More than 20 years after neonicotinoid pesticides hit the market, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released
its first assessment of the impacts on honey bees
. Looking at one neonic in isolation — Bayer's imidacloprid — the agency acknowledges some harm to bees. But it's still missing the big picture.
EPA's assessment concludes that "imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators." The agency points specifically to citrus and cotton, where pesticide residues above EPA's acceptable level were