Bee Deaths On the Rise

As many as 50 percent of hives dead

Bees

Bees     Photo: vagawi/Flickr

A mystery disease that has been ravaging the world's bees for the better part of a decade has surged in the last year, killing as many as 50 percent of hives. Now, beekeepers and some researchers say a new type of pesticide could be to blame.

A study carried out by scientists from the University of Dundee found that if bees were exposed to neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide used to kill bugs that prey on certain crops, they experienced the insect equivalent of an epileptic seizure.

Besides diminished honey production, the bee deaths could be a problem for farmers, who depend on the insects to pollinate their crops. Farmers in California have spent up to $200 per hive—20 times the normal price—to rent bees.

Via New York Times

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