Pollinator Peril – Research Highlights
Two years ago I made poster for our educational bee event called Keeping our Bees Alive – The Challenges. At that time we knew that the neonicotinoid insecticides were likely a big problem, but we had a hard time figuring out why sometimes the bees seemed to tolerate the pesticides and other times bee colonies with a modest exposure could collapse. The multi-factor nature of the problem was apparent, and is illustrated in that poster.
This year I concentrated on what we have learned in the last two years that can help us solve the colony collapse puzzle. This year, Pollinator Peril – Reserach Highlights presented research that shows how the neonicotinoids interact syynergiysticly with common bee pathogens, making the bees much more suseptible to natural diseases. This research goes a long way to explaining why there can be such a variable response to neonicotinoid exposure, since it is usually the pathogens that kill the bees in colony collapse, not the neonicotinoids directly, and the pathogens need to be present as well as the insecticide for devestating losses.
The poster can be viewed here: Pollinator Peril – Reserach Highlights
Live links to the original research and referenced papers are provided below.