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  1. #1
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    Default Farmers Using Neonicotinoids

    Has anyone had a farmer using Neonicotinoids on there young seedling and seeds had any
    issues with bee health? I spoke with a farmer that said it will mean allot less treatments with pesticides.

  2. #2
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    Would bees be considered a pest?? Why would they have to use less?

    Food for thought

    Also try reading here. http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219264
    Last edited by okb; 06-03-2008 at 12:21 AM.

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  4. #4
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    Neonicitinoids are a new class of chemistry used in seed treatments and foliar insecticides. They are one of the new classes of "softer" chemicals that the EPA seem to favor. In tree fruit such as cherries and apples the EPA has forced a "phase out" of the organophosphate AZM (trade name Guthion). Other organophosphates such as Nemicur (a nematicide) have been banned outright.

    The older classes of chemistry like organophosphates and carbamates have been shown to be highly toxic to bees, but unlike the neonics are not systemic (some like Vydate and Nemicur are but they are not as widely used). With the phasing out of highly effective and economical insecticides like Guthion growers have little choice but to use the Neonicitinoids in order to produce fruit that is up to consumer standards.

    In fruit crops the Neonicitinoids are not used at bloom and there is very little chance that they will show up in the pollen. As far as imidacloprid use in field crops such as corn and soybeans, the farmers statement about using less insecticides because of these treatments is true. In the past growers applied highly toxic soil insecticides such as Lorsban (an organophosphate) and Furidan to control soil pests. Now the seed comes treated so they do not apply these materials. The use of treated seed and GMOs have dramatically cut the use of insecticides and herbicides in corn.

    So what is the beekeeper to think. The American public wants cheap food without defects and will never tolerate a worm in their apple. The environmental movement has pushed for the banning of the traditional insecticides and new worker protection standards have forced this change. The farmers that I know all love bees, their livelihoods depend on them, and do not love using the new chemistries (they are very costly) or any chemistries for that matter. But they have no choice. With a zero tolerance for any internal pests in cherries they must spray in order to sell their crops.

    A healthy farm economy is good for beekeepers so we have a problem here. What are the farmers to do to keep their fruit up to consumer standards? If they can't use the older chemicals and can't use the newer chemicals, what can they use? It looks to me like communication with your growers is more important than ever before so we can find a way to make this thing work.

  5. #5
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    Default neonicotinoids

    1. In 1998 -99 the national French beekeeping associations reported that they had lost 500,000 hives out of a total of 1.5 million; their own independent lab tests confirmed that the cause was a new family of pesticides called Neo-Nicotinoids of which Imidacloprid and Fipronil were the main culprits. Bayer claimed that their insecticides were 'not responsible' and provided field test data which 'proved' this. The independent lab tests proved otherwise. On the basis of those lab results, the French government banned Imidacloprid in 2000 and - despite massive lobbying and pressure from Bayer- they have never rescinded that ban.

    BBKA said nothing during this huge crisis. They have never instigated any investigation into the French claims, nor offered any leadership to British beekeepers on the obvious threat to bees here in the UK from Imidacloprid.
    All recent statements have implied that 'there is no problem with Imidacloprid, Fipronil or Clothianidin in this country'; which implies that our bees must be a different species than French bees, or that they are immune to the same pesticides which killed 500,000 hives in France.

    2. The appearance of American Colony Collapse Disease has led to the loss of over 2 million colonies in the USA - a biological disaster on a staggering scale.
    After more than a year of investigations, the commercial beekeeper who first lost 500 hives to CCD (Dave Hackenberg) has gone on the record today as saying that it is 'neo-nicotinoid pesticides' made by Bayer which are 'at the root cause of this CCD'. (see Guardian Article - Saturday May 31st.)

