The researchers studied 19 New York state apple orchards over two years, 2011 and 2012. They determined the health of bee populations by analyzing the numbers of wild bees and honeybees and the number of species for each orchard. They also created an index of pesticide use from low to high use, then quantified the amount of natural areas that surrounded each orchard.
“We found there is a negative response of the whole bee community to increasing pesticide use,” Park said, adding that fungicides also are contributing to the problem.
The effects of pesticides on wild bees were strongest in the generation that followed pesticide exposure, Park said, possibly suggesting pesticides affect reproduction or offspring. Park said her research only looked at one generation to the next, and more study is needed. The study found no effect of pesticides on honeybees, but European honeybee hives are brought in to an orchard for short periods during blossoming then removed. In addition, growers are careful not to spray while honeybees are in the area. “Honeybees may have shown a response if they were allowed to stay,” Park said.
FK – All this reads like gobblydegook to me. The ‘experts’ can never decide whether something is killing us or not. I have white clover in my yard and haven’t noticed any honeybees around lately. My dogs haven’t been treated for fleas yet this year either. Normally they be covered in them by now if not treated. Ticks seem to be down as well. Maybe the incredibly cold winter we had played a part, maybe not.