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Posted Wed Sep 1 2010: from IOP, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Insecticide implicated in bee decline
Honeybees, bumblebees and many other insects are being slowly poisoned to death by persistent insecticides used to protect agricultural crops. Small doses of the toxic chemicals accumulate over time, meaning that there is no safe level of exposure. That's the conclusion from recent research looking at the long-term effects of a commonly used class of insecticides.... Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used worldwide; they work by acting on the central nervous system of the insect. The chemicals have little affinity for vertebrate nervous systems, so they are much less toxic to mammals and birds.... In the case of honeybees, up to 6000 times less insecticide was required to kill them if it was administered in multiple tiny doses over a long time period.... Right now it still isn't possible to say if neonicotinoids are the sole cause of CCD in honeybees, but it seems likely that they play a significant role. "It explains the rapid increase in CCD since 2004, which coincides with the rapid growth in worldwide use of neonicotinoids - the most widely used class of insecticides," said van der Sluijs.
[Read more stories about: pesticide runoff, weakened immunity, toxic buildup]
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