Now some, not Eli to be sure, think there is a connection between Colony Collapse Disorder and Climate Change that being that both are going great guns and the response of the Very Serious People (TM - P Krugman) has been more study is needed. Well, it does look like there will be some action taken someplaces. The EU has imposed a two year ban on neonicotinoids, pesticides which are applied to seeds
A plant or seed treated with such a chemical incorporates it into its tissues as it grows, making it lethal to insects that bore into a stem or nibble a leaf. The neonicotinoids are also present in pollen and nectar, and two recent studies have suggested that even sublethal doses might hurt bees.The problem, of course, is not that it is one thing, or one thing or another but one thing and many more another things, and in that sort of situation the entire discussion is a circle of jerks with everyone saying not me boss, but him, and the pesticide manufacturers are not shy and not without influence. In the Euro case, for once, the rules fell on the side of the bees because while a majority of member favored a permanent ban, the weighted vote (by population) was against, which left the Eurocrat in charge, Tonio Borg, to make the decision based on the recommendation of the European Food Safety Authority.
The situation in the US, is however normal, with even the EPA shy of taking on the pesticide manufacturers and their customers, the farmers. The executive summary from a recent stakeholder conference, is indeed, a stirring call to inaction based on the multiple stresses on pollinators
Consensus is building that a complex set of stressors and pathogens is associated with CCD, and researchers are increasingly using multi factorial approaches to studying causes of colony losses.The list of stresses is the usual suspects, Varroa destructor and associated viruses are the proximate cause of colony collapse in many cases where an immediate cause can be detected, illnourished bees tend to be dead bees, and yes there is documented research that pesticide effects are nasty, but further research, especially field studies are required to be absolutely 100% sure.
Although a post meeting survey was not conducted, meeting participants indicated that the conference gave them the opportunity to voice their concerns, to hear the concerns of others, and to offer their perspectives to Federal officials on future directions the government might take to ensure the future of America's pollinators. The CCD Steering Committee plans to revise the CCD Action Plan, a document that will synthesize this input. The Action Plan will outline major priorities to be addressed in the next 5 -10 years. This plan will serve as a reference document for policy makers, legislators and the public and to help coordinate the federal strategy in response to honey bee losses. Finally, given the depth of issues effecting pollinator health, consideration should be given to renaming this committee to reflect the broader range of factors discussed in this report.Eli no longer has to read The Onion to figure out what has been happening to the bees