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  1. #1
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    Default British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

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    http://www.independent.co.uk/environ...n-7622263.html


    New pesticide link to sudden decline in bee population

    US study says nerve agent causes Colony Collapse Disorder


    A commonly used nerve-agent pesticide is the likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honey bee colonies in the last five years, a scientific study claimed yesterday.

    Imidacloprid, one of the neonicotinoid family of pesticides introduced over the past 15 years, is likely to be responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), the recently observed phenomenon in which bees abandon their hives en masse, according to the study by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.

    The study, to appear in the June issue of The Bulletin of Insectology, provides "convincing evidence" of the link between imidacloprid and CCD, claim the authors, led by Alex Lu, associate professor of environmental exposure biology in the school's Department of Environmental Health. It follows two other widely publicised studies, from Britain and France, published last week in the journal Science, which strongly suggested that neonicotinoids were linked to the declines in bees and other pollinating insects seen in Europe and the US.

    Neonicotinoids, which attack the central nervous system of insects, are considered by some scientists as dangerous to species which are not the compounds' principal targets, because they are "systemic" meaning they do not just sit on the surface of a plant but are taken up into every part of it, including the pollen and nectar, where they can be ingested repeatedly by bees and other pollinating insects.

    Imidacloprid, manufactured by the German agrochemicals giant Bayer, was one of the first neonicotinoids to be introduced and has since been used on millions of acres of crops, especially in the US. The compound was Bayer's top-selling insecticide in 2009, earning the company 510m.

    The Harvard researchers dosed bees with imidacloprid at levels "determined to reflect imidacloprid residues reported in the environment previously", they said. They found that at the end of the research period, the hives had been abandoned.

    The Green MP, Caroline Lucas, said yesterday:

    "This research from Harvard, together with the two recently published studies from Britain and France, clearly exposing the risk to bee colonies from neonicotinoid insecticides, should be a deafening wake-up call for the Government."

    She has written to the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, "to demand an immediate ban on both lethal and non lethal doses of neonicotinoids". No one from Bayer was available to comment yesterday. However, Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity, criticised the Harvard research.

    "This study is further evidence of the toxicity of neonicotinoids to bees, but the levels of pesticide in the food fed to the bees was higher than would be found in pollen and nectar in treated crops, hence it would be stretching the point to claim that it was strong evidence that neonicotinoids are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder," he said.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    All I saw in the Harvard study was that if you feed bees insecticide they die. Nothing new there and certainly no indication that they have found the cause of CCD. Read the study.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Bayer is a really bad company... See my blog: http://www.yazyasminandyou.com/2009/05/ugly-history-of-yasminyazs-manufacturer.html . Bayer was quick to manufacture evidence that it was NOT at fault back in 2001!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    I am going to make my pollination clients sign a statement that they agree not to use insecticides containing imidacloprid or neonicotoids this year. I am curious to see how they respond. Just made my first call.
    Last edited by BerkeyDavid; 04-06-2012 at 07:21 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Might want to spend some time on this study:

    http://www.gesundebiene.at/wp-conten...de-in-bees.pdf

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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    However, Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, the invertebrate conservation charity, criticised the Harvard research.

    "This study is further evidence of the toxicity of neonicotinoids to bees, but the levels of pesticide in the food fed to the bees was higher than would be found in pollen and nectar in treated crops, hence it would be stretching the point to claim that it was strong evidence that neonicotinoids are responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder," he said.
    So what is the problem again?
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  7. #7
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Here's what Randy Oliver had to say about this study:

    Re this study, at first glance it appears to support the hypothesis that
    chronic exposure to field realistic doses of imidacloprid during summer and
    fall can lead to late winter collapse of the treated colonies.
    Unfortunately, there are a great deal of factual misrepresentations and
    fuzzy thinking in the paper, which obviously was not peer reviewed by
    any bee biologist nor toxicologist. For example, the author stated in an
    interview:

    "When other conditions cause hive collapse--such as disease or pests--many
    dead bees are typically found inside and outside the affected hives."

    Could someone please refresh my memory? Other than in the case of tracheal
    mite, which diseases or pests leave many dead bees in a hive? (Note that
    starvation or acute pesticide toxicity would not fall into the category of
    "disease or pest").

    My reading of the paper suggests that the author knows little about bees,
    little about pesticides, nothing about HFCS, had no understanding of the
    distribution of systemic pesticides in plants.

    Let's look at a few more sentences from the paper:

    "We hypothesized that the first
    occurrence of CCD in 2006/2007 resulted from the presence
    of imidacloprid ... in
    high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fed to honey bees as
    an alternative to sucrose-based food. There are three
    facts to support this hypothesis. First, since most of the
    suspected but creditable causes for CCD were not new
    to apiculture, there must have been an additional new
    stressor introduced to honey bee hives contemporaneous
    with the first occurrence of CCD during the winter
    months of 2006 and early 2007."

    As Bob and others have pointed out, CCD actually started occurring in
    2004-2005.

    "Second, while commercial beekeepers appear to be affected by CCD at a
    disproportional rate"

    This is not true according to any of the surveys that I've seen.

