The puzzle of honey bee losses: a brief review

Stefano MAINI, Piotr MEDRZYCKI, Claudio PORRINI, Bulletin of Insectology 63 (1): 153-160, 2010

The impact of pesticides on honey bees is an issue that has been studied for many years and is now being reconsidered because controversy still exists with the relationship of insecticides and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). It is insufficient to explain CCD with only bee pathology studies. Research must be conducted on a wider series of causes: i) in open field and agroecosystems, to understand the fate of pesticide blends, ii) in the hives, to determine ways to enhance honey bee defence to diseases and parasites. References regarding imidacloprid and CCD in the maize agroecosystems are critically reviewed. Pesticides and the thechniques to rationally use them (in particular following the integrated pest management guidelines) represent one of the several puzzles regarding the mystery of CCD or honey bee vanishing. An appendix, i.e., a rejected letter to Science and relevant reply, is also reported.

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