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Author Topic: Evidence That Pesticides Are Seriously Messing Up Our Honey Bees  (Read 6334 times)
eri
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« on: August 05, 2008, 09:27:30 AM »

The Indictment Against Farm Insecticides Is Growing More Detailed
August 1, 2008 at 8:19AM by Kim Flottum
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/bees/honey-bee-pesticides-55080101

Back to the beginning....

A couple of years ago it was Dave Hackenburg who got the world to pay attention to what was happening to his bees and that it was unlike anything he’d seen before. He woke up a few folks at Penn State, who woke up a few folk at the USDA Honey Bee Lab in Beltsville, Maryland, who woke up more folks out at Missoula, Montana (who coined the name Colony Collapse Disorder), who woke up ... well, you know the rest.

Dave stayed in the thick of things for quite awhile, supplying a lot of samples for the researchers, helping them get oriented to what was going on in the world of commercial and migratory beekeeping, and giving interview after interview after interview to magazines, newspapers, radio and television shows, and blog pages like this one.

But lately, as media attention has turned more to the actions of others ... researchers, bureaucrats, regulatory agencies and other beekeepers ... Dave’s been busy trying to keep his bees alive.

“Keeping bees alive is a seven day a week job now”, he said this week when I called.

“Used to be, I had time for a bit of fishing and riding my motorcycle, but not anymore. The bees need attention.”
Building a Case Against Pesticides

Lately he has been involved with some conversations with the EPA and the USDA folks, looking at problems with honey bees and insecticides. They’ve found some incredible numbers taken from samples taken last year - one bee, a single, solitary bee, had 25 different insecticides hidden within her tiny body. And she wasn’t even dead. The cleanest bee they found had only five insecticides. Only.

And these are all from the early samples take from just three outfits last fall. Other samples wait for examination, and they wait for money to pay for the exams. Who knows what they’ll find, if they ever find the money?

Dave said that beekeepers he knows are still experiencing colony losses, but with symptoms different than the classic symptoms he first reported ... but then, those were fall bees, not summer bees like now.
bee on flower

Now, these bees, he said, were in Florida this winter on citrus, which have been treated to control the bug that transmits citrus greening. When they leave Florida they begin to show signs of something interestingly called ‘snot brood’, which looks like a whole class of other diseases, but isn’t. Scientists don’t know what it is, but there’s a pattern. Here’s the pattern ... bees come out of Florida after being on citrus (treated with a pesticide called Bravado), go to gallberry for more honey, and within a few weeks, once they finish blueberries in Maine and don’t have fresh food, they break down. The queen quits laying or dies, brood goes to that snotty condition and about half the colonies die. However, if they get fed fresh food ... protein ... they don’t. It’s when they start to eat their stored food in the colony that came from the treated citrus trees ... that they die.

Here’s another pattern Dave and other beekeepers from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida and other states have found. They’ve noticed that land that last season had sweet corn planted on it that was treated with Poncho insecticide, and this season is fallow and produces weeds ... specifically a certain kind of weed that usually follows sweet corn called mustard or yellow rocket ... the following year, has the best mustard they’ve seen ... bigger, more blossoms, more plants, more attractive to bees. And bees love mustard. It’s a great honey plant for early spring build up of overwintered colonies.

What they guess, and it is a guess, is that the chemical that is still in the soil from last year is protecting the mustard plants this year because it lasts that long – in the soil. And since these chemicals are systemic, thus protecting the mustard plants ... it is getting into the pollen and nectar produced by the fragrant and bountiful mustard blossoms that the bees are visiting on this now very attractive plant?

There’s more anecdotal evidence to support this second season killer. When pumpkins are grown on land that the previous year had sweet corn treated with Poncho are seeing untreated pumpkin tissue with three to four times the amount of insecticide in pumpkin plant tissue than new pumpkins that were simply treated during the second year. There seems to be a buildup the second, and even third year of these chemicals in the soil, that the plants are picking up.

Are these nicotine insecticides helping to release additional chemicals that were bound in the soil, plus building up in the soil after repeated applications?

Wait, there’s another story...

An apple grower in New York used Assail on his apples three years ago ... Two years later he was told that the arsenic levels in his ground water were increasing ... Interesting, since no arsenic had been applied to that orchard in over 70 years. The third year after application? Yup ... arsenic levels too high to use for drinking water. What’s going on?
How the Government Serves the Chemical Companies

These chemicals I’ve mentioned are all in the neonicotinoid family of insecticides. They came along after the government, several years ago, decided that the long lived pesticides had to go and better, shorter, less troublesome chemicals and integrated pest management programs had to replace them (this was called the FQPA ... food quality protection act ... you can sound out the letters any way you want).