    During this ecological catastrophe - BBKA has said nothing about the possible similarities with loss of colonies in the UK

    3. In 2003 the BBKA Executive set up a company, BBKA Enterprises whose only significant source of income over the last 5 years has been derived from endorsing pesticides made by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta. This, according to Durham BKA's motion was done without any advance consultation of the membership. A series of negotiations were entered into and a series of 'product agreements' were formally signed by BBKA - under which they endorsed products containing Deltamethrin, Lamda Cyhalothrin and Permethrin as being 'bee-friendly; in fact ALL of these products are highly toxic to bees; they KILL bees. According to the Durham BKA motion, the membership of BBKA was never consulted about these deals until more than 2 years after they came into force. It was only the submission of a motion by Durham BKA to the ADM in 2005 which revealed the existence of BBKA Enterprises and the 'product agreements' under which pesticides were endorsed by BBKA in return for 'sponsorship'.

    4. In May 2008 the German Beekeeping organisations revealed that there had been yet another ecological disaster in the Rhineland with thousands of hives being killed overnight by yet another neo-nicotinoid - Clothianidin - which is already widely used here in the UK. Once again - it was a Bayer product which was confirmed by government laboratory tests at the Julius Kuhn Insititute as having caused the colony deaths. Acting very quickly - the German Federal Government suspended licenses for 8 Bayer insecticides including: Imidacloprid, Fipronil and Clothianidin.

    These same pesticides are used on over 1.4 million acres of crops here in the UK but BBKA's most recent statement reiterates the position of the Executive that 'there are no problems with poisonings by crop insecticides in the UK'.
    Once again - our bees must have a different biology and biochemistry than French bees, German bees, Italian bees, Swiss bees and American bees - all of which have died in uncountable billions since the introduction of neo-nicotinoids in those countries.

    5. BBKA has NOT endorsed any neo-nicotinoid insecticides by Bayer or any other company. However, despite the biggest global bee-crisis in over a century - with rapidly mounting evidence that Bayer's neo-nicotinoids seem to be central to the issue in France, Germany and America - BBKA has said nothing, given no demands for urgent investigations, offered no leadership here in the UK and no solidarity with beekeepers in Europe or America.

    The obvious question is:

    If BBKA had NOT been in receipt of sponsorship money in return for endorsing pesticides manufactured by Bayer, would it have felt free to speak out about the threat posed by Neo-Nicotinoid poisons used on crops all over the UK? A hypothetical question I know - but what is at stake here is the survival of beekeeping in the whole of Europe. If the German and French governments are CORRECT - and they at least have done INDEPENDENT LAB STUDIES - then we in the UK are witnessing a silent extinction in the countryside: not just of our bees, but potentially all insects and insectivores on arable crop land; earthworms, beetles, hoverflies, butterflies, hedgehogs, shrews, - all insectivorous birds. We have no independent labs here in the UK - even the Pesticides Safety Directorate has no labs - it merely takes the data from Bayer and accepts it as true. Well, the French did not accept it. And now, neither have the Germans.

    I - and many others - think this is a really serious situation. It is not going to go away overnight - and there are very obvious signs that something is terribly wrong with bees in the UK; the Bee Inspectorate has said that 20% of UK hives were llost last winter; I have heard estimates ranging from 30- 70% for some areas. Faced with this crisis, the BBKA should be leading the fight to ban neo-nicotinoid pesticides from the UK - as has been done in France and Germany. The BBKA Executive shows no sign whatever of doing anything of the kind - indeed all of its recent official statements are utterly complacent about the widespread use of these pesticides here in the UK. I do not believe that would be the case if the BBKA was not in receipt of financial sponsorship from Bayer for endorsing pesticides.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    French beekeeping associations reported that they had lost 500,000 hives... their own independent lab tests confirmed that the cause was a new family of pesticides called Neo-Nicotinoids of which Imidacloprid and Fipronil were the main culprits.
    No, this is wrong. There has yet to be any science to support the
    claim that any pesticide had anything to do wit the bee losses cited.

    The independent lab tests proved otherwise.
    Nope, still wrong. No such tests provided any data to even suggest such
    a thing.

    On the basis of those lab results, the French government banned Imidacloprid in 2000
    Nope, wrong again - it was banned based
    upon the "precautionary principle", which is the EUs way of doing things
    without any proof, "just in case".

