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Just days after Europe placed a two year ban on bee-killing pesticides, the US government has released a claim that there is no clear link between widespread colony collapse and neonicotinoids, The Guardian reports. Seemingly ignoring a lot of research upon which the EU based their decision to ban pesticide use on crops that attract bees, the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency blame plummeting bee populations on a mite.

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“The decline in honeybee health is a complex problem caused by a combination of stressors,” EPA’s acting administrator Bob Perciasepe said. Among them are viruses, bacteria, genetics and poor nutrients, according to the report, which calls for further research to verify the causal link between pesticide use and bee deaths.

And while the study acknowledges that high doses of insecticides can be harmful to bees, it claims that a parasitic mite known as Varroa destructor is “the single most detrimental pest of honeybees,” according to The Guardian.

Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), told the paper that although she agrees that there are several factors contributing to colony collapse disorder, as the report concludes, she said that a limited ban such as that implemented in Europe would give the bees a chance to recover.

Meanwhile, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published a report that warns of the pesticides’ “high acute risk” to wild bee populations.

As pollinators, bees are responsible for one third of the world’s crops. Without their services, agriculture simply won’t exist. It is reckless not to err on the side of caution.

Via The Guardian