Well, those long lasting chemicals were the bread and butter of the agrochemical companies and the government essentially took them away. But the government wants cheap food and there’s only one way to do that, and that’s to have good management practices, including good insect control. Very good insect control.

Long story short, budget cuts forced the EPA to cut corners and one of those corners was testing new products. Why not let the chemical companies test them, and we’ll evaluate the results, went the EPA thinking. Better: why not let the fox in the chicken house, went the thinking, and we’ll see if the chickens die.

So now the only major chemicals used to control insects on crops are in the neonic family. They are all the same, and they are all over. And all the chemicals listed here are in that family.

Do they accumulate from one year to the next in the soil, building to levels three to four times what they should be? When, after three or four years they are ingested by honey bees in nectar or pollen do they cause behavior or health problems?

There seems to be evidence that they do, but it’s only anecdotal, and science doesn’t deal with this sort of data, does it....

Dave Hackenburg has brought up a boatload of questions about pesticides. Whether they have anything to do with CCD or not is less important than if these chemicals, and their multi-season accumulations are causing significant risks for bees, or people, remains to be seen.

And what about this agrochemical complex Dave describes? What do Bayer, Syngenta, Monsanto, and others have in store for us?

Dave’s comment? “We still don’t know what’s going on, or why. But bees are dying, and we better figure it out ... quick”.
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On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
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And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
indypartridge
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 11:49:36 AM »

Quote
They’ve noticed that land that last season had sweet corn planted on it that was treated with Poncho insecticide, and this season is fallow and produces weeds ... specifically a certain kind of weed that usually follows sweet corn called mustard or yellow rocket ... the following year, has the best mustard they’ve seen ... bigger, more blossoms, more plants, more attractive to bees. And bees love mustard.
I've seen those last-year-corn fields with acres and acres of golden blooms and thought "What a great place for bees". Well, maybe not.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 04:42:28 PM »

Here is what Bayer is saying        http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0807e&L=bee-l&T=0&P=1829                This second post talks about the build up of consecutive years of use in the soil                                                                                http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0808a&L=bee-l&T=0&P=1188       RDY-B
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indypartridge
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2008, 07:17:10 AM »

Thanks for the links, rdy-b.  Interesting reading.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2008, 09:54:40 PM »

Very interresting article eri.

I couldn't get your articles to open rdy-B
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rdy-b
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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2008, 10:07:22 PM »

they are coming up for me try again the info is very interesting-RDY-B
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008, 11:33:37 PM »

Nope, still not able to.  Might be all the filters I'm behind here at work.  I'll try and read it tomorrow at home.
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doak
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2008, 11:20:59 PM »

Just read my News Letter from "Catch the Buzz".
Law Suit has been filed against (EPA) :)doak
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doak
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008, 11:37:44 PM »

try this one.
http://home.ezezine.com.1636/1636-2008.08.18.17.15.archive.html
doak
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doak
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 11:53:00 PM »

I can't get the one I posted to come up.
If it doesn't come up for you all.

Try pulling up the "Bee Culture Magazine.
doak
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eri
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 01:53:14 PM »

I can't get the ezines site to come up, either. Got this in the e-mail today:

From: Kim@BeeCulture.com
Subject: CATCH THE BUZZ NRDC SUES EPA

This ezine is also available online at http://home.ezezine.com/1636/1636-2008.08.18.17.15.archive.html

CATCH THE BUZZ
NRDC Sues to
Get Public Records on Pesticides
 
 
WASHINGTON - August 18 - The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today to uncover critical information that the US government is withholding about the risks posed by pesticides to honey bees. NRDC legal experts and a leading bee researcher are convinced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evidence of connections between pesticides and the mysterious honey bee die-offs reported across the country. The phenomenon has come to be called “colony collapse disorder,” or CCD, and it is already proving to have disastrous consequences for American agriculture and the $15 billion worth of crops pollinated by bees every year. EPA has failed to respond to NRDC’s Freedom of Information Act request for agency records concerning the toxicity of pesticides to bees, forcing the legal action. “Recently approved pesticides have been implicated in massive bee die-offs and are the focus of increasing scientific scrutiny,” said NRDC Senior Attorney Aaron Colangelo. “EPA should be evaluating the risks to bees before approving new pesticides, but now refuses to tell the public what it knows. Pesticide restrictions might be at the heart of the solution to this growing crisis, so why hide the information they should be using to make those decisions?”
In 2003, EPA granted a registration to a new pesticide manufactured by Bayer CropScience under the condition that Bayer submit studies about its product’s impact on bees. EPA has refused to disclose the results of these studies, or if the studies have even been submitted. The pesticide in question, clothianidin, recently was banned in Germany due to concerns about its impact on bees. A similar insecticide was banned in France for the same reason a couple of years before. In the United States, these chemicals still are in use despite a growing consensus among bee specialists that pesticides, including clothianidin and its chemical cousins, may contribute to CCD.

