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Pesticides and honey bees

(article, Culinate staff)

Among the myriad troubles afflicting honey bees — including parasites, a mysterious ailment called Colony Collapse Disorder, and the possibility of a fungus and a virus working together to attack bees — pesticides have always been considered an obvious threat. 

Now comes a Purdue University study documenting direct damage to honey bees from pesticides. The vector? Harmless talc, which is used to help coat corn, soy, and cotton seeds with pesticides, but then gets blown into the air during planting. And because the pesticides are so concentrated on the seeds, honey bees get up to 700,000 times a lethal exposure if they happen to fly or land nearby. Not good.