Learn about neonics and bees at next SAP Garden Club meeting

Learn what you can do to help bees in your backyard and promote bee-awareness in all landscapes at the St. Anthony Park Garden Club meeting Tuesday, March 8, when Dr. Vera Krischik from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Entomology presents “Neonics and Bees: What’s the Truth About Systemics?”

The meeting will be held at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall, 2136 Carter Ave. Please enter at the entrance on Chelmsford St. A social time will begin at 7 p.m. before the presentation.

Beginning in 2006 a yearly die-off of honey bee colonies occurred throughout the U.S. The cause of this mortality is still unknown but was coined “colony collapse disorder.” Most researchers now agree that honeybee decline is due to multiple, interacting causes, including the effects of bee-specific diseases and parasites, lack of floral resources that provide good bee nutrition, and lethal and sub-lethal effects of pesticides.

Systemic neonicotinyl insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran and thiamethoxam) are widely used due to low toxicity to humans, but they are very toxic to bees. It is known that insecticide use in general can take a toll on honeybees and native bees when the bees are exposed to high concentrations. However, it is unclear how much the neonicotinyl insecticides contribute to honeybee poor health or mortality.

Recent research indicates that bees exposed to relatively low doses of neonicotinyl insecticides (10 ppb) may have suppressed immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to some bee diseases. Research also shows that neonicotinoids can have multiple sub-lethal effects on bees, including disorientation, effects on learning and a reduction in pollen collection and storage.

You can follow the garden club on Facebook, facebook.com/SAPGarden Club, or learn more on the club’s website, stanthonyparkgardenclub.com.

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