August 31, 2009

Pesticides still suspect for bee problems

While viruses and other pathogens were deemed potentially responsible for the ongoing bee colony epidemic called colony collapse disorder (CCD), scientists from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not discard the potential effects of pesticides in this epidemic as well.

A recent report from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) found that a higher total load of pathogens—viruses, bacteria and fungi—appears to have the strongest link with Colony Collapse Disorder found so far. There was no association between increased pesticide levels and CCD, the study indicated.

Still, the ARS scientists said the study cannot show whether the higher pathogen load was involved in the cause of CCD or was a result of CCD. The epidemic could still be driven by several factors including pesticides, they said.

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