One Surprising Way Pesticides Are Affecting Bees

One Surprising Way Pesticides Are Affecting Bees
Blog Details

Pesticides Are Affecting Bees And Much More

We know that pesticides are bad news. Not only do they harm the pests that they’re targeted for, but also humans. Research shows that repeated exposure to pesticides can seriously impact human health leading to everything from respiratory problems to cancer. Since we at Made In Nature don’t believe food should be toxic, all of our fruits and snacks are USDA Certified Organic meaning that they’re 100-percent free of toxic pesticides. But going organic isn’t just something we prioritize for our health. An Organic certification also means we’re doing good by the planet and the many other creatures who are innocent bystanders to pesticides’ ill effects.

Honeybees At Risk From Pesticides

Honeybees are perhaps the most impacted by the use of pesticides in commercial agriculture. We know we need bees because without their pollinator support our produce aisles would look pretty barren. Remember when Whole Foods Market cleared its shelves of foods only made possible because of bees? It’s pretty much universally known that bees are necessary. That’s why there are regulations geared toward making sure pesticides aren’t used at levels that kill bees. Unfortunately though, a new study shows that this simply isn’t enough.

How Pesticides Affect The Bee's Job

In the study, published by the British Ecological Society, a composite of 23 studies from years of bees’ research was collected. Researchers found that pesticide levels that are now generally considered safe actually have a big impact on colony survival. The how, may surprise you. “They found that doses of pesticides that are the equivalent of what a bee might encounter in a field ‘had significant negative effects on learning and memory,’” reports Popular Science magazine. That’s right, pesticides are actually making bees dumber. While a bee’s job may seem pretty simple, it’s actually quite complex the authors note. To efficiently and effectively collect honey, bees actually memorize the best foraging routes (which change by season) and which flowers they’ve already visited. Basically, they don’t waste time. This new research indicates that dumber i.e. less efficient bees are impacting colony survival.

Could Just Using Less Pesticide Help Bees?

“At the end of the day, Ohio State University entomologist Reed Johnson told Popular Science in an email interview, the question is: “Can pesticides ever be used safely around bees?” This study, which in one sense has the strength of 23 studies’ worth of evidence, “suggests that the answer is ‘no,’” he wrote. That’s right, organic farming is the only responsible way to farm. Only eating organic is one way to support bees. Another is to plant bee-friendly flowers in your yard. Here are some tips for bee-utifying your landscape.

Related reading: