An Oct. 6 front-page New York Times article announced that the mystery of bee colony collapse disorder had been solved by a team that attributed it to a fungus-virus combination. That might have been good news for Bayer Crop Science, a leading manufacturer of neonicotinoid pesticide many beekeepers believe causes CCD.
"What the Times article did not explore -- nor did the study disclose -- was the relationship between the study's lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science. In recent years Bromenshenk has received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination. Indeed, before receiving the Bayer funding, Bromenshenk was lined up on the opposite side: He had signed on to serve as an expert witness for beekeepers who brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer in 2003. He then dropped out and received the grant."