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  1. #1
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    Default Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    Read about it in THE HARVARD GAZETTE HERE:

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/stor...lony-collapse/

    We now have the full text of the Harvard Study by Alex Lu which can be downloaded from this Google Docs link:


    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B7F...Uzdyb21VRV9Bdw

    DISCUSSION ABSTRACT:


    Discussion

    The magnitude and the pattern of honey bee hive loss
    during the winter months in this study resemble the reported
    symptoms of CCD. The loss of 15 of 16 imidacloprid-
    treated hives (94%) across 4 apiaries occurred
    over a period of 10 weeks following the first hive death.
    Dead hives were remarkably empty except for stores of
    food and some pollen left on the frames (figure 3). The
    dead hives, particularly for those treated with higher dosages
    of imidacloprid, was preceded by the observation
    of dead bees scattered on snow in front of the hives,
    with diminished small clusters remaining the week before
    death. Snow usually fell between weekly hive examinations
    making the observation of scattered dead
    honey bees in front of individual hives noticeable. Although
    this observation is not quite reminiscent of the
    reported CCD symptoms, it is important to consider that
    if these hives were located in a warmer climate region,
    such as in Florida USA where migratory hives overwinter,
    bees exiting the hives would have dispersed some
    distance from the hives and therefore would not be observed
    in front of the hives.

    The replicated controlled design of this in situ study in
    the apiarian setting, and the survival of honey bees in 3
    of 4 control hives (figure 4), eliminate the possibility
    that hive deaths were caused by common suggested risk
    factors, such as long-distance transportation of hives,
    malnutrition, or the reported toxic effect of hydroxymethylfurfural,
    a heat-formed contaminant during the
    distillation process of making HFCS, to honey bees (Le-
    Blanc et al., 2009). We used the same HFCS in both the
    imidacloprid-treated and control hives. The loss of imidacloprid-
    treated hives in this study is also highly unlikely
    due to pathogen infection since the presence of neither
    Nosema nor a large number of Varroa mites was
    observed in hives during the summer and fall seasons.
    In addition, all hives were treated with Apistan strips
    and Fumagillin B, two effective treatments for parasite
    prevention, prior to the winter season. Since all hives
    were considered healthy as they went into fall season,
    those pathogens posed very little threat to the health of
    honey bee hives. The only dead control hive exhibited
    symptoms of dysentery in which dead honey bees were
    found both inside and outside of the hive, which is not
    seen in the other 19 hives.


    Data from this in situ study provide convincing evidence
    that exposure to sub-lethal levels of imidacloprid
    causes honey bees to exhibit symptoms consistent to
    CCD months after imidacloprid exposure.
    Should stressor
    factors other than feeding honey bees with HFCS
    containing imidacloprid cause CCD, the loss of honey
    bees would not occur disproportionally on those imidacloprid-
    treated hives. The survival of the control hives
    unequivocally augments this conclusion. The study hypothesis
    is further supported by the mortality data presented
    in figure 2, which clearly demonstrates a dose-
    response relationship, in which the highest imidacloprid
    dose exterminates hives more quickly than the subsequent
    doses in all 4 apiaries. Although imidacloprid, and
    other neonicotinoid insecticides have been suggested as
    a possible contributing factor to CCD because of its toxicity
    in impairing foraging ability or triggering other
    neuro-behavioral problems (e.g. failure to return to the
    hive) in honey bees at sub-lethal doses (Suchail et al.,
    2001; Rortais et al., 2005; Thompson and Maus, 2007;
    Yang et al., 2008; Mullin et al., 2010), its attribution to
    CCD in the apiary setting has never been documented.
    The results from this study underscore the paucity of
    research concerning the sub-lethal effects of pesticides
    on CCD, particularly of neonicotinoids throughout the
    yearly life cycle of entire honey bee colonies under
    natural conditions (Maini et al., 2010; Spivak et al.,
    2011).

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    Catch the Buzz article...
    Now that is way funny. I wonder what other kinds of battery powered vibrating gizmos are out there that will also pollinate tomato blossoms.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    I am not saying what is causing CCD, but the science is still in the air. The insecticide is question was introduced in the 90's, but CCD was noticed in the 80's it just had a different name we need to be open to all possibilities.
    http://tais.tamu.edu/newsletter/pdf/...Newsletter.pdf

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    If you read the study and not the press hype, all it proved is that if you feed bees insecticide they die. Nothing new or novel about that finding and certainly not the cause of CCD. Not every CCD hive was fed HFCS. Further, none of my hives collapsed this year and I had dead bees in the snow. It's a terrible study. Amazing that Harvard would have approved it.

