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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Business Update

Air Date: Week of

Living On Earth’s Anna Solomon-Greenbaum reports that beekeepers in France are up in arms over a pesticide they say is causing a sharp decline in honey production.


SOLOMON-GREENBAUM: French beekeepers are up in arms over mad bee disease, and they blame a pesticide called gaucho . The chemical is used to coat seeds, and beekeepers say it's making its way through the plant into the bees' nervous system and destroying their sense of direction. Disoriented bees can't find their way back to their hives and die. French honey-makers say production has fallen drastically since gaucho and similar pesticides were introduced in the early 90s. They want to see them banned, and French lawmakers have suspended the use of gaucho in some regions. Gaucho's producer, agro-chemical maker Bayer, is putting up five percent of the cost of research to find out just what's causing the bees to die. But company officials say bees are getting lost in parts of France where gaucho is not used. They defend the product as safe. That's this week's business update. I'm Anna Solomon-Greenbaum.



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