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Gene drives to control plant pests show promise but technological and public acceptance hurdles loom

Gene drives to control plant pests show promise but technological and public acceptance hurdles loom

Arthropods crop pests are responsible for 20% of global annual crop losses, a figure predicted to increase in a changing ...
Scorching western drought weakens honeybees, threatening almond and fruit crops

Scorching western drought weakens honeybees, threatening almond and fruit crops

A scorching drought is slashing honey production in North Dakota, the top producing state of the sweet syrup. That means ...
First global index of pollinator population changes: Habitat loss and land management are primary drivers, with pesticides last

First global index of pollinator population changes: Habitat loss and land management are primary drivers, with pesticides last

The top three global causes of pollinator loss are habitat destruction, followed by land management – primarily the grazing, fertilizers ...
How robots are filling in for bees and helping pollinate Japan’s apple orchards

How robots are filling in for bees and helping pollinate Japan’s apple orchards

According to the estimate of the Japanese government, the number of bee swarms in Japan has seen a 40% reduction ...
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10% — not 75% — of crop yield is pollinator-dependent: Our World in Data debunks claims that global food supply is imminently endangered by ‘disappearing’ insects

It’s unfortunate that the wildlife we care least about provides us with the most functional value. We favor the bears ...
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Viewpoint: How proposed legislation billed to ‘save the bees’ will actually harm them — and the economy

The myth about endangered, disappearing honeybees lives on — with potentially dire implications. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, just ...
Synergistic effect of ‘agricultural chemical cocktails’ commonly used by farmers pose harm to pollinating insects

Synergistic effect of ‘agricultural chemical cocktails’ commonly used by farmers pose harm to pollinating insects

For bees, the threats are numerous, including habitat loss, climate change, and intensive agriculture. As fields of flowering plants are ...
Crop chemophobia I: Pesticides are vital to organic and conventional agriculture — but they can be misused. Here’s how to distinguish between legitimate concerns and anti-science propaganda

Crop chemophobia I: Pesticides are vital to organic and conventional agriculture — but they can be misused. Here’s how to distinguish between legitimate concerns and anti-science propaganda

It seems not a month goes by without an “investigative reporter” somewhere on the internet warning about the dangers of ...
Seed treatment overload? Are there unintended consequences from a popular practice?

Seed treatment overload? Are there unintended consequences from a popular practice?

For the first time in nearly a decade, Dan Hesterberg poured a few bags of untreated corn seed into his ...
Eastern monarch butterfly is in decline, but it’s not due to habitat loss or chemicals. Blame it on climate change

Eastern monarch butterfly is in decline, but it’s not due to habitat loss or chemicals. Blame it on climate change

Michigan State University ecologists led an international research partnership of professional and volunteer scientists to reveal new insights into what’s ...
Concerned about insect declines? AI pollinating robots could come to the rescue

Concerned about insect declines? AI pollinating robots could come to the rescue

Across the globe, startups are testing robots to pollinate everything from blueberries to almonds. And in Australia, one company is ...
An activist-based PR campaign is poised to claim that the Earth faces a Silent Spring-like ‘insect armageddon.’ Will The New York Times and other media fall for the 'hysteria con' once again?

An activist-based PR campaign is poised to claim that the Earth faces a Silent Spring-like ‘insect armageddon.’ Will The New York Times and other media fall for the ‘hysteria con’ once again?

For the past four years, journalists and environmental bloggers have been churning out story after story that insects are vanishing, ...
Video: Good intentions aren't enough — Attempts to protect wild bees has gone awry and an influx of imported honeybees are doing more harm than good to native populations

Video: Good intentions aren’t enough — Attempts to protect wild bees has gone awry and an influx of imported honeybees are doing more harm than good to native populations

Ron Miksha, a bee ecologist and former commercial beekeeper, is doing research at the University of Calgary about competition between ...
Viewpoint: Here's why activist environmentalists' promotion of a 'binary organic vs conventional/good vs evil dichotomy' is bad for sustainable agriculture

Viewpoint: Here’s why activist environmentalists’ promotion of a ‘binary organic vs conventional/good vs evil dichotomy’ is bad for sustainable agriculture

