Wild Bees Disappearing? Another Month, Another Bungled Bee Study

January 8, 2016

From: HuffPost | Science

As the Washington Post headlined in a July story, “Call off the bee-apocalypse: U.S. honeybee colonies hit a 20-year high.” Now that the world entomological community is in general agreement that the United States and global honeybee population is not, and has never been, threatened with extinction by pesticides, the focus of advocacy concern has suddenly shifted to wild bees.


So let’s be clear about the science involved here: In their process of coming up with an analysis that led to the public issuing of hard statistical bee decline percentages, such as 23% and 39%, Koh and colleagues made at least five subjective assumptions-which databases to use; which “experts” to choose; what information to ask the experts to collect; how to weight their subjective findings to give them an objective gloss; and then formatting that data to create a computer model that would make a guesstimate based on the the estimated bee populations in every plot of crop land in the US.

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