    Funny thing though, if you look at losses since the ban, you see that
    the bee losses are ongoing, even though the pesticides are no longer
    used anywhere near where the losses are. More to the point, the
    losses are taking place in areas where the pesticide was never used at all.

    BBKA said nothing during this huge crisis. They have never instigated any investigation into the French claims, nor offered any leadership to British beekeepers on the obvious threat to bees here in the UK from Imidacloprid.
    It would appear that their refusal to echo France's hysteria was wise.

    All recent statements have implied that 'there is no problem with Imidacloprid, Fipronil or Clothianidin in this country';
    Here in the USA, there has been a very intensive look at pesticides,
    and a sampling and analysis effort that may be the most widespread
    ever in terms of number of samples, number of yards sampled, geographic
    range sampled, and number of pesticides looked for. They can't pin
    CCD on Imidacloprid either. They can't pin CCD on any pesticide.
    They just aren't consistenently found, even at parts-per-trillion trace levels.

    which implies that our bees must be a different species than
    French bees, or that they are immune to the same pesticides which killed 500,000 hives in France.
    It merely implies that the French guessed wrong when they blamed
    the pesticides without any evidence that the pesticides were to blame,
    and refused to learn from experience when years went by after the
    ban without a reduction in the losses.

    Here's a decent overview of the whole sordid story:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imidacloprid_effects_on_bee_population


    The appearance of American Colony Collapse Disease has led to the loss of over 2 million colonies in the USA - a biological disaster on a staggering scale.
    Yeah, it has been tough. Some of have been lucky, but we feel guilty
    for being lucky.

    After more than a year of investigations, the commercial beekeeper who first lost 500 hives to CCD (Dave Hackenberg) has gone on the record today as saying that it is 'neo-nicotinoid pesticides' made by Bayer which are 'at the root cause of this CCD'. (see Guardian Article - Saturday May 31st.)
    And Dave is simply wrong. If there was even a shred of a hint that there
    was a pesticide behind CCD, that would have made everyone's work much
    more simple. In fact, the evidence points to not one, but a mix of
    pathogens being the root cause. See http://bee-quick.com/reprints

    During this ecological catastrophe - BBKA has said nothing about the possible similarities with loss of colonies in the UK
    Again, a wise move. When one has no evidence, one should not make
    unfounded accusations.

    In 2003 the BBKA Executive set up a company, BBKA Enterprises
    whose only significant source of income over the last 5 years has been derived from endorsing pesticides made by Bayer, BASF and Syngenta.
    If this is the actual story, it certainly is an unusual way to make money
    for a beekeeping organization. Most groups have membership fees,
    sell t-shirts, hold the ocassional raffle, and so on.

    thousands of hives being killed overnight by yet another neo-nicotinoid - Clothianidin
    Clearly, someone has engaged in a deliberate attempt to mislead buckbee.
    What happened here was a simple pesticide kill, with the defective batch
    of treated seeds being a specific cause of a limited one-time kill in a small
    area where that defective batch was sold.

    Acting very quickly - the German Federal Government suspended licenses for 8 Bayer insecticides including: Imidacloprid, Fipronil and Clothianidin.
    No, that's also wrong - they suspended the license of the company
    that buys the bayer pesticide and applies it to the seed. They should
    also suspend the "license" of the company that makes the specific seed
    drills used, which raise massive dust clouds to spread the pesticide to
    adjacent canola fields.

    ...with rapidly mounting evidence that Bayer's neo-nicotinoids seem to be central to the issue in France, Germany and America
    No, that's wrong yet again - there simply is no evidence to support your
    accusation.

    BBKA has said nothing, given no demands for urgent investigations, offered no leadership here in the UK and no solidarity with beekeepers in Europe or America.
    If the claim that their practice of
    "endorsement" is true, I think we here in the USA would rather not have
    any "solidarity" with the BBKA, thank you very much.

