ROBERT WRIGHT

Crisis, What Crisis?

More history, less hysteria

Bee News Update

Just when you think you the week's headlines cannot get any more depressing, the Toronto Star comes out with "Bumblebees at Risk of Extinction After Exposure to Pesticide."  Imagine a world without bumblebees.  It's, well, unimaginable.  Turns out it's also apocryphal.  What the co-authors of the study cited by the Star actually found was that when the species bombus terrestris was exposed to thiamethoxam—since 2013 a banned substance in Europe—the result was "a 26% reduction in the proportion of queens that laid eggs." (Translation: resumption of pesticide use may impair the population dynamics of local bee colonies.)  Everyone loves "humblebees."  Work to protect them, but spare us the eco-alarmism.