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Environmental Politics
Don't blame loss of bees on pesticides
Don't blame loss of bees on pesticides

Nobody here is diminishing the importance of honey bees. The bees are in trouble, but neonicotinoids are not the problem ("No bees? No food," March 5). Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam writes in her recent commentary "that bee hive losses are greater than 30 percent since 2006." I'm not sure where this number comes from, but I present the following facts. The decline of bee hive colonies in the U.S. started in 1950 dropping from over 5.5 million active hives to 2.4 million bee hives in 2006. Contrary to media hype (and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture), since 2006 the bee colony "population" has risen to over 2.64 million bee hives nationwide....