Tuesday, March 01, 2005

252: Evolved resistance to acaricide endangers fruit harvests

ENN: Research May Help Fight Tiny Bee Pests:

The tiny pest has decimated honeybee colonies across the country this year, worrying beekeepers and farmers who depend on the insects to pollinate their crops.

Two chemicals were used against the mites for the most of the 1990s, but the mite developed a resistance to one about five years ago and the other last year.

Honeybees pollinate about a third of the human diet and dozens of agricultural crops, from California almonds to clover for Midwest cattle to New England apple orchards.

“People don't appreciate it, or think about it much, but one-third of our table foods depend on bees,” said Spivak.