In recent years, the declining population of the honey bee in the U.S. has caused a trickle-down effect into other agricultural endeavors. This trickle-down effect doesn’t start with the decline of the bees themselves though. It starts from something known as Colony Collapse Disorder, which is a phrase for the fact that something is causing the entire bee colony to die off but no one really knows exactly why.
Penn State scientists have been analyzing pollen, wax, adult bees and brood (larvae), which led to the discovery of the presence of dozens of environmental chemicals, including pesticides used by agricultural producers to protect crops.
“This raises several complicated questions. Some of these compounds could react with each other to cause toxic effects or could combine with viruses or poor nutrition to weaken immunity and cause colony collapse. With the sheer number of compounds we’re finding in hives, it’s hard to believe that pesticides aren’t contributing to the general decline in bee health.”
– Maryann Frazier, senior extension associate in entomology