Bee colony health study: Some chemicals–but not neonicotinoids–contribute most to higher mortality

September 20, 2016

From: Genetic Literacy Project

Bee colony health study: Insecticides and fungicides–but not neonicotinoids–contribute most to higher mortality


Commercial beekeepers have increasingly struggled with high rates of colony morbidity and mortality, in part because of increased pressure of the parasitic varroa mite (Varroa destructor), pathogens (primarily viruses and bacterial infections), pesticide contamination of hive matrices, poor nutrition, and frequent queen losses.


Low amounts of neonicotinoid insecticides… were found in six wax samples; two were contaminated with imidacloprid… The majority of [bee health problems] came from the presence of varroacides (71.1%), followed by insecticides (28.3%) and fungicides (0.5%), while herbicides contributed minimally (<0.01%).

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