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Where have all the bees gone?

By   /  March 27, 2013  /  Comments Off on Where have all the bees gone?

Pesticides called neonicotinoids became popular among farmers during the 1990s. They’re called neonics and they coat the seeds of many agricultural crops, including the biggest crop of all: corn. Farmers have used them because they protect those crops from insect pests. But they may also be killing bees.

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Photo by Jon Sullivan

This blog post describes some of the unintended consequences of treating seeds with pesticides. The minute coating on seeds seems to have a much larger effect than intended.  Researchers are examining the impacts of treating seeds with neonicotinoids, or neonics. Meanwhile, environmentalists are pressing the EPA to move for an outright ban.
Can farmers and suppliers self regulate to protect bees? Should the EPA step in? Listen to the post, and let us know what you think.

Dan Charles has this story http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/25/175278607/are-agricultures-most-popular-insecticides-killing-our-bees

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About the author

Author and editor emeritus

Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.

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