    ", their beekeeping practices have been
    relatively unchanged during these years except for the
    replacement of honey or sucrose with HFCS as the supplemental
    sugar source for economic and convenient
    reasons.... Although
    the replacement of honey/sucrose-based feeds
    with HFCS among commercial beekeepers took place
    much earlier than 2006/2007, it was the timing of the
    introduction of neonicotinoid insecticides to the cornseed
    treatment program first occurring in 2004/2005
    that coincides with CCD emergence (Bonmatin et al.,
    2005; Benbrook, 2008)."

    It appears that the first cases of CCD preceded this time period, since any
    HFCS
    produced from such treated corn would have necessarily have been produced
    following
    the season of harvest.

    The authors then cite a few studies that show that systemic insecticides
    are translocated,
    as they are intended, throughout the plants. But then they stretch by
    stating:

    " These study results
    lend credence to our hypothesis that the systemic
    property of imidacloprid is capable of being translocated
    from treated seeds to the whole plant, including
    corn kernels and therefore likely into HFCS."

    My gosh, this is one helluva assumption! Without taking the time to simply
    confirm that Imd winds up in the kernels, the author *assumes* that it is
    concentrated
    there at high levels! An then further goes out on a limb by "assuming"
    that any
    such imidacloprid is then concentrated when the corn is used to produce
    HFCS (ignoring the fact
    that most corn is treated with clothianidin, rather than imidacloprid):

    The paper turns into farce when the author states:

    "we used food-grade HFCS fortified with different levels of imidacloprid,
    mimicking the levels that are assumed to
    have been present in the older HFCS. The range of dosages
    used in this study from 20 to 400 ?g/kg were not
    only environmentally relevant"

    Since when has 400 ppb ever been been considered to be
    "environmentally relevant"? Levels of 1-4 ppb are environmentally relevant;
    levels above 40 ppb are usually considered to be overtly toxic. So the 400
    ppb
    figure is 100 - 400 times as strong as the normal measured levels in the
    field due to seed treatment.

    But then the author goes into la-la land with some even wilder creative
    assumptions:

    "Since there is no tolerance level for imidacloprid in HFCS, we
    applied a 10-fold concentrating factor, or 0.5 ppm (500
    ?g/kg) of imidacloprid in HFCS, by taking into account
    the uptake by corn plants from seeds that are treated
    with imidacloprid."

    He simply created this "concentrating factor" out of thin air! He gave
    absolutely
    no justification for it. In the actual process of making HFCS, pesticides
    are
    largely removed. As I stated before, all that the author had to do would
    have been to
    ask Roger Simonds at the USDA Gastonia pesticide testing lab as to the
    actual measured levels of Imd in HFCS, and thus would
    not have brought embarrassment to Harvard Medical School by such a
    ludicrous assumption.

    "Therefore, we
    are confident that the imidacloprid dosages applied in
    this study would be comparable, if not lower to those
    encountered by honey bees inside and outside of their
    hives."

    Unfortunately, the authors' confidence is not supported by any actual field
    measurements whatsoever!

    The authors state:

    "There are several questions that remain unanswered as
    a result of this study. First, the systematic loss of sealed
    brood in the imidacloprid-treated and control hives may
    indicate a common stress factor that was present across
    all 4 apiaries."

    Like, maybe the field investigators should have taken a few nosema or
    varroa counts, rather than simply
    assuming that these common parasites weren't killing the colonies! For all
    we know, all the hives could have
    bee crawling with varroa or badly infected with nosema. One statement
    suggests that varroa was evident: "nor a large number of Varroa mites was
    observed in hives during the summer and fall seasons," suggesting some
    something less than a "large" number of mites was indeed observed! And
    then they waited until October 5 to treat with Apistan strips, which are
    ineffective against mites in many areas of the U.S.

    The authors, on a roll, simply do not know when to stop:

    "If imidacloprid exposure is truly the sole cause of
    CCD, it might also explain the scenario in which CCD
    occurred in honey bee hives not fed with HFCS. Considering the sensitivity
    of honey bees to imidacloprid as
    demonstrated in this study and the widespread uses of
    imidacloprid and other neonicotinoid insecticides, pollen, nectar,
    and guttation drops produced from those
    plants would have contained sufficient amounts of
    neonicotinoid insecticide residues to induce CCD"

    What are they talking about when they say "considering the sensitivity"?
    Even the lowest fed dosage (20 ppb) is about 5-20 times higher than
    that commonly found in nectar, and the other three doses were far
    higher--it is amazing to me that the colonies were not killed outright!

    Oddly, I don't see any explanation as to why the investigators changed
    treatment dosages mid trial. To their credit, they initially treated the
    colonies with "field realistic" doses of the insecticide: 0.1 - 10 ppb
    (that would have actually have been a decent study). I suspect that after
    feeding the colonies for four straight weeks in July, and not noticing any
    adverse effects, that they then decided that they had better really hit the
    colonies hard if they wanted to support their hypothesis--so they
    arbitrarily ramped up the lowest dose to 200 times stronger, and the
    highest dose to 40x stronger (that oughtta do it!).

