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tl;dr for comments: Half the people strongly believe bees are dying because of pesticides and that chemical companies are doing a good job covering this up. The other half strongly believe that there is no evidence of pesticides being the problem, and at the same time seem completely unable to believe that a company would cover up facts that would lose them billions of dollars in profits.

Everyone is very passionate, and has at least 1-2 anecdotes, though no real evidence.




If you're an astroturf / PR company, that's often exactly what you're aiming at if you want to deny something. Just muddy the waters.

I'm not saying this is the case here but I've seen it on other issues. It's an easy trap to fall into "we just don't know and there are different voices". In a functioning society, there's a clear channel from the science to the public, via the journalists.


> The other half strongly believe that there is no evidence of pesticides being the problem,

No. The protest to the "we already know, it's pesticides" camp is the concern that colony collapse may be more complicated than a single factor. That doesn't mean that those people believe there couldn't be a corporate cover up or bias in research, but that they are cautious about evidence and the scientific method.

I haven't found a single comment here that says "no, pesticides aren't the problem." Instead, there are plenty of comments saying it's just not clear how significant of a problem it is in relation to colony collapse.

Not only that, but of the people who say "no there is no mystery," not everyone agrees on what this incredibly obvious conclusion is. Is it susceptibility to parasites from neonics, or is it that neonics cause them to lose their sense of direction (the latter seems much less likely from the research I've perused.) Is it just a pervasive environmental effect, is it from bees foraging in Bt-corn, is it from neonic treated corn syrup? Or is it from pesticides that are totally different than neonics?

Do you really think we should stop research into parasites like Apocephalus borealis or Varroa or electromagnetic interference? If not, then it's nowhere near a foregone conclusion, perhaps even a 'mystery.'


colony collapse may be more complicated than a single factor

If that's the concern, then changing a single factor would be a good idea. We could ban neonicotinoid pesticides and measure the results.


It's a nice idea, in theory. Trying to implement it could be a total economic/political nightmare, especially if it was something along the lines of 'hey, we've got a pretty good hunch, revamp your entire method of producing corn/honey/whatever for n years, and let's see. maybe you can have it back afterward.'




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