Possible Connection Between Roundup and Colony Collapse Disorder

It turns out that weeds may not be the only thing Roundup is killing. The herbicide could also be a contributing factor to the disappearance of worker bees and the devastating collapse of honey bee colonies.

| December 2010

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has been devastating honeybee colonies across much of the country and world during the past few years. There have been many theories about the cause of this calamity. Research from the University of Montana is leaning toward a combination of viral and fungal factors as the cause, which hasn’t been proven, but is among the many suspects causing CCD. Insecticides have also been pointed to more and more, but perhaps this is not quite the right direction in which we should be looking. Perhaps we should be looking at Roundup, which presently is the most commonly used herbicide in the world.


I have been keeping bees for 55 years, with up to 250 colonies in some years, and producing an average high of 200 pounds of honey per colony. Through selective breeding 20 years ago, I produced a Carniolan/Caucasian strain of honeybees, which seemed to be resistant to mites, wintered well using very little honey, and were gentle and very good honey producers. All of these bees were decimated by sprays in 1996, when planes sprayed neighboring fields of soybeans every three weeks from mid-June to August 20. Thousands of acres were sprayed over a period of four or five days each time, some of these acres within a quarter mile of my yard. There were no dead bees in front of the hives to document the losses; the colonies just collapsed, then would almost recover within three weeks, only to be devastated once more. The colonies were all dead by the end of September. The commercial farmer claimed that his planes were only spraying Roundup, not insecticides, so there should be no damage to my honeybees.


As far as I am concerned, Roundup is causing Colony Collapse Disorder. It has been the major cause of my bee losses for the past 13 years. I explain what Roundup does to a bee colony, think about how your bees have reacted at different times of the spring and summer during the past few years. Perhaps you’ve experienced some of the same problems, but never made any kind of connection between the losses and the spraying of Roundup.


11/19/2013 12:52:53 PM

Hey Fender why are you using this toxic crap, better to use a weed torch or you can use white vinegar than support Monsanto, the culprit behind the demise of the honeybees and other pollinators we rely on.

10/7/2013 2:28:01 AM

Hi, I found your article looking for an explanation for my observation that when I spray my residential property for weeds using Roundup (20ml in 2lt), the bee numbers drop drastically in the following 3 days. My property has many flowering plants this time in Spring that attract wild bees in large numbers. They can easily be seen and heard. I don't know how long it takes for the colonies to recover their numbers, but I will now try to observe this. My application of Roundup is done in short targeted bursts approximately 10cm from the weeds and no where near any flowering plants; mainly the gravel driveway and cracked concrete walkway.

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