In the past two years, some American beekeepers have reported unexplained losses of 30-90% of the bees in their hives. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), bees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops grown in America. USDA also claims that one out of every three mouthfuls of food in the typical American diet has a connection to bee pollination. As the die-offs worsen, Americans will see their food costs increase.

Despite bees’ critical role for farmers, consumers, and the environment, the federal government has been slow to address the die-off since the alarm bells started in 2006. In recent Congressional hearings, USDA was unable to account for the $20 million that Congress has allocated to the department for fighting CCD in the last two years.

“This is a real mystery right now,” said Dr. Gabriela Chavarria, director of NRDC’s Science Center. “EPA needs to help shed some light so that researchers can get to work on this problem. This isn’t just an issue for farmers -- this is an issue that concerns us all. Just try to imagine a pizza without the contribution of bees! No tomatoes. No cheese. No peppers. If you eat apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, squash, carrots, avocados, or cherries, you need to be concerned.”

Chavarria has spent more than 20 years studying bees, and has published a number of academic papers on the taxonomy, behavior and distribution of native bees.


NRDC filed the lawsuit today in federal court in Washington DC. In documents to be filed next month, NRDC will ask for a court order directing EPA to disclose its information about pesticides and bee toxicity.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The Message brought to you by Bee Culture, The Magazine Of American Beekeeping  www.BeeCulture.com Check out Mann Lake Ltd at www.mannlakeltd.com\catchthebuzz\index.html
 
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On Pleasure
Kahlil Gibran
....
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
doak
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 03:41:22 PM »

That's the one I was referring to. I couldn't get it to post.
doak Smiley
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rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2008, 12:45:21 AM »

some folks are questioning there motavation  cheesy cool RDY-B                                                                     http://listserv.albany.edu:8080/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0808c&L=bee-l&T=0&P=2343
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rdy-b
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2008, 01:15:21 AM »

and even more is revealed  cheesy cool RDY-B                                                                                                                                                     http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/bees/honey-bee-pesticides-55082002
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octagon
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« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2008, 05:41:53 PM »

 Evidence That Pesticides Are Seriously Messing Up Our Honey Bees  
 I don't know why that should be a suprize to anyone, Bees were here for thousands of years with no problems til the most dangerous animal started playing with chemicals to make the world a safer place, DDT, Agent Orange, mustard gas,Anthrax ect. even  tobacco products are just labeled because it may disturbe someones wallet if taken off the market.
   

   sort of like the ozone layer, we'll wait til the earth falls thru the hole then some expert will say they think we have a problem.
 
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 04:29:21 AM »

Couple of suggestions for anyone that uses pesticides...

tobacco tea works great as a long-term pesticide and fertilizer.  It will sterilize the bugs so they won't reproduce (though it won't kill the ones that already exist), and will fertilize the plants with no lingering toxicity.  And you can easily add compost tea to it to really kick up the fertilizing properties of it. 

a mild soap such as baby shampoo diluted in lots of water works great for acute pest problems, also with no lingering toxicity.

While the first is bee friendly, the second will kill forage bees that get directly sprayed with it, but won't kill any other bees in the hive.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2008, 10:56:25 PM »

here is the latest mile stone in biopesticide  cheesy cool      RDY-B                                                                                      http://www.greenerdesign.com/news/2008/08/28/marrone-biopesticide-giant-knotweed
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2008, 11:34:26 PM »

Yeah, I saw that, but don't believe it's any more eco-friendly than pesticides derived from chrisanthemums.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2008, 12:54:38 AM »

http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/biopesticides/ingredients/factsheets/factsheet_055809.htm       8-)RDY-B
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2008, 06:42:56 AM »

Whatever happened to DE?  That was supposed to be pretty safe, wasn't it?
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