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  1. #1
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    What is the attitude of US beekeepers to GMOs and their potential for causing problems for bees?

    The British Beekeepers Association seems to be trying hard to ignore GMOs, which I find surprising and somewhat suspicious.

    What news from your side of the pond?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2000
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    Sequim / Wa / USA
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    Hi Phil
    The other side of the pond has questions about that also but I have not seen an uproar about that yet. But then again I might not be aware of it either.
    Personally I usually take a reserved view on any fooling around with mother Nature. Whenever mother sees fit to modify , she does it quite well by her lonesome.
    Catfish

  3. #3
    Pollinator Guest

    Post


    I feel uncomfortable with it, in that there are so many unknowns, that it may come back to bite us later. I think it is here to stay, however, and we will now have to make the best of it.

    OTOH, it has greatly reduced pesticide damage to my bees, because there is much less insecticide spraying during the early part of cotton bloom. Bees can now make some honey, instead of getting killed or greatly weakened.



    ------------------
    Dave
    The Pollination Home Page
    http://pollinator.com

  4. #4
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    I'm surprised by your apathy! Do you really want to eat honey full of GM pollen? I take your point about pesticides, but GMs ARE sprayed with Roundup (or similar noxious substance) in any case - the crop is resistant to it but the weeds (many of which the bees love) are not, and are killed off as ever. Surely beekeepers should be supporting organic and other non-chemical farming practices?

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Pollinator:

    I feel uncomfortable with it, in that there are so many unknowns, that it may come back to bite us later. I think it is here to stay, however, and we will now have to make the best of it.

    OTOH, it has greatly reduced pesticide damage to my bees, because there is much less insecticide spraying during the early part of cotton bloom. Bees can now make some honey, instead of getting killed or greatly weakened.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


  5. #5
    Pollinator Guest

    Post

    &gt;I'm surprised by your apathy!

    You don't know me, do you? I think I've established my credentials as a non-apathetic person. I've campaigned against pesticide misuse for many years, and really put the heat on "bought-out" officials who refuse to enforce pesticide laws that protect bees.

    &gt;Do you really want to eat honey full of GM pollen?

    Would you rather eat pesticide-laced pollen?

    &gt;I take your point about pesticides, but GMs ARE sprayed with Roundup (or similar noxious &gt;substance) in any case - the crop is resistant to it but the weeds (many of which &gt;the bees love) are not, and are killed off as ever. Surely beekeepers should be &gt;supporting organic and other non-chemical farming practices?

    The high cost of pesticides, and the ever increasing regulation of them will help reduce their use. But a beekeeper who tries to force farms in his area to go organic would be laughed out of the discussion. On the other hand, when an applicator violates the label directions, he can be prosecuted, and he should be.

    I use pesticides myself. I use them carefully and sparingly, but I do not see any alternative to using some. So I am not against pesticide use; rather I am against pesticide misuse. Now, THAT is a viable stance for beekeepers.

    Pollinator

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Totnes, Devon, UK
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    I said:
    &gt;I'm surprised by your apathy!
    You said:
    You don't know me, do you? I think I've established my credentials as a non-apathetic person. I've campaigned against pesticide misuse for many years, and really put the heat on "bought-out" officials who refuse to enforce pesticide laws that protect bees.

    &gt;&gt;I did not mean to impugn your integrity! But as far as I am concerned, any use of pesticides is abuse. Maybe I'm an extremist, but as an organic/biodynamic grower (on a small scale) I have never felt the need to use poisons of any kind: my efforts are concentrated on creating healthy soil and I leave the rest to nature. Maybe that doesn't work for everyone, but my neighbour, who runs the biggest organic farm in the UK, has the same attitude and it works for him, too.

    I said:
    &gt;Do you really want to eat honey full of GM pollen?

    You said:
    Would you rather eat pesticide-laced pollen?

    &gt;&gt;Absolutely not - but you seem to be suggesting that this is the only alternative, which I do not believe.

