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In-Depth Interview: Update on Honeybee Colony Collapse with Co-author of “Vanishing Bees”

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Since 2005, honeybee populations have experienced massive die-offs, called Colony Collapse Disorder.  Scientist Sainath Suryanarayanan has co-authored a new book to update this ongoing crisis.The book is Vanishing Bees: Science, Politics and Honeybee Health and is co-authored by Daniel Lee Kleinman.  Book details here.

We open with a description of various stakeholders in sustaining the bee population, from urban beekeepers to commercial pollinators, and their respective views of problems and solutions.  Suryanarayanan explains their interests, and support or rejection of agrochemical giants like Bayer and Monsanto.

He explains that scientists continue to study the problems with field tests and lab tests, which have not produced a conclusive cause of colony collapse.  But powerful pesticides are the leading suspect, and we note that Bayer and Monsanto employ denial tactics that were used successfully for decades by the tobacco lobby.

Suryanarayanan explains that environmental officials in France have banned a pesticide to protect bee populations, and that the US EPA has been less aggressive.  And he expresses deep concern about the EPA under Trump and his nominee to run EPA, Scott Pruitt.