Make the bee outcry about science, not emotion

OlympiaJuly 7, 2014 

In response to your July 1 editorial, the public outcry should be about ignoring science. The National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health, headed up by the EPA and USDA issued the following statement in their joint report, “the parasitic Varroa mite is recognized as the major factor underlying colony loss in the U.S. and other countries.”

Australia and Canada both use neonic insecticides more widely than in this country, yet both have thriving bee populations. What they don’t have is Varroa mite infestations. The annual honeybee survey conducted by the USDA Agricultural Research Service shows fewer losses during the winter of 2013-2014 than in previous years. Worldwide, honey bee populations are increasing. The problem has not gone away, but things are looking up.

When regulations are based on emotion rather than science, the true cause of the problem is buried. When that happens, we and the bees both lose.

Heather Hansen

Olympia

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