    But given that every other claim made in your post has been so easy
    to refute as "wrong", one is forced to wonder if the claim about the
    "endorsement" is true.

    would it have felt free to speak out about the threat posed by Neo-Nicotinoid poisons used on crops all over the UK?
    A moot point, as there is a mounting pile of analysis of pollen, wax, and
    bees that prove that the systemic pesticides are just as "good for bees"
    as they were claimed to be. Anything that reduces spraying reduces
    bee kills, as pesticide problems tend to be "over-spray" or "spraying at
    the wrong time of day", or "drift" issues.

    If the German and French governments are CORRECT
    The French are wrong. The Germans are correct in that they have blamed
    a defective process for applying pesticide to corn seed rather than a
    pesticide as a whole, but you are being fed misquotes and half-truths
    by someone with an agenda.

    I wonder why someone would want to mislead you so.

    the Bee Inspectorate has said that 20% of UK hives were lost last
    winter; I have heard estimates ranging from 30- 70% for some areas.
    Yes, but this is due to varroa, Nosema, and other exotic invasive
    pathogens brought to our (and your!) shores by a headlong rush into
    "World Trade" without adequate biosecurity controls.

    the BBKA should be leading the fight to ban neo-nicotinoid
    pesticides from the UK - as has been done in France and Germany. The BBKA Executive shows no sign whatever of doing anything of the kind -
    This indicates that they have a better handle on the facts that whoever
    has been feeding you all the misinformation you have repeated here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by edenhillapiaries View Post
    Neonicitinoids are a new class of chemistry used in seed treatments and foliar insecticides. They are one of the new classes of "softer" chemicals that the EPA seem to favor. In tree fruit such as cherries and apples the EPA has forced a "phase out" of the organophosphate AZM (trade name Guthion). Other organophosphates such as Nemicur (a nematicide) have been banned outright.

    The older classes of chemistry like organophosphates and carbamates have been shown to be highly toxic to bees, but unlike the neonics are not systemic (some like Vydate and Nemicur are but they are not as widely used). With the phasing out of highly effective and economical insecticides like Guthion growers have little choice but to use the Neonicitinoids in order to produce fruit that is up to consumer standards.

    In fruit crops the Neonicitinoids are not used at bloom and there is very little chance that they will show up in the pollen. As far as imidacloprid use in field crops such as corn and soybeans, the farmers statement about using less insecticides because of these treatments is true. In the past growers applied highly toxic soil insecticides such as Lorsban (an organophosphate) and Furidan to control soil pests. Now the seed comes treated so they do not apply these materials. The use of treated seed and GMOs have dramatically cut the use of insecticides and herbicides in corn.

    So what is the beekeeper to think. The American public wants cheap food without defects and will never tolerate a worm in their apple. The environmental movement has pushed for the banning of the traditional insecticides and new worker protection standards have forced this change. The farmers that I know all love bees, their livelihoods depend on them, and do not love using the new chemistries (they are very costly) or any chemistries for that matter. But they have no choice. With a zero tolerance for any internal pests in cherries they must spray in order to sell their crops.

    A healthy farm economy is good for beekeepers so we have a problem here. What are the farmers to do to keep their fruit up to consumer standards? If they can't use the older chemicals and can't use the newer chemicals, what can they use? It looks to me like communication with your growers is more important than ever before so we can find a way to make this thing work.
    One of the things the Germans proved was that the culprit was the way the treated seed was planted. The grain drills and planters being used would abrade the seed and a toxic dust cloud was generated. This dust drifted onto adjacent forage areas where bees were active causing the kill. There is very little evidence that the systemic effects of these chemicals poses an issue with the bees, but the treated seed planting problem is significant. Planting in the evening or at night when pollinators are not active would not help as the dust would still drift onto their forage and they would be exposed to it the following day. It would seem that the only real solution would be some sort of dust abatement technology installed on the planting equipment. This would however, incur more costs for the grower.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  8. #8
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    I am pleased by the knowledgeable discourse here. The importance of 'new classes of "softer" chemicals' is huge. I often wonder if the shopper in the produce department picking over individual green beans would label all pesticides and their makers with a skull and crossed bones.

