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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Arrow At the end of the day with CCD......

    I have heard a good deal of researchers comment on whats been found in comb samples taken from CCD hives. Seems contaminated comb is found about everywhere. At least three researchers at the Pennsylvania State Bee Association fall meeting a few weeks back made comments on fluvalinate in particular, as well as about everything else, found at very high levels in CCD comb.

    I'm just throwing out an idea, but I could see this happening just the same. That at the end of the day, neonicotinoids will be found to be some nasty stuff. Something to be concerned with, something to take guard against. But its the compounding effect that this chemical has in combination with other chemicals, some illegally placed into hives, that turn this into a much deadlier concoction that made the losses possible.

    Yes, some will say that there are examples of bees on new comb being effected by CCD. Seems the dots and ducks are not clear on this CCD thing no matter what we look at. Nothing connects, and nothing is lined up perfectly.

    But this is one way that along with any finger pointing at the makers of neonicotinoid products, beekeepers and other chemical companies, blame will be spread out, liability lessened, and nobody wins.

    There are many examples of one drug or chemical having little negative impact. But add another, or even another, and the mixture turns deadly.

    Researchers are now tracking hives as they migrate across the pollination spectrum, taking samples, noting the chemicals, the sprays, and the impact of everything that could effect hives.

    But why? Isolating one particular chemical should be easy enough. But it seems that besides neonicotinoids, there seems to be contributing factors or compounding contaminates that some are now focused on.

    So will there be no one single source to blame? That perhaps neonicotinoids are lesser of a danger by themselves, but far deadlier when mixed with other chemicals?

    I said many months ago that not one clear item will be singled out. I still thinks thats true.

    Comments...

  2. #2
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    Jan 2001
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    While the testing of pollen, comb, and honey samples taken from
    "CCD Hives" and "Healthy Hives" is not yet complete enough
    to allow publication of results, I think that MaryAnn Fraiser of Penn
    State has been very open about what they are finding, which
    seems to indicate fairly clearly that neonicotinoids or any other
    "suspect chemicals" simply don't have any impact upon, or clear
    connection to CCD.

    In specific regard to neonicotinoids, another significant clue that
    it does not seem to have anything to do with CCD was the widespread
    sales and use of neonicotinoid-based insecticides long before anyone
    saw any "CCD" symptoms.

    What they are finding is exactly what such analysis has been
    finding for years - a wide range of different pesticides and
    other contaminants at parts-per-trillion and parts-per-billion levels.

    Sure, it would be great to be able to blame some multi-billion dollar
    company for our problems, as we could take them to court and
    extract not just reimbursement, but also retribution.

    As for the combinations of chemicals becoming somehow more
    deadly, there was talk early on about some sort of toxic synergy
    between fungicides and pesticides, but before I could even
    ask for a detailed explanation of this highly entertaining theory,
    it was hastily withdrawn by the primary proponent.

    Bottom line, we are no closer to something akin to a clue than
    we were in April 2007. The entire summer was wasted on IAPV,
    but IAPV was found in about 10% of healthy hives sampled
    in 2002 through 2006, so the original IAPV claims were nothing
    but an artifact of testing only a very small set of 50 or so samples.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    I'm inclined to believe that there are several forces at play here, most of which have been discussed and debated, that have all managed to "peak" at the same point on the time line. A combination of forces coming to a head simultaneously and then all of them being shoved under the CCD umbrella makes it nearly impossible to determine "the cause".

    This would explain in my mind why this same kind of sudden beekeeping disaster has occurred at different times in the past, prior to chemicals and pesticides.... perhaps an inevitable natural cycle in the culling of the weak.

    But I still look at neonicotinoids with suspicion as being at least one of the "current" contributing factors. Could it be that the damage to bees attributed to neonicotinoids is being masked by the intense focus on confirmed cases of disease, mite damage, or hive chemical abuse?

    I know that it has been widely used for years, prior to this current CCD crisis. But does anyone have solid data showing the "increase" in product sales which incorporate neonicotinoids over the past few years. Thinking back, I don't remember seeing neonicotinoids in lawn care products, potting soil, etc. I do today. Right now, if bees are anywhere near human activity they are probably exposed to it whether its in a rural or urban region. Several of my neighbors treat their beautiful lawns for grubs and other underground pests with .... you guessed it. And when dandelions and dutch clover show up in the spring, you'll find honeybees working the blooms. I know neonicotiniods have been around for a while but if their use recently has tripled or quadrupled and expanded out further into the urban areas, we can't shove them off the table and discount it as a problem simply because they were in use prior to CCD.

