Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



FARM NEWS
Bee-harming pesticides in 75 percent of honey worldwide: study
By Kerry SHERIDAN
Miami (AFP) Oct 5, 2017


Traces of pesticides that act as nerve agents on bees have been found in 75 percent of honey worldwide, raising concern about the survival of these crucial crop pollinators, researchers said Thursday.

Human health is not likely at risk from the concentrations detected in a global sampling of 198 types of honey, which were below what the European Union authorizes for human consumption, said the report in the journal Science.

However, the study found that 34 percent of honey samples were contaminated with "concentrations of neonicotinoids that are known to be detrimental" to bees, and warned that chronic exposure is a threat to bee survival.

Bees help pollinate 90 percent of the world's major crops, but in recent years have been dying off from "colony collapse disorder," a mysterious scourge blamed on mites, pesticides, virus, fungus, or some combination of these factors.

"The findings are alarming," said Chris Connolly, a neurobiology expert at the University of Dundee, who also wrote a Perspective article alongside the research in Science.

"The levels detected are sufficient to affect bee brain function and may hinder their ability to forage on, and pollinate, our crops and our native plants."

Neonicotinoids have been declared a key factor in bee decline worldwide, and the European Union issued a partial ban on their use in 2013.

For the Science study, the European samples were collected largely before this ban took effect, Connolly said. Further research is needed to gauge the effectiveness of the EU steps.

- Five common pesticides -

Bees collect nectar as they pollinate plants, and over time this sugary liquid accumulates into the thick syrup of honey.

To test contamination levels, samples of honey were taken from local producers worldwide, and researchers tested for five commonly used neonicotinoids: acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid, and thiamethoxam.

These pesticides, introduced in the mid 1990s, are based on the chemical structure of nicotine and attack the nervous systems of insect pests.

"Overall, 75 percent of all honey samples contained at least one neonicotinoid," said the study, led by Edward Mitchell of the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.

"Of these contaminated samples, 30 percent contained a single neonicotinoid, 45 percent contained two or more, and 10 percent contained four or five."

The frequency of contamination was highest in the North American samples (86 percent), followed by Asia (80 percent) and Europe (79 percent).

The lowest concentrations were seen in South American samples (57 percent).

"These results suggest that a substantial proportion of world pollinators are probably affected by neonicotinoids," said the study.

- 'Serious concern ' -

Our planet is home to some 20,000 species of bees, which fertilize more than 90 percent of the world's 107 major crops.

The United Nations warned in 2016 that 40 percent of invertebrate pollinators -- particularly bees and butterflies -- risk global extinction.

Experts said that while the findings are not exactly a surprise, the threat posed by neonicotinoids should be taken seriously.

"The levels recorded (up to 56 nanogram per gram) lie within the bioactive range that has been shown to affect bee behavior and colony health," said plant ecologist Jonathan Storkey, who was not involved in the study.

"Scientists showed earlier this year that levels of less than 9 ng/g reduced wild bee reproductive success," he added.

"I therefore agree with the authors that the accumulation of pesticides in the environment and the concentrations found in hives is a serious environmental concern and is likely contributing to pollinator declines."

According to Lynn Dicks, natural environment research council fellow at the University of East Anglia, the findings are "sobering" but don't offer a precise picture of the threat to bees.

"The severity of the global threat to all wild pollinators from neonicotinoids is not completely clear from this study, because we don't know how the levels measured in honey relate to actual levels in nectar and pollen that wild pollinators are exposed to," she said.

The levels of exposure to harmful pesticides may be far higher than what can be measured in honey, said Felix Wackers, a professor at Lancaster University who was not involved in the research.

"This shows that honeybees are commonly exposed to this group of pesticides while collecting neonicotinoid-contaminated nectar from treated crops or from flowers that have come into contact with spray drift or soil residues," he said.

"The actual level of exposure can be substantially higher, as the honey samples analyzed in this study represents an average of nectar collection over time and space."

FARM NEWS
Setback for EU deal on hormone-disrupting chemicals
Strasbourg, France (AFP) Oct 4, 2017
The EU's efforts to regulate chemicals which can potentially disrupt the body's hormones suffered a setback on Wednesday when MEPs blocked a key proposal. The European Parliament voted against a list produced by the European Commission of criteria to help identify what are known as endocrine disruptors in products used to protect farm animals and plants from disease and insects. Endocrin ... read more

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

FARM NEWS
Public Invited to Analyze Photos Taken by International Space Station Astronauts

Global Airborne Mission to Make Ozone Hole Detour

New Radar Sensor Provides Clear Vision in Any Weather

Scientists monitor Silicon Valley's underground water reserves - from space

FARM NEWS
exactEarth Announces Agreement with Alltek Marine to Expand Small Vessel Tracking Service Offering

BeiDou navigation to cover Belt and Road countries by 2018

China's BeiDou-3 satellites get new chips

US Air Force Awards Lockheed Martin GPS M-Code Early Use Ground System Upgrade Contract

FARM NEWS
Poland rejects EU evidence on primeval forest dispute

Forest loss means tropics emit more carbon than they trap: study

Brazil scraps bid to mine Amazon natural reserve

American oaks share a common northern ancestor

FARM NEWS
Olive mill wastewater transformed: From pollutant to bio-fertilizer, biofuel

Bioreactors on a chip renew promises for algal biofuels

Algae with light switch

With extra sugar, leaves get fat too

FARM NEWS
Saudi Arabia opens bid for 'utility scale' solar project

DOE should take steps toward facilitating energy development on its public lands

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells

'New era' in solar energy fuelling growth in renewables: IEA

FARM NEWS
Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

French energy company to build wind power sector in India

Finding better wind energy potential with the new European Wind Atlas

Last of the 67 turbines for a British wind farm installed

FARM NEWS
Rio in massive share buyback after coal mines sale

First-ever U.S. coal shipment arrives in Ukraine

Rio completes Australia coal mines sale to China's Yancoal

In a first, U.S. ships coal to Ukraine

FARM NEWS
Former Hong Kong leader appears in court over sandwich 'attack'

Hong Kong democracy activist in court for throwing 'smelly' sandwich

Hong Kong migrant mothers sing for their distant children

The making of Hong Kong's famous 'fire dragon'




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement