Not so sweet: 75 percent of honey samples had key pesticide

Not so sweet: 75 percent of honey samples had key pesticide

October 5th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Business

FILE - In this May 27, 2015 file photo, volunteers check honey bee hives for queen activity and perform routine maintenance as part of a collaboration between the Cincinnati Zoo and TwoHoneys Bee Co. at EcOhio Farm in Mason, Ohio. A new study published Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017, in the journal Science found something in the world’s honey that is not quite expected or sweet: the controversial pesticides called neonicotinoids. Scientists say it is not near levels that would come close to harming humans, but it is a big worry for bees, which already are in trouble. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Swiss researchers tested honey samples from around the world and found that three-quarters of them had a common type of pesticide.

The scientists say the chemical is not near levels that would come close to harming humans, but it is a big worry for bees.

They tested about 200 samples and found 75 percent had at least one of five kinds of the insecticides called neonicotinoids (nee-oh-NIH'-kuh-tih-noyds), or neonics. They published the results Thursday in the journal Science.

Bees and other pollinators have been on the decline for more than a decade. Experts blame a combination of factors: the pesticide, parasites, disease, climate change and lack of a diverse food supply.

One outside expert says the study is too small to make any broad conclusions.


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