Bayer Accidentally Funds Study Showing Its Pesticide is Killing Bees, Promptly Denies Conclusions

Saturday, July 1, 2017
By Paul Martin

Bayer reminded the world that it won’t hesitate to deny scientific conclusions from a study—even if the study is one that was funded by Bayer.

By Justin Gardner
TheFreeThoughtProject.com
July 1, 2017

A large-scale study on neonicotinoid pesticides is adding to the growing body of evidence that these agricultural chemicals are indeed harming bee populations. Carried out at 33 sites in the United Kingdom, Germany and Hungary, the study found that exposure to neonicotinoids “left honeybee hives less likely to survive over winter, while bumblebees and solitary bees produced fewer queens.”

Bayer and Syngenta, makers of “neonic” pesticides who stand to reap massive profits if Europe lifts the neonic ban, promptly disputed the researchers’ conclusions—even though they partially funded the study.

The authors note that this is the first real-world experiment demonstrating direct causation between neonics and reduced bee populations, and is consistent with other findings.

According to the study abstract:

“Winter-sown oilseed rape was grown commercially with either seed coatings containing neonicotinoids (clothianidin or thiamethoxam) or no seed treatment (control). For honey bees, we found both negative (Hungary and United Kingdom) and positive (Germany) effects during crop flowering. In Hungary, negative effects on honey bees (associated with clothianidin) persisted over winter and resulted in smaller colonies in the following spring (24% declines). In wild bees (Bombus terrestris and Osmia bicornis), reproduction was negatively correlated with neonicotinoid residues. These findings point to neonicotinoids causing a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure.”

Negative effects on bumblebees and solitary bees were observed in all three countries, where higher concentrations of neonicotinoid residues in nests resulted in fewer queens. Harmful effects were found on honeybees in the U.K. and Hungary, which is consistent with observations of high hive mortality in the U.K. and a 24 percent decrease in colonies in Hungary.

The Rest…HERE

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