Europe and international, International

“Is Varroa Destructor or Neonicotinoid Pesticides Responsible for Bee Health Decline?”

17 Oct 2014
President Obama has charged the Pollinator Health Task Force with preparing a Research Action Plan to “determine the relative contributions of, and mitigation strategies for, different stressors leading to species declines and colony collapse disorder….”
Although many factors ranging from nutrition to genetics to pathogens have been studied to assess whether or to what extent they contribute to bee health decline, the two factors which have received the most attention are the varroa destructor mit and the class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.
The Task Force asked CRE (Center for Regulatory Effectiveness, an organization which controls the National Agencies and conducts scientific assessments)
CRE has published its report. The conclusions are clear :
“At the outset of this memo, I posed the question “Is Varroa Destructor or Neonicotinoid Pesticides Responsible for Bee Health Decline?”
After reviewing the research, findings and statements of government science and regulatory agencies  including USDA, US EPA, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries, the UK’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the UK’s Food and Environment Research Agency, we can now answer the question. The answer is that the key culprit behind bee health decline is varroa destructor.
The state of the science makes clear that
(1) Varroa destructor is, by far, the greatest threat to bee health; and
(2) Neonicotinoids used according to regulatory requirements pose little threat to bees.”

Read the full report.

Environmentalists will not be comfortable with these conclusions. They will probably ignore them or claim they are wrong.
But the reality is that neonicotinoids are not the evil. Neither they are angels. Neonicotinoids, as all insecticides must be employed carefully. But, the bees health needs action scientifically based, not naming and shaming of a scapegoat…