Sunday, April 26, 2015

Supersize Bee A new study shows that bees prefer pesticide-laced junk food that hastens their death.

Few public policy debates are as tired as the one about government’s role in shaping people's diet. Propose a soda tax and suddenly you’re knee-deep in clichés about the nanny state, the power of advertising, and the meaning of personal choice.
I’ve found a way to make that discussion interesting again: Replace “people” with “bees.”
Stay with me. There is a robust body of laboratory research showing that neonicotinoids, a popular class of insecticides that become integrated into the fibers of corn and other plants, are bad for bees. Eating neonicotinoid-laced nectar makes bees slow, disoriented, and bad at finding food. That makes for a tricky situation, since many bees’ entire lives consist of gathering nectar and returning to the nest.

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