible) explanation of what may be at least a partial cause of CCD – a commercial pesticide called Clothianidin.

Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Clothianidin, is understandably keen to play down the possibility of its product having such an effect on bee colonies. The substance – rebranded as “Poncho” – was passed for use by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, but the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency claims the studies submitted as evidence were seriously flawed, and the German government suspended registration of Clothianidin and similar chemicals in May of this year.

So – are bees being killed off by electrosmog or Clothianidin? Maybe it’s both, maybe it’s neither… but given the choice of the two, I know what Occam’s Razor is telling me, and it’s the answer that doesn’t make such a sensational headline.

The bees are still dying – but Haagen Dazs wants to help

Save our little friends, save the world?For a number of years now biologists and farmers alike have been concerned about levels of honeybees around the world, with many hives collapsing due to what’s known as CCD – Colony Collapse Disorder. It leads people to find strangely abandoned hives with a few dead bees but most gone elsewhere. The causes are unknown – it could be a number of fungal or viral diseases, or interference from cell phone towers messing up their ability to find home. It could also be mites, global warming, GM crops, pretty much anything. As honeybees are used massively in pollinating commercial fruit and vegetables, this is a real concern not just for a species of insect, but also for us.

Happily a certain gourmet Ice Cream company is on the case. Haagen Dazs has already donated money to some of the researchers trying to find what’s going on with the bees. Now it’s also making a bee-themed honey Ice Cream, with profits going towards our stripy friends. Coincidentally, did you know Haagen Dazs is not actually Scandanavian? The name was created by its founders in America and both words are actually made up. The closest translation in any language is an Iranian phrase meaning ‘garbage can’.

[via Daily Galaxy, image by BugMan50]