While beekeepers and environmental groups blame Bayer and other pesticide producers for harming honeybees, Bayer has funded research that blames varroa mites for the bee die-off and plans to open more Bee Care Centers to further study the mites, The New York Times reports.
The company, a major producer of neonicotinoids, which the European Union has linked to bee decline, plans to open a second Bee Care Center in Raleigh, NC, (it’s first is in Germany) and may open more such centers globally.
In April, the European Union voted to impose a two-year ban on neonicotinoids.
Bayer and Syngenta, which also produces neonicotinoids, are helping fund research at Iowa State University and Ohio State University to study the affect of insecticidal seed treatment dust on bee losses. Monsanto, which uses the pesticides to coat its seeds, hosted a June summit to discuss potential bee solutions and says it’s focusing its bee health research efforts on finding a way to control the varroa mite.
A 2010 leaked EPA document called Bayer’s clothianidin pesticide “highlight toxic” and a “major risk concern” to honeybees, The New York Times reports. Beekeepers and environmental groups have sued the agency to ban the pesticide.
Last week, the Pollinator Stewardship Council, the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, American Honey Producers Association, the American Beekeeping Federation and individual beekeepers sued the EPA over the agency’s approval of sulfoxaflor, a neonicotinoid pesticide made by Dow Chemical.