    I can only imagine their surprise and disappointment when after then
    feeding colonies a full half gallon of obviously toxic treated syrup weekly
    for another 9 straight weeks, they still noted virtually no adverse
    effects! Note that the amount of broodrearing was unaffected at the 20,
    40, and 200 ppb dosages, and only slightly depressed at the clearly toxic
    400 ppb dose! Note that the colonies were all still alive at midwinter, 3
    months after the dosing ended.

    So why did the colonies die? Such pinsecticide exposure to hives in late
    summer has been clearly demonstrated to greatly increase the chance of a
    colony later dying from nosema or varroa infection during the winter. In
    this study, poisoning the colonies all through late summer and early fall
    likely hampered the ability of the colonies to prepare a healthy population
    for winter.

    Oddly, the investigators also took biweekly measurements of the cluster
    sizes of the colonies, yet
    chose not to include the results in the paper. This makes me wonder
    whether there was no effect of
    treatment upon the colony populations, and the authors simply decided to
    exclude any data that did
    not support their hypothesis.

    So although this paper is surely going to be cited by anti-neonic advocates
    ad nauseum, I find it to be a case in which an initially fairly designed
    study (the dosing of hives with a series of four field realistic doses of
    Imd) turned to farce when the investigators arbitrarily ramped up the
    doses, and blew it on parasite management.

    In my assessment, it appears that the data from this study actually support
    an alternative hypothesis--that field realistic doses of imidacloprid had
    no measurable adverse effects upon the colonies. And even patently toxic
    doses had little immediate effect. I suspect that the apparent delayed
    effect was due to the impact of the insecticide upon late summer colony
    populations (which the authors inexplicably did not present), which led to
    later collapse due to parasite buildup.

    i find it unfortunate that the press, including both of our national bee
    journals, gave publicity to this paper without any sort of critical
    analysis. Such messages only confuse the public. Pesticides are a major
    issue to the beekeeping community. What we need are well designed and
    executed studies, (as well as better enforcement of pesticide law) in order
    to solve these problems. Sadly, this study just confuses the issues.
    --
    Randy Oliver
    Grass Valley, CA
    www.ScientificBeekeeping.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    Here's what Randy Oliver had to say about this study:
    Wow. Randy Oliver sure has given the paper some serious thought and has provided a good response.

    Camero, is something that is posted on ScientificBeeking.com, or was it from personal communication?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Edit: Nevermind I found it on the front page of ScientificBeeking.com
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    No, it was posted on Bee-L

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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    No, it was posted on Bee-L

    I found it right here on the front page: http://scientificbeekeeping.com/



    (I dont want to step on anyones toes, but what is the ediquette in regards to referencing other bee forums / bee websites on Beesource?)
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  11. #11
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees


  12. #12
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    I would take this paper seriously.

    However, it hasn't been published, but it has been leaked.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I would take this paper seriously.

    However, it hasn't been published, but it has been leaked.
    Yes the Bayer response should be taken seriously.

    The paper the OP posted is . . .
    Last edited by Barry; 04-06-2012 at 06:45 PM. Reason: language
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    The tide has turned against neonics in the U.S. .

    In my opinion, this is a direct result of the whole Monsanto/Beeologics Op. .

    They miscalculated.

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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    WLC, I think you need to read the paper...it is terrible. This has nothing to do with Monsanto/Beeologics ...this was a poorly done study performed by a researcher with a poor understanding of the subject. The press release from Harvard is even worse (which is what all the media reports are based upon). All they did was kill bees by feeding them imidacloprid.

    deknow

  16. #16
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The tide has turned against neonics in the U.S.
    And because of that, people are allowed to publish and report science that is nothing but hype and is so badly flawed that it becomes a complete and utter joke?

    You have lost all credibility and I am down voting you!
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  17. #17
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    I've read randy's posts on bee-l forever, never seen him write that long a response ever, must have really been fired up.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  18. #18
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    My credibility is just fine. Monsanto won't dare release Remebee. I'm always glad to lend a hand to a U.S. company in need of guidance.

    Perhaps you haven't been keeping track of the avalance of studies that have been done on the off target effects of neonics?

    A vacuum was created once many U. S. Honeybee researchers became associated with Monsanto through the purchase of Beeologics.

    The U.S. based research that is being released is a direct result of that. They've lost control of publication.

    That's the miscalculation.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    thought we were talking about the paper, not Remebee. WLC you're off base on this one.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: British MP Demands Immediate Ban on Neonicotinoid Pesticides that Kill Bees

    You hav to understand that many key scientists that used to referee papers are no longer in that position. That's one of the effects of their association with Beeologic/Remebee, now Monsanto.

    So, you're going to see alot more of these types papers coming out of the woodwork here in the U.S. .

    There's no one to stop them.

    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that Randy Oliver recently ran field trials for Monsanto.
    Tut, tut, tut.

    As for the paper itself...

    This isn't a defining paper, but it is an example of what's to come. The dam has broken.

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