In America, an increasing number of bees mysteriously left their hives in summer. According to results from an annual survey of roughly 6,100 beekeepers released by the Bee Informed Partnership, summer bees’ losses reached 27.4 percent, exceeding winter losses that came in at 23.7 percent.
Though entomologists are not sure what causes bees to abandon their home, Discover Magazine relates the loss to a study blaming a widely used class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. Researchers exposed 12 of 18 bee colonies to neonicotinoid pesticides, and left another six untreated as a control. By spring, 50 percent of the treated colonies disappeared and the rest showed symptoms of a parasite infection, while five of the controlled group remained stable, only one disappeared.