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Large study links key pesticide to lowered honeybee hives

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A commonly criticized pesticide has dramatically reduce vulnerable honeybee hives, accrue from a massive field study in three countries across European .

Over a decade, the number of honeybees and other pollinators have been declining, and scientists are trying to find out the reason behind the drop, looking at combination of factors like poor diet, parasites, disease and pesticides. Lab experiments, shows problems among the insecticides which they term neonicotinoids, but the research done in Hungary, Germany and Britain, is the biggest field study yet.

According to researchers up to 7.7 square miles of fields of rapeseed were planted in canola America. Other fields planted include seeds processed with the insecticide, the remaining was untreated seeds. The researchers monitor bees from 2015 when the seeds flowered to the next spring when new bees developed.

Bees hives in British and Hungarian fields use pesticide-treated seeds

In Hungary, the honeybee colonies close to treated fields have 24 percent less working bees the following spring when compared to the one close to untreated crops, according to Thursday journal Science.

In Germany bees are not dangerous, Hives were normally healthier to begin and when scientists experiment the pollen take to the hives, they also noted that the German bees ate a more diet with lesser of their nutrition derived from the pesticide-treated rapeseed plants, the director Richard Pywell said. Only 10 percent of German bee food were from plants treated with neonicotinoid, compared to above 50 percent in England and Hungary.

When hives weakens by disease, or bad diet then the neonicotinoids “press them on the edge,” said Pywell who is a scientist at Center for Ecology and Hydrology in England. This led to death of the British hives, both the treated and untreated fields.

Jeffrey Donald, Bayer spokesman in an email wrote “This study review that hives are healthy and more so disease free. When bees get access to different forage, neonics pose no harm to colony health,” Syngenta’s Peter Campbell in a statement, said the study “greatly suggests the major effects of neonicotinoids as a product of interacting factors.”