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New Data Unearths Pesticide Peril in Beehives

Yet another study has linked pesticides to the demise of the health of bees and beehives. According to Media Relations at Cornell University, researchers at the institution examined bees’ stores from gathered pollen and found that the colonies had either acutely high levels of pesticide exposure or chronic exposure. More than 60 percent of the pesticides found came from surrounding farmland that had not been sprayed. Both neonicotinoids and regular pesticides were in the hives.

Sadly, the fact that the colonies were infected by pesticides coming from non-sprayed trees and fields is a huge wakeup call for what’s happening as these poisons continue to be used. The bitter truth is that previous research has shown that pollen collected by bees next to corn fields is contaminated with up to 32 different pesticides.

Not only that, the common mosquito repellent DEET was found in every pollen sample tested. Since DEET doesn't mix with water, researchers don't know how the chemical is ending up in pollen, especially with such regularity.

Worse yet, one of the most ubiquitous pesticides commonly found in bee colonies is glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Glyphosate, by the way, may also play a role in bee deaths.

If you want to help protect the bees (and yourself) swap out toxic pesticide and lawn chemicals for organic non-chemical methods of weed and pest control. Better yet, get rid of your lawn altogether and plant an edible organic garden. Both flower and vegetable gardens provide good honeybee habitats. It's also recommended to keep a small basin of fresh water in your garden or backyard, as bees actually do get thirsty.
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