Saturday, September 20, 2008

Commonly Used Pesticide Might Be Killing Honeybees

Jeff Ball, Detroit News (USA), 9/20/2008

…Likewise, life is getting complicated when deciding to apply the most commonly used insecticide imidacloprid, called Merit on product labels. I've been recommending products containing Merit as the best and safest tool for killing white grubs in the lawn. It doesn't hurt earthworms or any other microbes in the soil; it just kills grubs.

Unfortunately, we are learning that Merit has some ugly side effects, namely causing what has been called colony collapse disorder, where thousands of honeybee colonies are disappearing for no obvious reason. Now we know that any plant that is treated with Merit and has blossoms that attract bees, those bees will receive a non-lethal shot of Merit. But it will cause them to lose their ability to find their way back to the hive. It also weakens the bee's immune system so the bee usually dies of some fungus or virus…

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