Bee expert: USDA punished me for research on pesticides

honey bee cc

When I was a kid there were honey bees everywhere. I remember clover blossoms covered with the things. They were the “standard” bee. Now I rarely see honey bees. And this is particularly odd as I live in what was once called the “fruit bowl of Virginia.” There are apple, peach, and cherry trees all over the place and at one time the trees were full of honey bees (at blossom time).

Now when I see a honey bee on a hike or something I have my kids come over and look at it. They are that rare now.

(From MPRNews)

A top federal bee scientist from South Dakota says he’s being punished for publicizing work on pesticides and pollinators.

Jonathan Lundgren’s research found bees and monarch butterflies can be harmed by a widely used class of insecticides. In a whistleblower case filed Wednesday, the United States Agriculture Department entomologist alleges he faced retaliation because of his research.

“Once he started publishing this work, he went from golden boy to pariah, and that’s what this case is about,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which is representing Lundgren in his complaint to a federal whistleblower protection board

…Ruch contends that pressure from the pesticide industry has led USDA to stifle scientists like Lundgren.

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