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Honey is killing bees. Here's why

A recent sampling of honey from around the world honey has given scientists fresh evidence for why so many bees are dying off.

A study published Oct. 6 in the journal Science found that a significant amount of the world’s honey contains traces of neonicotinoids, a class of commonly used pesticides, at levels strong enough to cause brain damage in bees. The chemicals are meant to attack the nervous systems of pests and keep them from eating crops, but it appears they may also hurt bees, which have been dying off in huge numbers in recent years, much to the befuddlement of researchers around the globe.

The amount of neonicotinoids sampled from honey around the globe does not rise to the level that would be dangerous for humans, the research says. Still, it bolsters the suspicion by many scientists that pesticides containing neonicotinoids play a significant role in the declining bee populations.

photo credit: Rob.Bertholf

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