Study Says Mix of Pesticides a Problem for Bees

For years, scientists have tried to figure out what's killing honeybee colonies. Now a Penn State University scientist is at the helm of a study that points the finger at agricultural pesticides. The Allegheny Front's Kate Malongowski has more.

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For years, scientists have tried to figure out what's killing honeybee colonies. Now a Penn State University scientist is at the helm of a study that points the finger at agricultural pesticides. The Allegheny Front's Kate Malongowski has more.

The study found that a combination of multiple chemical farm pesticides -- as opposed to any one chemical -- proved lethal for bees. Recent declines in honey bees threaten 14 billion dollars worth of US fruit, nut, vegetable and seed production in the United States.

Penn State Scientist Chris Mullin says his team examined 749 samples of beeswax, pollen and bees, and found that several pesticides were present in nearly all of them. The scientists are calling for emergency funding quote -- "to address the myriad holes in our scientific understanding of pesticide consequences for pollinators. The survey was taken across 23 states, from both migratory bees and beekeepers' hives."

The study found that an average of eight pesticides were present in beeswax and pollen averaged seven. Also, of all of the samples analyzed, only one of the wax, three pollen and 12 bee samples had no detectable pesticides.

For The Allegheny Front, I'm Kate Malongowski.