The European Commission will enact a two-year ban on a class of pesticides thought to be harming global bee populations, the European Union’s health commissioner said Monday. ...Mr. Borg made the announcement after representatives of the 27 E.U. member states failed for the second time in two months to reach a binding agreement on a proposal to ban the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids. The commission had proposed the ban after the European Food Safety Authority recommended in January that use of the pesticides be restricted until scientists determined whether they were contributing to a die-off in bee colonies.
--Consensus is building that a complex set of stressors and pathogens is associated with [colony collapse disorder], and researchers are increasingly using multi-factorial approaches to studying causes of colony losses.--The parasitic mite Varroa destructor remains the single most detrimental pest of honey bees, and is closely associated with overwintering colony declines--Multiple virus species have been associated with [colony collapse disorder].--The bacterial disease European foulbrood is being detected more often in the U.S. and may be linked to colony loss.--Nutrition has a major impact on individual bee and colony longevity.--Acute and sublethal effects of pesticides on honey bees have been increasingly documented, and are a primary concern. Further tier 2 (semi-field conditions) and tier 3 (field conditions) research is required to establish the risks associated with pesticide exposure to U.S. honey bee declines in general.
"As a matter of policy, we let the science lead our regulatory decision-making, and we want to make sure that we make accurate and appropriate regulatory decisions as opposed to things that could lead to meaningful societal cost without any benefit whatsoever," said Jim Jones, acting EPA assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention.