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  1. #1
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    Default Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and business


    Marisa and Renato with their Campaign HQ. 'Basta Veleni' means 'Enough Poison!"

    This is the case of the Italian couple Marisa Valente and Renato Bologna, who have declared a 'Hunger Strike' since July 4th in the City of Turin. They have been living in their camper van outside the Italian Minsitry of Agriculture since July 4th and have vowed to only eat and drink what a bee does. They have allowed themselves three dessert spoons of honey and pollen per day -plus a little fruit juice. They have lost a considerable amount of weight in 28 days.

    They created an Apitherapy bee-business in the late 1980s on the borders of a National Park in the Asti region of Italy. At that time the area was 'a paradise for bees'; for ten years they made a good living selling: honey, pollen and Royal Jelly. Then, in the late 1990s, the grape-growers of this wine region began using Neonicotinoids - specifically Thiomethoxam which is sprayed onto vines.

    Their bees began to die as they lost 20% of their hives in the winter 0f 2003, then 40% in 2004, 50% in 2007 and finally 80% in 2010. With their income falling to zero, and unable to fulfill their customr orders, they stand to lose their business, their income, their home and their land - so they decided to go on Hunger Strike outside the Italian Ministry of Agriculture in Turin. They are demanding a complete ban on all systemic neonicotinoid pesticides which are exterminating bees, butterflies and all pollinating insects, world-wide. They had their bees and hive products analysed in both the govt bee-lab and in a private lab. Both analyses found Thiamethoxam on living bees, in bee bread and in bee-larvae; they could not find thiamethoxam in the dead bees - which echoes Jeff Pettis's experiments in America - so it was very conclusive what was killing their colonies.

    They are living in their camper van and they have only eaten three spoons of honey and pollen - and drank fruit juice - for the last 28 days. It is a fantastic story - someone should cover it for TV and the local press wherever you are. These are BRAVE, courageous people and they have given up their jobs, their livelihood and their reputation in this 'last-ditch' defence of their business - because they have nowhere else to go.

    you can visit their website at: http://www.rfb.it/bastaveleni/chisiamo.htm and sign a support petition.

    They are also contactable via SKYPE at: marisa.renato1 . . they speak basic English, fluent Italian and French.

    I am trying to get journalists to take up this story in Europe and the USA - since it involves two ordinary beekeepers fighting to save their business, their home and their income, which has been destroyed by pesticide corporations - who are seemingly free to release whatever deadly poisons they wish into our environment, without regard for the consequences.

    I would be grateful if you would forward this to any Italian friends or any contacts in beekeeping the food and environmental sphere.

    There is a briefing article which is an English translation of their web page, which can be downloaded from Google here: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=17sG...nvite=CNPfmocG

    Please download and distribute to any beekeepers and organisations you have - and encourage people to email them, Skype them and send them a few dollars if you can spare it. They have had no income since starting their hunger strike.
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 08-03-2011 at 06:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Bayer will never let them win, Bayer has better lawyers and a lot more money. Only when all Bee keepers refuse to polinate crops will the world listen.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    I don't think they remotely wanted to go down this path - they said it caused them enormous pain to present themselves as 'public figures'; they chose to live in a remote area of Italy, next to a National Park - for a quiet life and an honest business in beekeeping.
    But they are facing bankruptcy and the loss of home, business and land - and being left with considerable debts. In the immortal words of Gerry Garcia: - "when you ain't got nothin' you ain't got nothin' to lose". Many beekeepers seem to be heading that way.
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 08-03-2011 at 06:14 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Quote Originally Posted by wkinne View Post
    Bayer will never let them win, Bayer has better lawyers and a lot more money. Only when all Bee keepers refuse to polinate crops will the world listen.
    They have it covered...
    They are going to Genetically Modify fruits and vegetables so they don't need the bee to pollinate them. That is phase two.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    then maybe its time for all beeks to refuse to pollinate,they create a shortage of,lettuce,tomato's to get there points across, i dont want to sound like a radicall but people have to stick together to make change ,this isn't just saving the bees,its making a better world for everyone. If those pesticides were ruing your life would you see different.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    "...they could not find thiamethoxam in the dead bees - which echoes Jeff Pettis's experiments in America - so it was very conclusive what was killing their colonies."

    I'm not sure how this points to neonics? Unless it was a typo.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    I am not sure about lettuce but tomatoes are self pollinated. Bees help but that is one crop that can survive without them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Thiamethoxam IS a Neonicotinoid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thiamethoxam

    "Thiamethoxam is an insecticide in the class of neonicotinoids. It has a broad spectrum of activity against many types of insects.
    [edit] History

    Thiamethoxam was developed by Syngenta but a patent dispute arose with Bayer which already had patents covering other neonicotinoids including imidacloprid. In 2002 the dispute was settled, with Syngenta paying Bayer $120 million in exchange for worldwide rights to thiamethoxam.[3]

    Thiamethoxam is a systemic insecticide that is absorbed quickly by plants and transported to all parts of the plant, where it acts as a deterrent to insect feeding. It is active in the stomach of the insects, and also through direct contact. The insect blocks the electron transfer between nerve cells, making the insects become paralyzed.

    Thiamethoxam is effective against aphids, thrips, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, sawflies, leaf miners, stem borers and termites.

    Thiamethoxam is a moderately toxic substance. In normal use, there are no unacceptable risks involved. The substance is toxic to bees and harmful to aquatic and soil organisms. A metabolite of thiamethoxam in soil is clothianidin.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Did they find the metabolite in the dead bees, or thiamethoxan?

    I'm not following the reasoning behind why these beekeepers are saying that the spraying of vineyards w/ thiamethoxan is killing their bees.

    "they could not find thiamethoxam in the dead bees"

    I found this confusing...

    >Le nostre analisi:

    Nota bene: tutte le analisi effettuate su campioni di api morte, o morenti, congelate immediatamente e consegnate in catena del freddo al laboratorio NON hanno evidenziato MAI contaminazione con il veleno.

    NEL MIELE E NELLA PAPPA REALE NON ABIAMO TROVATO TRACCE DEL THIAMETHOXAM<

    So, in their analyses, they never found evidence of thiamethoxan on dead bees, and they didn't find traces of thiamethoxam in honey or royal jelly.

    Why did you title this thread with this, "neonics killed their bees and busines" ?

    Where's the evidence?
    Last edited by WLC; 08-03-2011 at 07:58 AM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    They found it in the larvae not the adult bees. If you wipe out the young you have no hive in a couple of weeks. You can take an aspirin as an adult but you would give one to a newborn. Maybe it is something similar.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Acebird:

    Were they dead larvae? I don't think so. They may have found traces of thiamethoxam in larvae.

    So what?

    How on earth can anyone consider this a 'chain of evidence' leading to the conclusion:

    "neonics killed their bees and busines" ?

    Pettis did speak to parliament a while back on a similar issue. But, he couldn't provide a direct link either.

    Where's the beef?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Question: What's the relationship between plain "organic" nicotine/tobacco, and these nicotinoid pesticides? I've been using a homemade brew of additive-free pipe tobacco, habanero peppers, and Dawn detergent. It seems to protect against squash bugs and the larvae of red lily beetles, but now I'm concerned it may be bad for the bees. But I've never seen anything about avoiding tobacco plantations.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    >Soltanto quando abbiamo iniziato a scrollare i telaini delle arnie sospette in una bacinella di plastica, le api già contaminate restano sul fondo e non volano via. QUESTE api, dal destino già segnato, le abbiamo poste in un contenitore forato e trasportato a temperatura ambiente presso il laboratorio. Solo prima di effettuare le analisi venivano addormentate col freddo e congelate.
    Quasi tutti i campioni analizzati con questo metodo hanno prodotto risultati POSITIVI.
    <

    So, they shook bees from the frames into a container. They then took the bees that didn't fly away from the container to the lab, at room temperature, and only then did they chill, freeze, and analyze them. These bees tested positive for thiamethoxam.

    So, who's saying that thiamethoxam killed their bees and business?

    Based on what?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    they could not find thiamethoxam in the dead bees - which echoes Jeff Pettis's experiments in America - so it was very conclusive what was killing their colonies.
    Saying something is conclusive, or even very conclusive does not make it so. I am looking forward to more tests on these pesticides, but until it truly is conclusive, saying that it is, just makes your other points suspect.

    I am not pointing at the original poster, as it looks like this was part of some copied text. Just points out the importance of a healthy dose of skepticism.

  15. #15
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    Default The perfect murder - no trace left behind

    Your question is a good one - and I think you should email them and ask them for the full details. They told me verbally over Skype the living bees which they took from the hive to the lab - all had thiomethoxam in and on them. The bee larvae had thiomethoxam in their body tissues - and I assume clothianidin as well since that is the metabolite. They found thiomethoxam in the 'bee bread' - but not in the honey or the pollen. Two independent labs produced identical analyses.

    In 2009 Jeff Pettis of the USDA lab deliberately poisoned colonies with minute doses of Imidacloprid and then exposed them to Nosema - they all died of Nosema, whereas the control colonies exposed to the same dose of Nosema did not die. The best hypothesis he could come up with was that these minute doses of Imidacloprid were weakening the bees immune system - and any pathogen that was around then flooded in and killed them. However, when he then carried out very high level post mortem analysis of the dead bees, they could find no trace whatever - not even a molecule of imidacloprid. But he KNEW that these bees had been fed imidacloprid and he KNEW that it was the only extra-factor in the equation.

    Pettis has still not published his work after almost three years.
    Cedric Alaux's team in France carried out a near-identical experiment to Pettis in 2009 and published the same year. Their results were near-identical. Minute doses of imidacloprid killed their bees but no trace of the pesticide could be found in the pathology lab - despite using the highest-level science lab in France.

    I encourage you to contact Renato and Marisa directly. I will also do the same and try to get the full science story.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The perfect murder - no trace left behind

    Any info on the difference between these nicotinoids and nicotine per se?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Italian beekeepers on 28 day hunger strike -neonics killed their bees and busines

    Thiamethoxam is deadly toxic to bees in even minute doses.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The perfect murder - no trace left behind

    Tut, tut.

    Don't forget this most resent one:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0021550

    KelpticfFest,

    I am familiar with how the ban on neonic coated seed produced a dramatic increase in Honeybee survival in nortern Italy.

    I'm also familiar with the continued Honeybee decline in regions where neonics are sprayed on foliage.

    Renato and Marisa need to move to the Tuscany if they want to keep bees in Italy.

    Sorry, but that's the sad truth.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The perfect murder - no trace left behind

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    However, when he then carried out very high level post mortem analysis of the dead bees, they could find no trace whatever - not even a molecule of imidacloprid. But he KNEW that these bees had been fed imidacloprid and he KNEW that it was the only extra-factor in the equation.
    Doesn't the chemical giant claim it breaks down rapidly. Maybe it isn't there but is was long enough to do the damage.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The perfect murder - no trace left behind

    Acebird:

    That's what I found to be curious.

    If you send out 'poisoned bees' to be analyzed, one of the first things that you would ask for in the analyses is the concentration of breakdown products.

    Maybe Bayer has gotten to the labs? After all, Italy is one the the most corrupt developed nations on the planet.

    Just an observation.

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