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With research and a labyrinth of lavender, this Santa Rosa chemist speaks for the bees
by Meg McConahey
The Press Democrat Translate This Article
24 August 2018
On 24 August 2018 The Press Democrat reported:
For years, environmental chemist Susan Kegley has studied the effects of agricultural insecticides on bees. Two years ago, the scientific researcher and her husband, former UC Berkeley astrophysicist and astronomer Geoff Marcy, bought 11 acres on the Santa Rosa (California) plain at the base of Taylor Mountain and began carving out from the barren fields an organic flower farm and sanctuary for honeybees.
Global Good News service views this news as a sign of rising positivity in the field of science, documenting the growth of life-supporting, evolutionary trends.
Her consulting firm, The Pesticide Research Institute, is wrapping up work on a study involving three traveling commercial beekeepers who annually bring their bees to California's almond orchards. She said they found an association between certain fungicides used on almond trees and the ability of the hives to thrive. A lot of the pesticides will change the immune system of bees, altering their ability to fight off viruses carried by mites.
... Several years ago, she conducted a bee study for the environmental advocacy organization Friends of the Earth.
She looked at how pesticides used on ornamental plants affect bees, particularly the neonicotinoids, which, even at low doses, interfere with the immune and reproductive systems of bees as well as their homing ability to find their way back to the hive after foraging.
She found that 51 percent of the plants tested at major garden centers in 18 cities in the U.S. and Canada contained 'neonic' pesticides. Friends of the Earth used the research to pressure retailers, resulting in Home Depot's decision to require its suppliers to label plants treated with neonics.
... Kegley maintains that the best way to protect bees is to buy organic plants.
To read the entire article and learn more about her research and see photos click here
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