New scientific studies indicate that even low levels of a widely used pesticide may be what's responsible for the stunning decline in U.S. honeybee populations - a plunge that could have disasterous effects on agriculture and the environment.
The latest research is focused on pesticides known as "neonicotiniods."
The theory is that these types of pesticides may be one of the critical factors in honeybee colony collapse, a phenomenon that has been worrying environmental scientists for years.
Of course, one of the top manufacturers of these neonicotinoid pesticides - Bayer CropScience - is disputing the findings of these latest studies.
Meanwhile, a group of non-profits has filed suit in federal court charging that federal regulators have approved the dangerous over-use of these types of pesticides.
Federal scientists several years ago blamed general environmental problems like loss of habitat and pollution for bee colony collapse. But European government studies point to neonicotinoids as the most likely villain.
While all this gets thrashed out, our bees keep dying off. And they're the creatures responsible for pollinating the agricultural crops we depend on for our food.