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10 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Neonics

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

Zika Spraying Could Wipe Out 13 Percent of U.S. Honeybee Colonies

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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Animals
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EPA Considers 300,000-Acre Expansion for Bee-Toxic Pesticide

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

Bees Went Totally Silent During Total Solar Eclipse

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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Glyphosate Could Be Factor in Bee Decline, Study Warns

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

Pesticide Touted as Neonicotinoid Replacement Still Harms Bees

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

What Would a Monsanto-Bayer Merger Really Grow?

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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Bees like this one could be harmed by the lifting of a ban on neonicotinoids in national wildlife refuges. Mark Winterbourne / CC BY 2.0

Trump Admin Reverses Ban on 'Bee-Killing' Pesticides in National Wildlife Refuges

The Trump administration has lifted an Obama-era ban on the use of genetically modified crops and pesticides linked to bee decline in certain national wildlife refuges where farming is allowed, Reuters reported Saturday.

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Great Fall-Blooming Plants for Pollinators

By David Mizejewski

Want to help bees?

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