Why Are the Bees Dying?

Imidacloprid moleculeWait, CCD is caused by Tinkertoys?

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is some scary-ass sh*t. To sum it up for those unfamiliar with the problem:
Bees are dying.
Bees, in addition to making honey for mead, also pollinate many of the foods we eat.
No bees means no food.
Humans like food.
We need to know why bees are dying.

We at Groennfell Meadery have stayed relatively quiet on the subject of CCD since A) it’s a hot-button issue and we try to stay cool, B) we are not agronomists, entomologists, or apiarists, and C) until recently there was relatively little consensus on the cause.

While points A and B continue to be true, C has changed. Several high profile papers have recently been released on the subject of CCD and the findings are fairly uniform: 

While CCD is caused by numerous factors, the use of neonicotinoids (a class of pesticides) has a high probability of being a causal factor.

Being that neonics make up 33% of the world’s insecticide sales by value, this is a serious problem.[1] Couple that with the fact that many of the alternatives have serious financial and economic repercussions[2] and that many of the findings show that it’s not neonics in and of themselves, but rather the way they are applied that causes the problem,[3] and you’ll find one very, very complex issue.

The most recent study to propose a causal link is from Harvard, and it can be read here. It’s the paper generating a lot of the recent media commotion.

So, to reiterate:
We love bees.
We love our farmers.
We love food.
We support evidence-based decision making and hate knee-jerk legislation.
Did we mention that we love bees?


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