Issue No. 3, Article 3/April 20, 2012
Honey Bees and Neonicotinoids Addressed in Purdue University Webinar
Recently considerable discussion has been directed at the potential impact of neonicotinoids on honey bee populations. This class of insecticide is widely used across the Corn Belt in the form of insecticidal seed treatments (clothianidin and thiamethoxam). Imidacloprid, another neonicotinoid insecticide, is used widely in urban and suburban landscapes to protect ornamentals from insect injury.
Overall, these products are used extensively in urban and rural settings. Recently, Dr. Christian Krupke covered this important topic in a webinar. In addition, he and other scientists published "Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields" in the journal PLoS ONE (Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2012). Last month two additional papers were published on this topic in Science Express: "Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production" and "A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees." I encourage you to read the online articles and in particular to watch Dr. Krupke's webinar. Other scientific investigations are surely underway and will contribute to our overall understanding of this important issue.--Mike Gray