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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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    Beaverton, MI, USA
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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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    Macoupin,Illinois,USA
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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.

  5. #5
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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.

  6. #6
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    Salt Lake County, Utah
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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.

  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

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I am not sure about lettuce but tomatoes are self pollinated. Bees help but that is one crop that can survive without them.
    Well American tomatoes may be 'special' but certainly in Europe all the glasshouse tomatoes have specially bred boxes of bumblebees brought in - one for each row of tomatoes - just to pollinate them. This costs $millions - so I assume they are not doing it just for fun. If they could find a way to self pollinate them - I assume they would not spend good money on breeding millions of bumblebees?

  10. #10
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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

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