  6. #6
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    Default Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    If you read the study and not the press hype, all it proved is that if you feed bees insecticide they die. Nothing new or novel about that finding and certainly not the cause of CCD. Not every CCD hive was fed HFCS. Further, none of my hives collapsed this year and I had dead bees in the snow. It's a terrible study. Amazing that Harvard would have approved it.
    I have read the study and it is very good. What makes you think it's bad?

    I very much recommend watching this video which shows a talk of the author of the study explaining why he did it and he also gives background information about the shocking results:

    http://worcestercountybeekeepers.com...lapse-disorder

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Forget calling it CCD - that's like "natural causes" it just means that they died and we don't know why. Except systemic pesticides making thousands of acres of forage toxic to all insects in general (it's intended purpose) is NOT natural causes. Neonics are almost certainly one of the major causes of hive collapse. If you were TRYING to kill bees you could hardly design a better tool for it. Even if it's not THE cause of "CCD" it's still a big problem - assuming we want to continue having bees.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    I have read the study and it is very good. What makes you think it's bad?

    Apply a little science to the study instead of blind acceptance.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    The results were hardly shocking.
    They fed bees enough insecticide to kill them...the 20ppb dose (the smallest dose they used) is the same dose the study claims whole kill bees....and according to the studies they cited, 0.1ppb should kill bees if fed over 10 days.
    the symptoms they caused are not consistant with CCD....in fact, they didn't reference a single definition of CCD...just a superficial description.
    no one has ever documented any imidacloprid in HFCS...they cite one.person claiming to have found unquantifiable levels....but no data (and the Harvard team claims.they can quantify down to 0.5ppb).
    if you do watch the video, please note the explanation of bt corn....and if it makes sense, please explain it to me.

    Deknow

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrobisr View Post
    but CCD was noticed in the 80's
    Really? How so and what was it called then?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    I cant reference the exact year, if it was the 80's then it was the early 80's. They called it disappearing disease. I remember having bought some queens from Parks that year and getting a call later in the summer from them asking if I had noticed any disappearing disease. I thought he was joking at first but then he related a lot of experiences some folks out in California were experiencing. Of course this was the good old days of beekeeping when you could easily get devastated with massive losses from foliar spraying. Of course there was the federal indemnity program that reimbursed you if you got your claim in early enough before the funds ran dry.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    And Isle of Wight Disease before that. But, same thing.

    My "winterloss" was 12% this year. Two friends report 5% and 7% each. These are beekeepers w/ more than 500 and the other 1,000 colonies. Is this an indication of a lessening of the problem? Probably just anecdotal evidence. It would be nice to think it otherwise.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I cant reference the exact year, if it was the 80's then it was the early 80's. They called it disappearing disease. I remember having bought some queens from Parks that year and getting a call later in the summer from them asking if I had noticed any disappearing disease. I thought he was joking at first but then he related a lot of experiences some folks out in California were experiencing. Of course this was the good old days of beekeeping when you could easily get devastated with massive losses from foliar spraying. Of course there was the federal indemnity program that reimbursed you if you got your claim in early enough before the funds ran dry.
    ... in other words, you cannot back up your claim at all.
    Last edited by Stromnessbees; 05-07-2012 at 08:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    The results were hardly shocking.
    They fed bees enough insecticide to kill them...the 20ppb dose (the smallest dose they used) is the same dose the study claims whole kill bees....and according to the studies they cited, 0.1ppb should kill bees if fed over 10 days.
    the symptoms they caused are not consistant with CCD....in fact, they didn't reference a single definition of CCD...just a superficial description.
    no one has ever documented any imidacloprid in HFCS...they cite one.person claiming to have found unquantifiable levels....but no data (and the Harvard team claims.they can quantify down to 0.5ppb).
    if you do watch the video, please note the explanation of bt corn....and if it makes sense, please explain it to me.

    Deknow
    The significance of this study lies in the fact that the imidacoprid didn't kill the bees until 3 months after the last treatment!

    If you read the study carefully then you will have to admit that they didn't try to kill the bees, they wanted to show what long term effect very small doses have on the colony, and the effect was this:

    Of the treated hives a staggering 94 % died of CCD like symptoms while only one of the 4 controls died, but of different symptoms (dysentery).


    Don't you think we should start folow-up studies immediately to verify the effect, or are you scared of such experiments?
    Last edited by Stromnessbees; 05-07-2012 at 09:04 PM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    And Isle of Wight Disease before that. But, same thing.

    My "winterloss" was 12% this year. Two friends report 5% and 7% each. These are beekeepers w/ more than 500 and the other 1,000 colonies. Is this an indication of a lessening of the problem? Probably just anecdotal evidence. It would be nice to think it otherwise.

