Big Ideas

The Pesticide Connection

This scientific study, undertaken by Dr. Richard Gill and colleagues at the University of London and featured recently in Nature magazine, indicates that two pesticides may be the cause of colony collapse disorder. In the words of Gill and team, “chronic exposure…to two pesticides…impairs natural foraging behavior and increases worker mortality.”

While previous studies examined the impact of pesticides on the individual physiology of bees, Gill’s study focused on overall hive behavior and survival as related to the pesticides neonicotinoid and pyrethroid. While these pesticides may have subtle effects at the individual level, their combined impact on bee hive survival, whether through shared metabolic processes or reduced hive communication ability, was shown to be lethal.