Report Cites Multiple Causes, Including Pesticides, of Colony Collapse Disorder

A summary and critique of the 23-page Congressional Research Service report "Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides" about the causes of colony collapse disorder.

| January 16, 2013

Beekeeper 2

The Congressional Research Service report acknowledges research findings that have focused on the potential of neonicotinoids to “affect complex behaviors in insects, including flight, navigation, olfactory memory, recruitment, foraging, and coordination.”

Photo by Fotolia/Ludmila Smite

Reposted with permission from Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit advocacy organization that works with allies to protect public health and the environment, leading the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides. For the latest information on the hazards of pesticides and alternatives to their use, sign-up for Beyond Pesticides' action alerts or like them on facebook.  

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued its overview report, Bee Health: The Role of Pesticides, in response to a congressional request for more information on the connection between declines in bee populations, colony collapse disorder (CCD) and pesticides, particularly neonicotinoids. The 23-page report, dated December 11, 2012, summarizes the range of scientific studies and regulatory activities without offering a critique of what bee health advocates have identified as serious deficiencies in the regulatory review process and compliance with the pesticide registration law. The review gives equal standing to independent and industry science. 

The CRS report identifies a range of issues regarding: 

1. Changes to managed and wild bee populations (indicating limited information); 

2. Factors that are documented to impact bee health, including pesticides, pests and diseases, diet and nutrition, genetics, habitat loss, and beekeeper issues, highlighting that there are multiple exposure pathways that may work synergistically; 

3. Scientific research on the role of pesticides; and, 

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