Due to successful fear-based marketing campaigns, the demand for organic food in many affluent countries is rising far faster than ...
Organic pesticide copper sulfate—unlike glyphosate—is a carcinogen, kills beneficial insects, decimates soil, pollutes water. It also works. Here are political and science reasons why regulators give it a free pass

Organic pesticide copper sulfate—unlike glyphosate—is a carcinogen, kills beneficial insects, decimates soil, pollutes water. It also works. Here are political and science reasons why regulators give it a free pass

Europe is currently in a frenzy trying to drum up enough support to dramatically rollback approvals of targeted synthetic pesticides, ...
Viewpoint: How does the scientifically bankrupt claim glyphosate poses harm to humans remain popular? By dishonest ‘reporting,’ including from scientists who put ideology over evidence

Viewpoint: How does the scientifically bankrupt claim glyphosate poses harm to humans remain popular? By dishonest ‘reporting,’ including from scientists who put ideology over evidence

The Conversation bills itself as a website designed to “Unlock the knowledge of researchers and academics to provide the public with ...
Organic vs. conventional farming: Which has lower environmental impacts?

Organic vs. conventional farming: Which has lower environmental impacts?

A Swedish Food Agency report compared environmental impacts of conventional farming against those of organic farming ...
An instinct for numbers? Ancient humans and even some animals evolved the ability to count

An instinct for numbers? Ancient humans and even some animals evolved the ability to count

Although researchers once thought that humans were the only species with a sense of quantity, studies since the mid-twentieth century ...
Kenya on track to commercialize GM maize by 2022 to increase yields, cut pesticide use

Kenya on track to commercialize GM maize by 2022 to increase yields, cut pesticide use

Whether it is ugali, a popular dish prepared from maize flour and often accompanied by meat, vegetables and pulses, or porridge, ...
Vaccine in development that could protect honeybee populations from pesticide poisoning

Vaccine in development that could protect honeybee populations from pesticide poisoning

The solution is about the size of a grain of pollen, and when ingested by bees, allows the creatures to ...
Viewpoint: Why banning neonicotinoids is a well-meaning but misguided strategy to protect bees and other pollinators

Viewpoint: Why banning neonicotinoids is a well-meaning but misguided strategy to protect bees and other pollinators

Unfortunately there is quite a bit of dis-and misinformation about what harms bees. For instance, [Maine] lawmakers recently passed a ...
Viewpoint: ‘A toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is wreaking havoc’ on soil in farms around the world

Viewpoint: ‘A toxic soup of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides is wreaking havoc’ on soil in farms around the world

Like citizens of an underground city that never sleeps, tens of thousands of subterranean species of invertebrates, nematodes, bacteria and ...
Viewpoint: ‘Smart pesticide use’ — Here’s a way we can protect crops while preserving beneficial insects

Viewpoint: ‘Smart pesticide use’ — Here’s a way we can protect crops while preserving beneficial insects

Currently, products are developed and marketed to kill pest insects immediately. This has become the goal of crop treatments, and ...
Viewpoint: New York’s ‘Birds and Bees Protection Act' targeting neonicotinoid pesticides doesn’t protect either and would hurt farmers

Viewpoint: New York’s ‘Birds and Bees Protection Act’ targeting neonicotinoid pesticides doesn’t protect either and would hurt farmers

[Recently,] the New York legislature began advancing the Birds and Bees Protection Act. If it passes both chambers and is ...
How climate change is disrupting animal ‘food webs’ and what it might mean for the future

How climate change is disrupting animal ‘food webs’ and what it might mean for the future

It seems like each day scientists report more dire consequences of climate change on animals and plants worldwide. Birds that ...
Are bees disappearing due to ‘climate chaos’? Out of 250 bumblebee species around the world, only a few species are in danger

Are bees disappearing due to ‘climate chaos’? Out of 250 bumblebee species around the world, only a few species are in danger

It’s easy to find... articles on the internet which claim that bumblebees and wild bees will be extinct in 20 ...
RNA technology brought us effective COVID vaccines. Next up: ‘Precisely targeted, environmentally-friendly’ techniques that dramatically reduce use of problematic chemicals

RNA technology brought us effective COVID vaccines. Next up: ‘Precisely targeted, environmentally-friendly’ techniques that dramatically reduce use of problematic chemicals

[RNA-based COVID vaccines let] a vaccine-recipient’s immune system learn to recognise a crucial part of the enemy before the real ...
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