    I said:
    &gt;I take your point about pesticides, but GMs ARE sprayed with Roundup (or similar noxious &gt;substance) in any case - the crop is resistant to it but the weeds (many of which &gt;the bees love) are not, and are killed off as ever. Surely beekeepers should be &gt;supporting organic and other non-chemical farming practices?

    You said:
    The high cost of pesticides, and the ever increasing regulation of them will help reduce their use. But a beekeeper who tries to force farms in his area to go organic would be laughed out of the discussion. On the other hand, when an applicator violates the label directions, he can be prosecuted, and he should be.

    &gt;&gt;Well I don't know where you live, but clearly you have a way to go to persuade your community of the benefits of organic farming...!

    best wishes,
    Phil Chandler
    Devon, UK

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Chandler View Post
    I'm surprised by your apathy! Do you really want to eat honey full of GM pollen? I take your point about pesticides, but GMs ARE sprayed with Roundup (or similar noxious substance) in any case - the crop is resistant to it but the weeds (many of which the bees love) are not, and are killed off as ever. Surely beekeepers should be supporting organic and other non-chemical.

    How on earth did I just respond to a thread that is over a decade old?
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  8. #8
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    I didn't even know that they had the internet in 2000....oh wait it was the 2000 election when Al Gore claimed he invented it. Interesting that postings by unregistered users was allowed then. Probably just Barry's way of debating on the sly.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    TIL; they were arguing about GMOs at the turn of the century.



    Posting on this crazy iPad. I must hit the wrong button and was transported back in time.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  10. #10
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I didn't even know that they had the internet in 2000....oh wait it was the 2000 election when Al Gore claimed he invented it.
    He did help with the creation of the "internet"...

    This is what Gore's contribution was: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_...on_Act_of_1991
    Last edited by BeeCurious; 11-18-2012 at 06:25 AM.
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    And by the way North America is still apathetic about GMO's and pesticides. We're happy that Monsanto runs our government. I'm just wondering when Monsanto (Beelogics) comes out with a genetically modified bee (Franken-bee).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    When we graft a fruit tree, doe's that not make geneticlly modified? When we breed queens, do we not change the genetics? I think every thing we eat has been modified.

  13. #13
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    arvad, colorado, usa
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    When we graft a fruit tree, doe's that not make geneticlly modified? When we breed queens, do we not change the genetics? I think every thing we eat has been modified.
    Grafting is more closely related to cloning, so it's almost the opposite of changing the genetics. Grafting allows us to create many individual living things with the same genetics. The root stock on the fruit tree may modify the growth behavior of the fruit tree, but it doesn't change the genetics of the graft.
    Breeding only affects the genetics in that certain genes are selected for so those become more predominant in our stock, but it usually doesn't insert a gene into that population that wasn't already in that species. Sometimes we can create hybrids by breeding two different species that are very close to begin with (mules).
    GMOs are organisms that have genes inserted in them that are usually, if not always, from completely different species. Sometimes the genes aren't even from the same Kingdoms (bacterial genes inserted into plants). This is extremely different from any genetic change that could occur from just breeding or grafting.

  14. #14
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    This is the response the biotech companies always use to confuse people saying that farmers have been genetically modifying for generations. Hybridization and genetic modification are two totalling different actions. Hybridization is a sexual act between two similar species. Usually, the process of genetic modification involves genes from totally different species (infused using a gene gun or through the introduction of bacterial infection) that could never be crossbred—wheat genes injected into soybeans, for example. Sometimes, genes are transferred not just from another species, but from a different kingdom, such as animal cells injected into plant cells (i.e. salmon genes into a tomato). Genetic engineering is the process of breaking the natural boundaries that exist between species to produce new life forms and signs of adverse reactions by humans to the consumption of these new life forms are occurring. It's like saying that global warming has occurred before. True but never has it been caused by human actions and never in so short a period of time.

