Another (polish) step towards saving the bees


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Researchers from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the National Veterinary Institute have identified a mixture of 57 kinds of pesticides and their metabolites in poisoned bees. A new method of detecting a range of pesticides can help solve the mystery of bee extinction process and contribute to the development of rescue methods.

According to Greenpeace, a global economic benefit related to the pollination of crops by bees and other pollinators is approx. 265 billion EUR annually (quantity based on the crop values dependent on the pollination process). However, we still observe the global bee extinction process. One of the reasons is the Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), which since 2006 have caused the loss of 30-40% of honeybee families in the USA. Etiology of CCD is still unknown, however pesticide poisoning can be one of the reasons.

Scientists from the National Veterinary Institute are conducting the research that are intendent to broaden the knowledge about the influence of pesticides on honeybee health and provide important information for other researchers to better assess the risk connected with the mix of current used pesticides. In the newly published work they have reported the results of researches conducted on 70 samples of poisoned bees. They have used usually utilized for food testing QuEChERS procedure, which enables a simultaneous detection of 200 different pesticides. In the analyzed samples, a 57 kinds of pesticides and their metabolites were identified. Work of polish scientist is important, because 98% of analyzed pesticides are approved to use within European Union.

Several studies have shown a link between pesticide use and bee deaths and the European Union has banned the use of neonicotinoid pesticides. However, the relationship between pesticide use and bee death is complex and theoretically safe compounds can be harmful in combination with other chemicals, what should be in mind of European regulators.

Original paper: T.Kiljanek et al., J. Chromatogr. A, 1435, 100-114, 2016.
DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2016.01.045
Greenpeace report: "Bees in Decline
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