Recent research now suggests that bees may be preferentially drawn to pesticide-laced foods as a result of reward mechanisms. It is a fascinating lesson in how knowledge gleaned from addiction science can inform our understanding of a global ecological crisis.
Quite simply, humans cannot live without honeybees, yet these remarkably complex creatures can easily exist without our species. Currently, honeybees are dying by the tens of billions around the globe.
The environmental movement progresses in fits and starts. We may win occasional battles, but I sometimes fear we are losing the war and our successes can feel like stopgaps until the next crisis. Are neonics that next crisis?
Why is the decline of pollinators one of our most critical environmental issues? Pollinators provide a crucial ecosystem service valued annually at $125 billion globally ($15-$20 billion in the U.S) in the pollination of our food crops.
Here in the U.S., we're still waiting for EPA to step up and take the kind of swift action that is needed to protect bees. But as pressure mounts on the agency, retailers have a chance to get ahead of the curve and begin to phase out neonicotinoids now.
You may have heard that bees are key pollinators for one out of every three bites of food we eat. You may also know that bees are in grave trouble -- as the recent Time magazine cover story pointed out. But did you know that your own garden plants may be poisoning these bees?