Defenseless bees

Jennifer Sass’s Blog

Defenseless bees

Jennifer SassPosted November 7, 2013 in Health and the Environment

BeeOur Nation’s bees are in a tail spin, and victims include commercial honey bees, wild bumble bees, and other native bee species.  This isn’t just a bee problem – it’s our problem too because we rely on the pollination services of our buzzing invertebrate friends to grow food and make flowers bloom. According to the US Department of Agriculture Honey Report, honey production is down, as it has been almost every year since the neonicotinoid pesticides were approved.

The decline of bee colonies almost certainly has numerous causes.  Much of the pesticide industry is focused on pathogens like Nosema parasites and Varroa mites, shifting attention away from their own toxic pesticide products. But, science is bringing pesticides and bee deaths closer together. Continue reading “Defenseless bees”

Government report recommends better progress measurements for Great Lakes restoration program

Report: Measure Great Lakes cleanup progress

Government report recommends better progress measurements for Great Lakes restoration program

By John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer 3 hours ago

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — An Obama administration program that has spent more than $1.3 billion on healing the troubled Great Lakes needs a better scorecard for measuring its performance, a government watchdog report released Friday says.

The analysis by the Government Accountability Office does not pass judgment on how well the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is working, while acknowledging that federal officials and advocacy groups believe it’s making significant progress on pollution cleanup and other problems.

But it says a plan for running the program devised by the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal departments is short on yardsticks for confirming those impressions. Continue reading “Government report recommends better progress measurements for Great Lakes restoration program”

Lawsuits: Love Canal still oozes 35 years later

Lawsuits: Love Canal still oozes 35 years later

Carolyn Thompson, AP Business Writer 1:46 p.m. EDT November 2, 2013

35 years after toxic waste site spurred environmental reform, residents sue over illnesses.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — Thirty-five years after Love Canal’s oozing toxic waste scared away a neighborhood and became a symbol of environmental catastrophe, history could be repeating itself.

New residents, attracted by promises of cleaned-up land and affordable homes, say in lawsuits that they are being sickened by the same buried chemicals from the disaster in the Niagara Falls neighborhood in the 1970s.

“We’re stuck here. We want to get out,” said 34-year-old Dan Reynolds, adding that he’s been plagued by mysterious rashes and other ailments since he moved into the four-bedroom home purchased a decade ago for $39,900. Continue reading “Lawsuits: Love Canal still oozes 35 years later”

Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoids to Honey Bee Viruses

Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoids to Honey Bee Viruses

Beyond Pesticides |October 24, 2013 12:59 pm | Comments

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A team of scientists in Italy believe they have found the molecular mechanism through which neonicotinoid pesticides adversely impacts the immune system of honey bees. The team’s experiments suggest that exposure to neonicotinoids results in increased levels of a particular protein in bees that inhibits a key molecule involved in the immune response, making the insects more susceptible to attack by harmful viruses.

beesFINeonicotinoids cause significant problems for honey bees, include disruptions in mobility, navigation, feeding behavior, foraging activity, memory and learning, and overall hive activity. Continue reading “Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoids to Honey Bee Viruses”