    If you listen to the talk, you will find the explanation for the lessening of the problem.

    Fact is that the pesticide companies knew all along that the neonics were causing CCD, so they lowered the pesticide concentration in the seed dressings, consequently CCD is not as prevalent anymore.

    http://worcestercountybeekeepers.com...lapse-disorder

    Another interesting detail from this talk: apparently the half-life of imidacloprid in soil is 20 years!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Harvard study on neonics and bee deaths - download full text

    While I felt that the study itself was mediocre, I do think that the hypothesis concerning contaminants in HFCS as being harmful to bees was important.

    Now if they could actually find any such contaminants, let alone neonics, in HFCS.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    ... in other words, you cannot back up your claim at all.
    Wait a minute, its all coming back to me now. I am certain it was 1982, I remember because it was the same year that the alien flying saucer crashed in Roswell. I will always believe that somehow those aliens were responsible and that the government was just covering it all up.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    The significance of this study lies in the fact that the imidacoprid didn't kill the bees until 3 months after the last treatment!
    ...yes...but the scattered bees, and the complete absence of bees (including queen and young workers) are not consistent with CCD. If this were written as a toxicity study it would be fine...but it was not...it was a claim of replicating CCD.

    If you read the study carefully then you will have to admit that they didn't try to kill the bees, they wanted to show what long term effect very small doses have on the colony, and the effect was this:

    Of the treated hives a staggering 94 % died of CCD like symptoms while only one of the 4 controls died, but of different symptoms (dysentery).
    if they weren't trying to kill bees, then why did they up the dosage after the first few weeks?
    if _you_ listen to the presentation carefully, you will hear Dr. Lu say that when the bees hadn't died sooner he thought he had failed. .

    Don't you think we should start folow-up studies immediately to verify the effect, or are you scared of such experiments?
    What effect? That a pesticide kills bees?

    My guess is that most of the syrup was stored (remember, they only fed 5lbs at a time...less than 1/2gallon)..we know from reading the study carefully that they fed all the colonies unspiked HFCS in the fall to bring them up to weight for winter. So, the bottom of the honey cap was filled with the clean syrup...as the winter progressed (and the researchers put sugar/hfcs patties on the hives for some unknown reason...drawing the bees up through the contaminated stores), the bees hit the spiked stores (do the bees concentrate HFCS before capping it?) and absconded. That's my best guess as to what happened.

    But I'm certainly in favor of toxicity studies on free flying colonies...data based on what bees in a cage do are of little use....but a follow up of this one? That levels known to be toxic kill the bees? What's the point?

    Could you be trying to protect the business interest of a certain company?
    Actually, I'm on record as being about as anti pesticide as one can be. If you google {worcester ALB dean stiglitz}, you can read about some of it as it relates to imidacloprid. You could also read the book I wrote with my wife if you were interested in keeping bees without pesticides.

    But bad science is bad for everyone. If people are convinced to take action based on bad science and misleadingly written studies, then they can be equally convinced to take the opposite action based on other bad science.

    I hate being put in the position of taking the "side" of the pesticide companies...but it is the only honest thing to do when faced with something like the Harvard study. I've read the study...and I've read most of the reference material cited in the study. It is difficult and time consuming to read a study with that level of detail to understand what is actually going on. Once you understand what this study did vs. what it claims, it becomes difficult to take someone seriously who says they have read the study and it is good. It gets even more difficult when they start accusing anyone who doesn't agree as some kind of secret beekeeper plant by the Bayer black helicopter division.

    deknow

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    ...even the Harvard press office understood that the symptoms that were induced were not consistent with CCD...which is why the press release contradicts the actual study (and the presentation), and states that some young workers were in the empty hives...there were not, but it makes the symptoms sound more like CCD.

    deknow

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Imidacoprid linked to CCD

    "Wait a minute, its all coming back to me now. I am certain it was 1982, I remember because it was the same year that the alien flying saucer crashed in Roswell. I will always believe that somehow those aliens were responsible and that the government was just covering it all up."

    I think you are correct Jim. My wife's first cousin's first husband worked with a fellow whose brother was working as a wrecker driver in Rosland in that year. He was called out on a job and sworn to secrecy by the "Men in Black." He had the only wrecker in the area big enough to haul the demobilized space ship to the under ground secret cavern. To this day, he will not demonstrate the super secret hand shake required to enter the cavern. He claims to this day that the aleins brought bees on their space ship, and that they were deeply interested in our domestic bees. The NSA fellow that my wife's knew felt like the aliens civilization had failed due to CCD. My connection said the NSA people could not cipher CCD. It was a meaningless term to them at the time. All these many years later, CCD is still undefined.

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