For years, there's been suspicion that a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids are bad for bees. The chemicals, which farmers apply to their crops to keep away insects that munch through their harvests, are among the most used bug-killers out there.
But ecologists have worried the chemicals also affect the insects that help support harvests.
Bees have been mysteriously disappearing in what's called colony collapse disorder, which some scientists believe neonicotinoids are contributing to.
That's a problem because the pollination work bees do is hugely valuable. Commercially managed honeybees produce about $15 billion in value for the US alone and wild American bees another $9 billion.
Sign up for our free e-mail list to see future vaticancatholic.com videos and articles.