Study: Fungicides May Kill Bees

Mystery solved? Not quite, but we may be getting closer: a study published Friday reveals crucial new evidence for a possible explanation of “colony collapse disorder,” a phenomenon that has been wiping out bees on the West Coast of the U.S. and raising alarm that declining populations may negatively impact agriculture. The study found that bees who ingested pollen contaminated by certain fungicides, long believed to be harmless to insects, were three times more likely to become infected by the parasite Nosema ceranae, which is implicated in the mass bee colony deaths. Regulators in the U.S. and Europe have been trying to halt pesticide use that could be causing the problem, but the new study shows that interactions between pesticides and fungicides make the situation for bees even more complex.