Re: bayer withdrawing imidacioprid from labeled use in almonds
Last year we had two different handlers of our bees in the same general area and saw the same results with both groups of bees: Pallets seemed to either have really good hives on them (2 full boxes of bees and 10+ frames of brood) or else the pallet was poor to mediocre. The poorer hives did not lack for feed just had spotty brood patterns but were all laying like crazy as soon as they got to Texas. We hand picked hives that were all at least 7 combs of bees when they went in. The puzzling thing to me has always been with all the testing that has been done why there is not a clear link between bees that are either dead or not growing as they should and the results of testing of pollen and honey in those hives. Lets not forget that most of these crashes happen in the late fall and winter long before these hives are working any Almonds. Despite the fact that neonics have long been suspected the best conclusions that researchers seem to have come to is that it is most likely only one of many factors responsible. My guess is that the main two proven factors in bee losses arent changing much and those are #1 mites and mite borne viruses and #2 hives coming off a season of poor flows and the resulting poor nutrition and lack of young healthy bees(with the exceptions of those extremely diligent beekeepers that make up for this with supplements). If the 2011 Almond pollination season and the NASS hive numbers were any indication there was an uptick in hive health right after one of the better nationwide honey crops in recent years, that may or may not have been a coincidence. In any case I think Bayers decision has to be good news for our industry as long as we dont see an increase in foliar spraying as a result.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney