courtesy USDA


This post was updated with a new statement from USDA.

A senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture filed a whistleblower complaint on Wednesday accusing the federal agency of suppressing research findings that could call into question the use of a popular pesticide class that is a revenue powerhouse for the agrichemical industry.

Jonathan Lundgren, a senior research entomologist with the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service who has spent 11 years with the agency based in Brookings, S.D., said that retaliation and harassment from inside USDA started in April 2014, following media interviews he gave in March of that year regarding some of his research conclusions.

Alpine Bees Adapting to New Rocky Mountain Climate

Sep 30, 2015
dnl777 / Flickr

New MU research says bumblebees in the Alpine region of the Rocky Mountains might be adapting to climate change.

The buzz around bees has been bad lately. As we've reported, beekeepers say they lost 42 percent of honeybee colonies last summer.

dnl777 / Flickr

The University of Missouri Extension has started a program that is pushing state beekeepers to be more visible.

It has been about a decade since beekeepers and scientists began documenting a decline in honeybee populations and other important pollinators.

Even if you're not a lover of bees or honey, you should know that bees are critically important to our food supply. They help pollinate billions of dollars of crops each year, from apples and carrots to blueberries and almonds.

So if bees are threatened, ultimately, the production of these crops will be threatened, too.

dnl777 / Flickr

Missouri bees will be gaining more protection in the near future. Assistant research professor of entomology at MU Moneen Jones started a program called the Missouri Pollinator Conservancy Program, which aims to bring more information to beekeepers and farmers.

The USDA reported that the honeybee population has been declining since the 1950s.

This was the reason that Jones decided to start the program. She says that she wanted to restore the population of bees in Missouri.

dnl777 / Flickr

On this week's Under the Microscope, pesticides are causing a problem for bees. 

Kristofor Husted / KBIA/Harvest Public Media

linked to the destruction of bee colonies may not be as effective against corn and soybean pests as many once thought, according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report.

Every year, more than half of the honeybee hives in the United States are taken to California to pollinate the state's almond crop.

Biologist Laurence Packer says this illustrates both our dependence on honeybees to pollinate many plants people rely on for food and the devastating decline in the domestic honeybee population in recent years.

Drought should have little impact on honey producers

Jul 27, 2012
Rainer Hungershausen / Flickr

The ongoing drought is hurting many farmers and their crops, but not honey.