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Continued: Bee die-off is linked to many causes

That’s true, said Vera Krischik, a U of M entomologist who studies the effects of insecticides on bees. But the addition of the neonicotinoids in the mix plays a crucial role in the bees’ demise, she said. Research has shown that it affects their neurological function and their ability to forage, she said. And the pesticides are not just used in crops, she said, but are widely used in common household garden products.

“It is clear to me that there is a link,” she said.

In the meantime, the best defense for bees is finding more places to plant the flowers they need to survive — in yards, along roadsides, along trails and in public parks, researchers say.

“So they are better able to combat the effects of diseases, pests and pesticide exposure,” Spivak said.


Josephine Marcotty • 612-673-7394


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  • Bee Keeper Samantha Jones, who works for Steve Ellis, picked up a healthy hive in Barrett, Minn., on Monday, October 15, 2012. Ellis believes farming pesticides used in the area have been damaging several of his hives. ] (RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER •

  • Honeybees are essential to the production of many food crops. Each hive comprises thousands of bees.

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