Who killed the Honey Bee? Maybe neonicotinoids

CCD frames

There is a growing body of scientific work linking neonicotinoids use to decline in populations of honey bees and other pollinators.

The recent publication of a study led by Dr Jeffrey Pettis of the US Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory showed that bees deliberately exposed to even tiny amounts of the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, were, on average three times more likely to become infected by the parasite, nosema, as those that had not.

Now, three pesticides routinely used by European farmers pose an “acute risk” to honey bees, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In three studies published yesterday, EFSA addresses long-standing concerns of beekeepers and scientists about dwindling populations of pollinator bees.

Perhaps it is not the only reason that explain the CCD (colony collapse disorder) phenomenon, but it seems to be an important co-factor.

The European authorities may decide not to follow this advice and not to take strong measures, namely an outright ban of these pesticides, on January 31st.

You can sign the following petition if you want to help the beekeepers in their campaign to ban neonicotinoids.


The following link is an interesting documentary about the problem of the pestilence of bees (colony collapse disorder).

This documentary deal with this ecological disaster and explores the reasons behind the crisis.

I spoke about this phenomenon in a previous post, written in Italian. I’m planning to translate it in English in the next few months.


Who am I?


“Who am I?” This is an interesting and complicated question, and the answer (s) is (are) not simple. Let’s start trying to explain why I’m opening this blog. “Not only chemistry” is the English version of my “old” blog “Nonsolochimica”, that is written in Italian.

This new blog is a way to keep me up to date and to improve my written English. So, if you are reading one post of mine, and you notice mistakes, please let me know that!

I went to the high school for classical studies “Machiavelli” in Florence, and when I graduated I started work as a waitress, barman, telephone operator, sales clerk, nanny, tutor, etc., to pay the University’s fees, just as a lot of other colleagues.

I have two degrees: the first is in “Technologies for Restoration and Conservation of Artifacts and Heritage Patrimony”, the second is in “Science and Technologies for cultural heritage”. My thesis were both about studying and characterising samples of archaeological wet wood, from a site near Ercolano (Naples), for that reason I worked at the Organic Chemistry Department of University of Florence. My passion for chemistry has born during high school and emerged again at that time.

In 2005 my supervisor, Dr Salvini, had the brilliant idea to arrange a wide series of labs for schools, and from that year, time after time, the project involved a huge number of partecipants. It was called “Openlab” and it was really fulfilling to me. I’ve even done a traineeship in this organizations, realising interactive laboratories, scientific meetings, workshops and conferences. I enjoyed that experience very much.

Unfortunately 200 euro p/m on short term contracts wasn’t enough to live, and I had to do supplementary jobs to earn money.

I would like to work in the field of  preventive conservation or heritage science, but at the moment I’m working as a research technician at the University of Reading, being responsible for the GC lab and the EA-IRMS lab for the School of Archaeology Geography and Environmental Science, and I find my job very rewarding!

The main subject of this blog would be archaeometry and other issues related to it, but I will also speak about things that make my life tasty, such as music, literature, animals, and science communication. One of my goal in life is to share my passions and thoughts trying to involve more people as possible in matters that I care about. And, when it is suitable, I even would like to let you laugh!