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Dead bees: More than 30 million found in Canada

Bees in crisis as hives and numbers dwindle and scientists struggle to determine the exact cause.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Jul 1, 2013 7:58PM

Just weeks after tens of thousands of bumblebees, honeybees and lady bugs were found dead in an Oregon parking lot, more than 37 million bees have been found dead in Elmwood, Ontario, Canada, reports Collective Evolution.

Photo: Bee / more than 30 million bees found dead in Canada / Getty Images As scientists struggle to find the cause of the massive die-offs, a phenomenon they call “colony collapse disorder,” Elmwood beekeeper Dave Schuit is pointing the finger at neonicotinoid pesticides. Schuit lost 600 hives.

Research suggests that even at nonlethal does, the world’s most popular class of pesticides can confuse bees’ navigation and make it hard for them to find home.

After a record-breaking loss of honeybees in the United Kingdom, the European Union has banned multiple pesticides, including neonicotinoid pesticides.

More from MSN: A shocking number of British kids have never seen a bee

Bees are critical to our food supply; one out of every three bites of food comes from a plant pollinated by honey bees and other pollinators.

More on MSN: 7 crazy things pesticides are doing to your body

“More than 85 percent of Earth’s plant species — many of which compose some of the most nutritional parts of our diet — require pollinators to exist,” Eric Mader, assistant pollinator conservation director at The Xerces Society, told Whole Foods. “Yet we continue to see alarming declines in bee numbers.”

"In the United States alone, native bees contribute at least $3 billion a year to the farm economy,” Mace Vaughan, pollinator program director at the Xerces Society, told the National Wildlife Federation.

The evidence linking pesticide use on our crops to bee deaths is compelling.

Tell us: What do you think of this controversial debate?

Read the complete story here.

Bing: What your grocery store looks like without bees

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Photo: Getty Images


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