    The sometimes missing context of all this is the pesticides that the new products are replacing (some of them with a real skull and bones label). I'm of the view that the world becomes a better place to live almost every day. I suspect we'll manage to survive the terrors of the past and the "certain doom" that lies ahead.

  9. #9
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    Angry

    The farmers in your country should hire specialists from BAYER. They take care of your bees with their environmentally friendly pesticides.

    After a few treatments from BAYER you can use your hives as storage boxes or for firewood. Beekeepers in some part of our country can proof this.

  10. #10
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    Suppose this new class of highly toxic and very systemic insecticides only affected insects, and also suppose if they were only and ever used precisely as directed - and this kept all honeybees and all other non-target organisms safe, only affecting the targeted organisms. This may be true, but few things, in our "real" world are so absolute - I am skeptical that no other unintended and undesirable side-effects will "show up", as we humans continue to create ever more potent, persistent, and insidious poisons.

    We've seen what one small, unanticipated, accidental, misapplication has caused in Germany, with the honeybees there. And, yes, there have been (and continue to be) accidental honeybee poisonings with earlier classes of insecticides (microencapsulated methyl parathion) comes to mind, among others. Maybe we should call for an international moratorium on creating and using any new poisons, before we belatedly discover that we've opened Pandora's Box and unleashed something that destroys our planet's ability to continue to support our existence.

    Certainly honeybees, by most people, aren't given the same consideration as humans. We certainly wouldn't be so accepting of so much death, if it were human deaths, nor even if it were the deaths of our pet dogs and cats (perhaps by a misapplication of flea collar insecticide). But dogs and cats aren't so helpful as to assist in the production of so much of our food supply.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
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    There is a 3rd option and who knows how many more....kaolin clay. It may be as effective as either so called hard or soft chemicals in LARGE and small situations. You can spray it on anything. You can eat it...its in Kaopectate! Sold as "Surround" by Gardens Alive.
    I bought a 50# bag for $10.18 as Carotex. It is sold by masonry supply places to help with stickon stone.
    This stuff is a real option that really works. Bugs hate it! That is all it takes.
    Thanks for your time, Beehopper

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post
    .....What happened here was a simple pesticide kill, with the defective batch
    of treated seeds being a specific cause of a limited one-time kill in a small
    area where that defective batch was sold.

    No, that's also wrong - they suspended the license of the company
    that buys the bayer pesticide and applies it to the seed. They should
    also suspend the "license" of the company that makes the specific seed
    drills used, which raise massive dust clouds to spread the pesticide to
    adjacent canola fields......
    Jim,

    Do you have links to the details of the Germany incident? The article I read was rather poorly translated and all that I was able to get from it was the info about the dust clouds being raise by the drills and that they had laboratory tests confirming the cause of the kill. There were no details concerning it being a one-time kill from a defective batch of seed and I was left with the impression that it was a potential problem with all treated seed.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobees View Post
    Has anyone had a farmer using Neonicotinoids on there young seedling and seeds had any
    issues with bee health? I spoke with a farmer that said it will mean allot less treatments with pesticides.

    I'm no fan of the stuff, but I use it(VERY sparingly) in my garden. It bothers me how many products available to the general public contain it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by beehoppers View Post
    There is a 3rd option and who knows how many more....kaolin clay. It may be as effective as either so called hard or soft chemicals in LARGE and small situations. You can spray it on anything. You can eat it...its in Kaopectate! Sold as "Surround" by Gardens Alive.
    I bought a 50# bag for $10.18 as Carotex. It is sold by masonry supply places to help with stickon stone.
    This stuff is a real option that really works. Bugs hate it! That is all it takes.
    I'd be careful, as Surround is the only kaolin clay product which is registered as a horticultural product. Other kaolin clay products might in fact be phytotoxic (starvation of the plant foliage by greatly diminished sunlight). Surround is refined to a much smaller micron size than mason clay, and also includes a sticker. That is why the cost is higher for Surround than for bulk kaolin - the clay is highly refined, and undergoes quite a few manufacturing steps so that particle size, shape, texture, density are consistent. Surround and bulk kaolin are two separate animals, so to speak.

