A new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.
Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.
“Australians want to buy sustainable, locally caught fish. While most of us think we’re eating Australian seafood, about 72% of what we eat is imported. Around the globe many fish stocks are declining. Poor practices in some fisheries are threatening fish species, destroying habitats and undermining workers’ rights. Consumers’ health is at risk. For example some shark species contain high levels of mercury, but because of poor labelling people eat it unaware of the consequences. While not every seafood product on the market is a good choice, Australia’s weak seafood labelling laws mean we’re eating in the dark.”