Thanks to big business like Bayer, the U.S. lags behind European Countries in banning neonicotinoids. France, Germany and Italy have banned neonicotinoids and their bee populations have rebounded. England is considering it but the U.S. does not appear to be seriously considering it even though the USDA’s top bee researcher, Jeffrey Pettis, has publicly revealed that he has completed research showing that neonicotinoid pesticides harm honeybees even at non-detectable doses.
Specifically, it appears that Colony Collapse Disorder is caused by a trifecta of pesticides, poor nutrition and certain pathogens. Poor nutrition is caused by large scale single-crop agriculture. Bees don’t get balanced nutrition when only almond trees, for example, are available to them. (Interestingly, due to large scale single-crop agriculture, studies show that bees are now healthier in cities where many different types of flowers are available to them!). When combined with poor nutrition, neonicotinoids make bees susceptible to certain pathogens. In fact, Pettis states that neonicotinoids are killing bees at levels below detection – and more than a quarter of U.S. crops are treated with them!
To read a leaked EPA report on the matter, go here: http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/Memo_Nov2010_Clothianidin.pdf
For a great article on bees and neonicotinoids, go here: http://www.grist.org/industrial-agriculture/2011-04-06-should-pesticides-be-banned-protect-bees-USDA-scientist-pettis?ref=se