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  1. #161
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I get it.

    2ng/bee is about 20ppb. That's a lethal dose for some neonics. It's in the 'Literature'

    LD50 is usually done as part of the pesticide approval process for a number of days (usually on bees and water fleas!).

    Of course, LD50 is subjective. Hives will go down at levels lower than the LD50 for a long time after 'the trial is over'.

    Why don't more hives go down?

    Bees and the hive microflora can detox the pesticides to an extent.

    I don't know why you're fixated on 2ng/bee.

  2. #162
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Look,
    This has been an education, and make no mistake, I understand and appreciate the LD50 etc etc. The details have been an eye opener for me as I am sure others. I have some education, the level and discipline matters not. What matters is, what does it matter? I, and most everyone else are going to keep their bees the way they want to. I'm transitioning to foundationless because:
    I want to
    I think it is better for the bees
    I will still use foundation when it suits my beekeeping needs
    It is a new challenge, ain't never done it before
    It makes rearing queens easier\
    Don't care what any one else thinks
    Here's the most important one,,,,,,,,,,,IT WORKS FOR ME!!!!!!!
    Folks,,,do what makes this hobby enjoyable for you, isn't so complicated you can't sleep at night, figure out what success in bee keeping is FOR YOU,,,,and go with that.

  3. #163
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    Sullivan, MO
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Amen Rick

  4. #164
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    There is an average of 12.4 ug of various pesticides per gram of wax.
    Little bit more arithmetic:
    12.4 ug = 12400 ng per 1 g of wax times 9 (9 gr of wax per frame) = 111600 divide by 2 (2 ng per bee) = 55800 divide by 2 (LD50) = 27900

    One frame with waxed foundation contains enough pesticides to kill 27.8 thousand bees! I think, it was great discussion. It illustrates how "common sense" (first hand experience) sometime misleading - apparently, with llittle effort it is possible to find a lot of "stuff" even in the innocent wax... knowledge is the power. Good luck to those who is with waxed foundation. Sergey

  5. #165
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Well, that might be true if all of that 12.4 ug pesticide / g of wax was all insecticide. In fact, it's a mixture of insecticide, fungicide, herbicide, etc. .

    The Wu study is showing that pesticide contaminated wax comb causes brood to take days longer to emerge, giving varroa mites a reproductive advantage.

    That'll ruin any beekeepers day.

  6. #166
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Since some of you seem fascinated with LD50s, I'd like to offer up a re-interpretation of the LD50 w/ regards to foaragers.

    The normal average lifespan of foragers according to the study is 8 days.

    In the treatment group (pesticide contaminated comb wax), the average lifespan of foragers was 4 days.

    If we take a CASTE SPECIFIC LD50 for a time period of 8 days, My interpretation of the data is that pesticide contaminated wax comb had reached an LD50 for Honeybee foragers since they only live for an average of 4 days rather than the 'uncontaminated' average of 8 days.

    So, we can say that contaminated wax comb is lethal to a specific caste, foragers. Finally, the treatment wax comb in the study had pesticide residues at the LD50 level for Honeybee foragers over a period of 8 days, the average lifespan of a forager, since they only lived an average of 4 days.

    I think that beekeepers can understand the impact that delayed development and a shortened forager lifespan can have on their operation.

  7. #167
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    You are mis-interpreting the term "LD50" -- the correct definition is the amount that causes the rapid death of half the exposed subjects. Reduction in life span, impaired activity, failure to reproduce, and any other effects are NOT part of that definition.

    The whole discussion about neo-nics and comb contamination is that there are significant effect on bee biology and behavior that are NOT accounted for by the LD50 dose of the pesticides under discussion.

    The LD50 for insecticide in comb would be the level at which half the eggs failed to become larvae, or half the eggs failed to produce emerging bees. I'm not sure any studies have been done on that, it would be VERY interesting to see them.

    Foragers are not in contact with comb to any significant extent by the time they are collecting nectar, any damage that results in shortened life span would have happened during development. This is a different measure than LD50.

    Peter

  8. #168
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    >Good luck to those who is with waxed foundation

    If pesticides in foundation is what is killing my bees, why do they die in winter but thrive in spring and summer? You would think they would die quickly or gradually as soon as they come in contact with the foundations. Are bees on plastic foundation not dieing? Are foundationless bees not dieing? Around here I see bees in trees dieing at about the same percentage as hive bees.

  9. #169
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I disagree with the limits placed on finding LD50s for honeybees.

