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Science and Environment

French study points to pesticides as cause of CCD

Researchers believe they are closing in on what is causing the decline in the number of honeybees.

A new study by French scientists points to a pesticide called neonicotinoid (NEE-oh-NIK-uh-tin-oyd).

Purdue Entomologist Christian Krupke says there seems to be more of a direct link between chemical use and Colony Collapse Disorder. He says specifically, this nicotine-based class of pesticides. The French researchers gave a non-lethal dose to honeybees they studied, which led to behavioral changes.

"What they found when they released these bees is that they couldn't find their way back to the hive, so the bees don‘t necessarily drop dead on the spot but they can‘t orient, because they use their nervous system to find their way back and use the sun as a compass and all these sorts of things."

Krupke says the lack of bees and their role in pollination could adversely affect more than 100 crops.