    Kaolin clay was tested on plants decades ago (since 1930's), with failure, until Surround was developed. The key is particle size - insects can't tolerate the much smaller size of clay particles in Surround - bulk kaolin's particle size is too large to be effective. Add to that benefits of no phytotoxicity, minimal residue for coatings on fruit at harvest and no clogged spray nozzles or lines... You get what you pay for - it doesn't pay to be cheap.

    MM

  15. #15
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    > Do you have links to the details of the Germany incident?

    No, I am getting information from a composer friend who has
    recently moved from Manhattan to Germany, and is translating
    the press accounts in the local German press for me.

    Her English is excellent, her German is her native language,
    and she knows a bit of beekeeping, but she is 85 years old,
    and is not about to type me full transcripts of what she
    reads and hears. She is merely summarizing for me.

    The good news is that here in the USA, the seed companies
    buy the pesticide from Bayer, and also buy the exact polymer
    that Bayer suggests they use, and follow a strict process for
    seed application. My understanding from a few US seed companies
    is that Germany does not permit Bayer to "dictate" to the seed
    companies, so they can use whatever polymer they wish to use.

    [SIZE=2]The normal rate for corn seed treatment in Europe is a "dose" of 0.5 mg of
    clothianidin per seed. In the specific area of Germany where the bee kills
    happened, they have a problem with western corn root worm which required use
    of a much higher rate, 1.25 mg clothianidin per seed. More than double.

    The weather may have also been a factor. In this region of Germany
    the spring had started off on the cool side, then in early May it became
    warm and windy. When the weather broke, the farmers feverishly began
    planting corn, all at the same time, and this likely coincided with an
    upswing in bee foraging activity. The windy conditions likely increased the
    amount of dust that reached adjacent crops where bees were foraging. [/SIZE]


    This was nothing less than an amazing run of bad luck.
    Yes, people screw up, accidents happen, and this might happen again,
    but the odds against it are very high. The "lesson learned" here is that
    seed drills must be looked at as potential pesticide-spreading "sprayers",
    and perhaps retrofitted with dust covers, like the ones you can find on
    table saws. The seed-drills were designed BEFORE people started doing
    seed treatments, so "dust" was never more than a cloud of dry soil.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Weitzel View Post
    Jim,

    Do you have links to the details of the Germany incident? The article I read was rather poorly translated and all that I was able to get from it was the info about the dust clouds being raise by the drills and that they had laboratory tests confirming the cause of the kill. There were no details concerning it being a one-time kill from a defective batch of seed and I was left with the impression that it was a potential problem with all treated seed.
    Careful there! You'll be labeled a propagandist for evil chemical companies if you keep that kind of talk up!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodo View Post
    Careful there! You'll be labeled a propagandist for evil chemical companies if you keep that kind of talk up!
    Trust me, I have no love for big chemical companies, but as Paul Harvey puts it, there is always "the rest of the story". That is what I am after.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  18. #18
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    Exactly my point. Some people would rather jump to conclusions and place blame where it may not be warranted instead of trying to find the real culprit.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post

    This was nothing less than an amazing run of bad luck.
    Yes, people screw up, accidents happen, and this might happen again,
    but the odds against it are very high.
    The odds against it happening in the first place were very high.

    But it happened.

    It will happen again.

    And again.

    Until we learn that covering the earth with toxins was a horrible mistake.

    But then - given the human propensity for screwing up and not learning the lesson - it will most likely be too late.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  20. #20
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    Thanks Mapman...I wasn't aware of the difference. But I'll see how carotex works out. Haven't had any problems with my sprayer.
    My point is there are options. It doesn't have to just be this chemical or that chemical.
    Thanks for your time, Beehopper

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