UC Berkley: Pesticides in Organic Farming

Organic produce has become increasingly popular in recent years, as consumers have grown more health conscious and environmentally aware. Many stores and supermarkets now have large sections devoted to organic fruits and vegetables.

More: http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

Harvard University: Pesticide linked to bee colony collapse

Boston, MA – The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).

The authors, led by Chensheng (Alex) Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the Department of Environmental Health, write that the new research provides “convincing evidence” of the link between imidacloprid and the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which adult bees abandon their hive.

More: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/colony-collapse-disorder-pesticide/

Strawberry whitefly: Trialeurodes Packardi

Populations of iris whiteflies and, to a lesser extent, strawberry whiteflies have always been present in low numbers in strawberry fields in California. These species are usually kept below damaging levels by naturally occurring beneficial insects. In recent years, however, a third species, the greenhouse whitefly, has become a major pest in certain areas on the Central Coast and in southern California. The greenhouse whitefly has a large host range including alfalfa, avocados, beans, blackberries and other berries, cucumbers, eggplants, grapes, lettuce, melons, peas, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and many ornamentals, and these alternate hosts serve as sources for whiteflies that enter strawberry fields.

More here: http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r734301011.html