This is an incredibly serious issue. All the more reason to buy organic, but what we need is serious action on the regulatory front. The vaunted free market fairies will not solve this problem.
The explosive growth of neonicotinoids since 2005 has roughly tracked rising bee deaths.Neonics, as farmers call them, are applied in smaller doses than older pesticides. They are systemic pesticides, often embedded in seeds so that the plant itself carries the chemical that kills insects that feed on it.Older pesticides could kill bees and other beneficial insects. But while they quickly degraded — often in a matter of days — neonicotinoids persist for weeks and even months. Beekeepers worry that bees carry a summer's worth of contaminated pollen to hives, where ensuing generations dine on a steady dose of pesticide that, eaten once or twice, might not be dangerous.
There's no money to be made in NOT selling dangerous pesticides, after all. This is a regulatory failure with potentially disastrous consequences. Immediate action is required.