Good link, although I didn't realize I was being 'a knee jerk reactionary' :) Don't really see myself being swept up the enthusiasm of a crowd either ;)
Here's a quote taken from an article accessed from a link in the article.
“From the data that I’ve seen, I’m not seeing any effect of exposure … to canola treated with clothianidin,” said Scott-Dupree, who led the field study with Chris Cutler of Dalhousie University.
Bees exposed to the insecticide produced virtually the same amount of honey as a control group of bees, said Scott-Dupree.
“A reduction in honey yield is an indication of overall poor colony health. If the pesticides are having an impact, the bees are not going to be foraging.”
The study comes at a time when European Union countries are banning or considering restrictions on three popular neonicotinoids: clothianidin, thiamethoxam and imidacloprid. Studies released last year in France demonstrated that bees exposed to thiamethoxam, a Syngenta product better known as Cruiser, were twice or three times as likely to die while foraging because they couldn’t find their way back to the hive.
A Scottish study demonstrated that colonies exposed to imidacloprid, a Bayer insecticide, produced 85 percent fewer queens than the control group.
The studies, subsequent reports and newspaper headlines compelled European politicians to respond. .
The European Commission recommended that EU countries prohibit the use of the three neonicotinoids in seed treatments and crop application for two years beginning this spring.
Bayer funded Scott-Dupree’s canola study at a cost of $950,000 in an effort to produce field scale data on clothianidin and its impact on bee health.
“That’s huge. That’s (for) a one year study,” she said.
“Last year it was the largest bee project that (Bayer) had going globally.”
Scott-Dupree and eight employees placed 40 bee colonies in 10 canola fields near Guelph last summer. Five canola fields had seed treated with clothianidin and five fields did not. The fields were 10 kilometres apart and five acres in size.
The hives were placed in the middle of the canola fields at 25 percent canola bloom, and the bees foraged on the canola for two weeks.
Now I know it's not scientific, but a local commercial beek told me he lost 50% of his hives last spring when the corn was planted. I have heard the dust from the pesticide coated seed (when planted by the seed drills) has resulted in high mortality ... and the study didn't measure those levels. Also I have seen a 5 acre field ... and I doubt four hives of bees is going to forage exclusively (tho I don't know nothin bout canola or what 25% canola bloom looks like ... so maybe the bees were in canola pollen heaven) in a 5 acre field. Y'all can decide for yourself.
The scientific study (In my non scientific opinion) seems a bit far from proving that there is no problem with neonics. I am not surprised that a study funded by Bayer would not measure the levels of pesticide in the dust created when planting.
Anyway, I am so close to Guelph! In fact, I'm taking a beekeeping course there end of April! I don't think I'll be seeing Scott-Dupree but maybe I can find out what she's driving. ..... hope it's a pick up ... but I kinda doubt it :) If I hear anything about the study or neonics I'll share it here on the 'QT'. It won't be 'scientific' ... but it won't be kneejerk either (or funded by bayer).