Issue Date: August 19, 2013
One Beekeeper’s View
As an amateur beekeeper as well as an ACS member, I am glad that C&EN is reporting on the role of neonicotinoid pesticides in the disappearance of honeybees (C&EN, March 25, page 30). The pesticide industry reports, through the Corn Dust Research Consortium, that it is making fractional gains in limiting dust emitted during corn planting. I think this effort is doomed to fail because the use of insecticides at a multi-thousand-ton scale is not compatible with a safe application at the micro- or smaller-scale level (C&EN, April 1, page 13).
I would have more confidence in the Environmental Protection Agency’s allowing the continued use of nicotinoids in the U.S. had the agency first done the following: Learn why the use of these compounds was banned in Germany and France. And second, EPA should have studied some known pesticide-free areas, such as Amish farms, to establish whether colony collapse has been absent there.
George C. Krusen
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