Dead European honeybees have almost 57 different pesticides detected, according to a new paper in the Journal of Chromatography A.

Should that be a concern? Not really. The great thing about modern technology is that we can detect parts per trillion, orders of magnitude what can be harmful. Yet proponents of low-dose effect, like environmental groups and researchers enabling them, will want to claim that being able to detect something means it must be bad.

Ten years ago, honeybees were into one of their periodic declines, but mainstream media made a catchy phrase popular - "colony collapse disorder", which made it sound like a recent, chronic issue. Immediately groups targeted a newer class of pesticide called neonicotinoids, but studies later dismissed that and showed it was general climate along with parasites. Honeybees have been periodically collapsing since honeybee recordkeeping began, but some activists even compared winter deaths to summer to try and exaggerate the effect. 

The scholars behind the new paper are clearly in the activist camp, saying that honeybees are under threat globally, even though they aren't under threat anywhere. And they mention that the European Union banned neonic pesticides, without noting that the EU also bans GMOs (though not mutagenesis, which they insist is actually organic) and also banned "ugly" fruit, while telling their citizens there was no proof water cured thirst and that cell phones are damaging brains.

In the paper, scholars from the National Veterinary Research Institute in Poland used a method called QuEChERS, which is currently used to detect pesticides in food. Using that method, they could test poisoned bees for 200 different pesticides simultaneously, as well as several additional compounds created when the pesticides are broken down. About 98% of the pesticides they tested for are approved for use in the European Union. Their findings revealed 57 different pesticides present in the bees, and they note that to try and bolster the claim that though all of the pesticides alone are not toxic, there may be a "toxic cocktail", something various anti-science groups also claim.

And their approach works. With so many pesticides currently in use, even though they can't show any pesticides are harming the bees, they need only suggest that certain combinations of pesticides, or their use over time, could affect honeybees in different ways. Soon, Pesticide Action Network will be paying to fly them all over the country.

But that so many pesticides can be detected, at incredibly minute levels, is actually a good thing for the pro-science side. We can detect chemicals in nature that we also could not detect 20 years ago, even though they are considered harmful if they are identical but 'synthetic' because they are manufactured. Showing how well we can detect things will show that chemophobia is unnecessary because these compounds have never harmed anyone, and still can't.