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While there is evidence that neocontinoids harmful to bees, the evidence that it is behind the colony collapse disorder is less clear.
Studies of neonicotinoids killing the bee and other pollinator populations are not a recent 2016, 2017 event. These studies have been going on for years, however the assertion that the EPA knew about these devastating effects can be seen as early as 2015. NPR wrote an article about this in 2015, but mostly pointed to the effects, and that the EPA may have said that we are using too much of the neonicotinoids. There are multiple publications and articles also making these assertions, such as the Xerses Society. The New York Times also wrote an article in 2013, but did not mention the EPA.
One of the very first studies / articles linking neonicotinoids and bees together was from Grist, an online magazine company. They pointed out that even though scientists have proven that these neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, the EPA continues allowing the use of it.
Instructions: If possible, identify and link the first influential appearance of this claim. Also link to some places you have seen this claim asserted, and note significant variations.
When researching this, quite a few websites link back to the Mother Jones article that outright blames the EPA for knowing the effects of neonicotoids. The concern that we see here is the bee population's decreasing numbers. However, the EPA knowing the effects and not banning the insecticide has caused the most uproar, including online petitions and scathing articles. Articles from January 2017 available on the EPA's government website state that there are new risk assessments being introduced to protect bees and other pollinators.
And the authors of a different article found evidence that suggested that the agricultural use of neonicotinoid pesticides is a cause of the recently observed declines in honey bees and examined it. Their aim was to define demographic conditions for a detrimental There were nine criteria evaluated in this study: experimental evidence, coherence, plausibility, analogy, temporality, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and strength. After evaluating these nine factors their analysis shows that the claim is thoroughly justified in the context of current knowledge, it's also largely contradicted by circumstantial evidence. It's concluded that neonicotinoids cannot be connected to honey bee declines, but this claim is temporary due to significant lapse in current knowledge. The authors stated that further studies and investigations are needed for better results.
A few studies (one study found here) have found that although there have been links with bees and neonicotinoids, there is no research proof that it leads to colony collapse disorder.