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A giant bee the size of an adult thumb was found alive for the first time in nearly 40 years, The New York Times reported Thursday.

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tzahiV / iStock / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported last week that in 2018 it issued so-called "emergency" approvals to spray sulfoxaflor—an insecticide the agency considers "very highly toxic" to bees—on more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees.

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Conceptual photo of tap water represented as a dangerous chemical. Zirafek / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Jennifer Sass

Yet again, our government scientists—the oft neglected but so important brain trust of our nation—bring the public some very important new data. Pesticide water monitoring experts at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) paired up with scientists from the University of Iowa in a federally funded collaboration to track neonicotinoid pesticides or " neonics" in tap water, including the potential to form chlorinated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from the pesticides and their metabolites that may be more toxic than the original compounds. And the news isn't good.

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By Daniel Raichel

As massive numbers of bees and other pollinators keep dying across the globe, study after study continues to connect these deaths to neonicotinoid pesticides (A.K.A. "neonics"). With the science piling up, and other countries starting to take critical pollinator-saving action, here's a quick primer on all things neonics:

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A Texas health inspector sprays a neighborhood for mosquitoes. John Moore / Getty Images

Pesticides sprayed in the southern U.S. to stop the spread of the Zika virus could turn the nation's honeybees into collateral damage.

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The Center for Biological Diversity Thursday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to deny Bayer CropScience's request to allow the highly bee-toxic pesticide flupyradifurone to be sprayed on tobacco in states like Kentucky and North Carolina.

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Honey bees. Courtney Collison / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Last year's total solar eclipse spurred millions of people to enjoy the great outdoors. For the bees, however, it was time for a break.

In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at the University of Missouri and its 400-member team of citizen scientists set up 16 acoustic monitoring stations in the path of totality in Oregon, Idaho and Missouri to listen to bee activity. To the researchers' surprise, the insects were active during the partial-eclipse phases, but abruptly stopped flying during totality. A sole buzz was heard in all 16 monitoring locations.

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Another study has cast doubt on the environmental safety of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most frequently used weedkiller in the world.

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Bumblebees are important agricultural pollinators, so their decline is cause for concern. James Johnstone / CC BY 2.0

As evidence builds that neonicotinoids harm bees and other pollinators and bodies like the EU move to ban them, the agricultural sector is casting about for something to replace what is currently the most-used type of insecticide worldwide.

But a study published in Nature Wednesday serves as a warning that any new pesticides must be properly vetted.

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A farmer spreads pesticide to her crops. IFPRI - IMAGES

By Courtney Lindwall

A megamerger between two of the world's biggest agricultural corporations looms on the horizon. The seed and pesticide giant Monsanto is inching closer to uniting with the German pharmaceutical and chemical company Bayer—a consolidation that could spell disaster for farmers, pollinators, and affordable, healthy food.

Here's why the Monsanto-Bayer merger is a toxic relationship:

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