  15. #15
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    Skiff, Alberta, CA
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Has anyone had bees on roundup ready alfalfa?
    Last edited by Haraga; 11-18-2012 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Spelling

  16. #16
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Grafting has nothing to do with genetic modification. What about gama/chemically induced mutations that's been used? Don't just say breeding is breeding. Genetic modificaiton is much more specific than those techniques. What signs of adverse effects are present? Salmon into a tomato?? We eat salmon all the time so why would a salmon gene in a tomato do anything using you're example?? Understand the science, don't just buy into all the 'stories' you hear or the badly designed studies by interest groups. If you were to biochemically analyze a lot of the stuff we eat, gmo, organic, or conventionally grown, you could not distinguish it, so again, I ask, why would there be adverse affects in those cases?

  17. #17
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    I agee 100% that you should not believe studies produced by either the agro-chemical companies or the environmental groups. Both have an intended purpose to prove their argument. That is why I usually ignore studies done by either one side or the other. I don't know the complete effects of gmo products on humans or the environment nor can anyone else claim to. But I do know a few adverse effects that have arisen in initial studies that should at least give us reason to be concerned. First biochemically you can distinguish between gmo and non gmo foods. Secondly, a few of the adverse affects are that there is unintended harm to other organisms like B.t. corn has caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars; there has been reduced effectiveness of pesticides with developed resistance (pests and super weeds); Gene transfer to non-target species cross - breed between weeds and gmo crop plants creating super weeds and introduced genes may cross over into non-modified crops planted next to GM crops - Monsanto patent infringements against farmers and the inadvertent cross pollination of native species (i.e Corn in southern Mexico). A serious concern is the ownership of the newly created genetically modified life form through patent. This means that if that patented life form finds it's way on to your land (this can occur by inadvertent wind or bird transfer of seed or through cross pollination) you can be sued. In the case of a farmer you can be sued for your whole season's crop as was the case in farmer
    Percy Schmeiser against Monsanto http://youtu.be/Se-1zesy450. ; Allergenicity- existing allergies to one of the species introduced or new allergies to the new species. I don't know everything about gmo crops and don't pretend to but personally think there is enough proof to be concerned about a policy of unrestricted creation of new species of life who's ownership lies in the patent holder (i.e Monsanto). What is to prevent someone from genetically modifying humans?
    Last edited by Baja; 11-18-2012 at 02:36 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    We eat salmon all the time so why would a salmon gene in a tomato do anything using you're example?? Understand the science, don't just buy into all the 'stories' you hear or the badly designed studies by interest groups. If you were to biochemically analyze a lot of the stuff we eat, gmo, organic, or conventionally grown, you could not distinguish it, so again, I ask, why would there be adverse affects in those cases?
    Those of us with strong allergies to certain things have serious worries about this. For instance, someone with a fish allergy could unknowingly eat a tomato with salmon genes and have a bad reaction if the salmon gene in the tomato expressed the trait that caused the allergy. I, personally, am concerned with soybean genes being spliced into other plants.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    Quote Originally Posted by Baja View Post
    And by the way North America is still apathetic about GMO's and pesticides. We're happy that Monsanto runs our government. I'm just wondering when Monsanto (Beelogics) comes out with a genetically modified bee (Franken-bee).
    and this thread that has been dug up from the deep past demonstrates one thing- we have been using GMOs for over 10 years and despite all the fear, there has not been one problem that has been realized. A lot of what ifs? but not one thing that anyone can point to after ten years of actual use. FWIW - +10 years of actual use in the environment trumps 10 years of government studies by a factor of approximately 10 (IMO).
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bees & genetically modified crops

    oh brother, you got to be kidding

    Quote Originally Posted by Baja View Post
    And by the way North America is still apathetic about GMO's and pesticides. We're happy that Monsanto runs our government. I'm just wondering when Monsanto (Beelogics) comes out with a genetically modified bee (Franken-bee).
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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