by Anthony Gucciardi
March 20, 2012
ravaged by pesticides that are
the USDA, a new study confirms that
the bee population decline is also linked to corn insecticides
that are among the most widely used in the world.
The study sheds more light on the
rampant downfall of the
bee population through mass die-offs,
also known as colony collapse disorder.
Used to coat corn seeds, the chemicals - known as
neonicotinoid insecticides - are
used to kill the insects by paralyzing their nerves. The makers
claim that it has ‘lower toxicity’ for other animals.
The study, entitled “Assessment
of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particulate Matter
Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds,”
was published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental
Science & Technology journal.
The researchers note that an increase in
bee deaths began to be observed as soon as the insecticide was put
The way in which bees are affected by this insecticide has to do
with how the particles of the substance release into the air. The
process involves pneumatic drilling machines, which suck in the
seeds and subsequently spray and coat them with the insecticide
before they are planted in the ground.
As a result, particles of the
insecticide are released into the air which then affect the
Even after examining how to potentially make the machines safer in
any capacity to prevent the bee die-off, scientists said that all
variations using the neonicotinoid insecticides still led to mass
The integrity of the entire ecosystem is at risk
if the honeybee population is not stabilized. Integral for the
pollination of food crops, these insecticides are threatening the
future of agriculture and global food sustainability.
The researchers also mention that corn is increasingly being used as
a form of renewable energy, and that real changes need to be made
regarding the use of neonicotinoid insecticide before it is too
The researchers state:
In view of the currently increasing
crop production, and also of corn as a renewable energy source,
the correct use of these insecticides within sustainable
agriculture is a cause of concern.