Actual field studies of bee populations in association with extensive neonicotinoid use in canola and corn production in Canada and elsewhere show no observable adverse effects on honeybee colonies.
The battle against bee killing organisms like Varroa destructor mites, parasitic phorid flies, Nosema fungal parasites, the tobacco ringspot virus is tough enough without anti-science activists scaring people by claiming that ALL bee colony collapses are caused by the use of neonicotinoidal pesticides. Colony collapses date as far back as the 10th century (long before pesticides were envisioned), and yet bee populations in the U.S. and Canada are the highest in over a decade.
Prodded by attorneys, beekeepers in Canada's Ontario Province have filed a lawsuit against pesticide manufacturers, claiming that neonicotinoids are killing their hives. But beekeepers in western Canadian provinces are seeking to opt out of the lawsuit, but the Siskinds law firm is not cooperating with their requests. Should the beekeepers lose in court, they will be obligated to pay court costs and perhaps damages. Perhaps they will have to file their own lawsuit against the plaintiffs.
It is time for U.S. and Canadian regulators to "bee" smart -- and ignore calls for copying the EU and banning neonicotinoids. While it is true that harvesting the nation's almond crop puts stress on bee colonies and exposes them to parasites and diseases,
Almond lovers must also be bee lovers, and it takes 1.5 million beehives to ensure the annual California almond crop -- 80% of the world's total. But risk, mites, and disease plague hives -- and the convergence of so many bees creates a hotbed of viruses and pathogens. This -- and not neonicotinoid pesticides -- is the most likely threat to bee populations in the U.S. Part 2 will explain this in more detail.