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Since We Last Spoke: Honey From Global Bee Populations Is Contaminated With Pesticides

Updates to stories from the Pacific Standard archive.

Bad news for our buzzy friends: A study released in October found that honey from global bee populations appears to be contaminated with a common pesticide. That's troublesome because, as Josh Dzieza wrote in the January/February 2015 issue of Pacific Standard, even subtle pesticide exposure can weaken bees when it is compounded by two other factors—poor nutrition and pests.

"Weakened by pesticides and malnutrition, bees are likelier to succumb to disease," Dzieza wrote. "Bees can contend with one or two of the three Ps, but when all three combine it becomes too much."

The October study found that 75 percent of honey samples from six continents tested positive for at least one type of neonicotinoid, a pesticide that has been linked to bee colony collapse.

A version of this story originally appeared in the February 2018 issue of Pacific Standard. Subscribe now and get eight issues/year or purchase a single copy of the magazine.