- For the second time in two years, Gildardo Urrego is scooping up piles of dead bees after an invisible evil invaded his hives in northwest Colombia, wreaking havoc among his swarms. Urrego has no proof, but he suspects the culprit is pesticides which have been fueling a commercial avocado and citrus boom in the country.
- Hundreds of hives have been killed off in Colombia in recent years, and some investigations have pointed to fipronil, an insecticide banned for use on crops in Europe and restricted in the United States and China. It is used to control all manner of insects, including ants and ticks, and has been blamed for several bee massacres around the world.
- But Fernando Montoya of the Colombian Hortofruticola Association, which represents crop growers, said the chemical could be replaced by “mushroom-based bioproducts,” insect traps and manual pest removal. “The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment… are dying?”.
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