    I'm not pointing any fingers, but I'll sure keep my eyes open on this. Doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling, if you know what I mean.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #4
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    Jim and Mike,

    My comments were not really angled at whether neonicotinoids are or not at play. My thought process was along the lines of how does the makers of neonicotinoids, the EPA, and other agencies dissolve liability issues, if or when, even a small contributing factor is found to connect neonicotinoids.

    I know I have heard of some of the perpetual neonicotnoid bandwagon crowd mention lawsuits, etc. I think its a pipe dream. I'm not so sure at the end of the day there will be even enough proof or clout to even get some of this off the market.

    I think noenicotinoids are bad stuff. That beekeepers need to be selective in apiary locations, etc.

    I know my comments are cloudy or wishy washy. I guess what I am just suggesting, is the pattern I am seeing in that neonicotinoids may be found to be far worse off when combined with other chemicals. And many of these samples sent for testing from the very beekeepers who lost a lot of bees, show contamination of many chemicals. Some legal, and some not.

    Whether neonicotinoids is found to be a contributor or not....I see the foundation of shifting liability, thats for sure. That was my point.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    I'm not so sure at the end of the day there will be even enough proof or clout to even get some of this off the market.
    I'm afraid you are probably right. The only way I see that happening is if it was proven that there is a threat to "human" health. These products are extremely effective and are now so ingrained into our markets and processes that I don't see any possibility of voluntary backing off.

    I'm convinced you are correct in suspecting that chemical synergies with neonicotinoids are enhancing the problems we are seeing, and I think there could be other deadly combinations unrelated to hive chemicals that are at play. But I see no legal means to stop or restrict the use of neonicotinoids on the horizon. Because it probably is a "combination" that has fatal consequences, there may be no way to isolate neonicotinoids and prove they alone are the reaper.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
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    200

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    Questions for Jim;

    As I understand it, CCD can't be diagnosed by any present lab test, so its diagnosis is made from the totality of factors leading to the die off. Who is making the determination that a hive has perished from CCD vs other dwindling? A particular research group. the state agriculture agencies, or the hive owners?

    Has any seasonal pattern emerged?

    Are there new cases of bonafide CCD occuring now?

    In cases where bees are being forced to use Comb from CCD hives, are the new colonies succumbing CCD? If so, some, most, all? How does this compare to hives given CCD comb which has been irradiated?

    Have we seen CCD in AHB?

    Are there any commonalities in regions which have so far NOT seen CCD? What regions have not seen widespread CCD?

    I apologize if these questions have been answered elsewhere, but I wanted to pose them all together to someone who is on top of the literature.

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Bjornbee,

    Do you know of any commercial beekeepers who have been put out of business because of CCD? It seems to me that the guys who groused the most are still at it, somehow. I don't know of any growers who haven't gotten the bees that they needed. Do you?

    On another note. Do you know the NY Apiary Inspector from PA? Apparently the way to get around the rule about NYS Apiary Inspectors not owning bees is to live in and keep bees in another state.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    central fla usa
    Posts
    63

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    Sqkcrk,
    I know of one maybe two myself whom are no longer in business, one is from Pa.The way myself and a couple of friends I know closely ,some from your hood, have stayed in business speaking for myself was buy a semi load of bees ,equipment and tanker load + of feed and sign on the line for about $85,000 .00 more dollars to pay farm credit back in addition to original purchases of bees and equipment.Does that sound like a smoke and mirrors made up story?
    And for growers getting bees ,they still for the most part can find a lo balling bee renter most of the time,as for local growers.Almonds and blueberries are a little more of a sure thing.
    Where there are fruits and nuts there are beekeepers!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    [QUOTE=florida pollinator;320990]Sqkcrk,
    .Does that sound like a smoke and mirrors made up story?
    QUOTE]

    I don't doubt the reality of CCD, but life goes on somehow. And changes occur whether we like them or not. Somehow you saw the investment of $85,000.00 into a somewhat unsure future worth the risk. I'm sure you could have used that capital for something else if you didn't have to replace bees. I wish you and all of us a better future.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Cedar Bluff, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    141

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    I read somewhere that only commerical beekeepers were the ones that were effected. Assuming that is true here's a theory for you taking bees around the country be it for pollination or to catch a honey flow the bees are comming increasingly exposed to fumes from biofuels. I don't know if it's the problem but it is something people may want to look at.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    > read somewhere that only commerical beekeepers were the
    > ones that were effected.

    Nope, there has been no pattern at all to "who has been affected",
    except for the obvious situation of adjacent and nearby yards having
    the problem spread between them often, which only confirms again
    that the basic problem is a pathogen, rather than anything else.

    Is is a disease, a sickness, and no known set of management practices
    can help one avoid it.

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