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  • Writer's picturePollinator Stewardship Council

Study Predicts Western Bumble Bee Population Decline In All Ecoregions Up To 51%-97% by 2050

A research article recently published by PNAS titled "Recent and future declines of a historically widespread pollinator linked to climate, land cover, and pesticides," shows a clear link between pesticides and pollinator decline.  One of the latest in a massive collection of scientific research proving that neonics are devastating to pollinators, this  "…analysis indicated that the mean predicted occupancy was 35% lower at sites where neonicotinoid applications occurred compared to where applications did not occur. Within areas of neonicotinoid application, occupancy further declined as the rate of application increased. Ecoregions with the highest amounts of neonicotinoid application on farmland had the lowest occupancy by the end of the study period."    Further, researchers concluded that neonicotinoid pesticide effects on occupancy levels of the western bumblebee had a similar effect size as consecutive years of severe drought.  Read the full article here. 

As beekeepers are aware, the majority of pesticide damage does not come through acute poisoning. Instead, most bees impacted by pesticides die from chronic sublethal exposure over time.  There are no state or federal tracking or reporting systems in place for this type of exposure, and documentation is limited to research studies.  The PSC is working to address this concerning lack of oversight.

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