    Others have brought up the issue of why limiting the time frame of finding the LD50 of pesticides on social insects like Honeybees, with many specific castes, to a span of 24 to 72 hours, is unreliable.

    In short, the problem rests with how pesticides are tested, not my reinterpretation based on data.

    Frankly, the LD50 is a median value, not a mean value, so the pesticides contaminating the wax comb in the Wu et al. study were likely at a concentration higher than the LD50 for the Honeybee foragers.
    Last edited by WLC; 06-17-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  10. #170
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    The LD50 is what it is, and should not be used for anything except calculation of dose lethality. It is a simple measurement -- doses of active ingredient are applied in some defined fashion to whatever subjects have been chosen for the test and the dose that kills half of the subjects in some defined time is the LD50 -- read that as lethal dose for 50% of the subjects.

    It cannot be used to determine ANYTHING else about the compound being tested, and using that number, whatever it is, for any other discussion is mis-interpreting the data.

    I agree, the LD50 isn't of much use when talking about pesticides effects, but it's not intended to be, it's a measure of only acute toxicity. If you read an MSDS, there will be a lot more information than just the LD50 on there.

    Replace "LD50" with "applied dose causing 50% short term lethality" in your comments and you will see what I mean. It only means something in a narrow, defined context.

    Peter

  11. #171
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    "It cannot be used to determine ANYTHING else about the compound being tested, and using that number, whatever it is, for any other discussion is mis-interpreting the data."

    Not really.

    LD50s for pesticides are determined by plotting the cumulative of whatever distribution fits the data best. Most use the normal distibution.

    It's common practice in the lab to use similar methodologies when optimizing mutagenesis experiments, virus plaque counts, etc. .

    It's not a mystery. However, many feel that the LD50s published for many pesticides are unreliable. You can read an example of this in the discussion section of the Mullin paper. The presence of a single synergistic agent can increase lethality over 100 fold. The manufacturers aren't required to test entire formulations (with potentiators), but just the active ingredient.

    As for my application of the LD50 to a specific caste of Honeybee, foragers, over 8 days based on data from a published study...

    ...think of it as a meta analysis.

    I'm allowed to redefine LD50 as I wish. Really.

    Yes, the pesticide concentration in the wax comb for the treatment group in the Wu study would be over the LD50 (8 days) for foragers as I've defined it.

  12. #172
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    With all due respect to everyone who responded (and I do appreciate the responses) I think this thread has become bogged down with minutiae. I still contend that the small amount contaminants found in foundation or even less in wax coated plastic foundation poses little risk to the bees. Old comb is a different story but that is not what we are talking about here.

    If you were to use your own cappings wax and mill your own foundation in an area that did not have large monoculture farms or sprayed crops I would think that your homemade foundation would come out pretty clean (not perfectly but there are trace chemicals everywhere) If I lived in California I would not be able to step outside because everything there causes cancer (at as least some studies have suggested....)

  13. #173
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    If pesticides in foundation is what is killing my bees, why do they die in winter but thrive in spring and summer?
    I think, it is excellent point - bees during the winter are physically "sitting" on comb and consume honey from the comb. If there is anything bad in the comb - bees exposed to it the most in the winter. If they are lucky enough to survive the winter (numerous reasons - genetics, fresh comb, less pollutants in the comb due "bad season" etc) - they will spend at least 30-50% of time outside the hive and will be less exposed to the bad stuff inside the hive. Also, they will build fresh comb, which will bury the bad stuff. With course of spring-summer, more and more "fresh" bad stuff will be delivered into the hive (even new comb will be contaminated now) and cycle may be repeated in the winter. So, summer - will generate the pollution (nobody sprays in winter, right?), and winter - bees will be locked in the hive with all chemicals accumulated over the summer.
    But the truth is that if even bees will survive - they may be weaker => see research article cited above by WLC. Did you notice that these days beekeepers requeen literally every season? Do you think, it is a co-incidence?
    As for bees in the tree - it is exactly the same as for bees in the hive with foundation - bees in nature do not recycle the wax (when bees were created, there were no pesticides to worry)- they use it again and again in their nest, thus - accumulation of the chemicals in the bees habitat, in the tree or in the hive. Based on US statistics, most "feral" (originated from Europe) honey bees already died! The bees you see in the tree - they are from swarms from apiaries, they are not "feral"... and have exactly the same fate as yours! Spreading nasty chemicals everywhere, we, humans, poison wildness. And wildness dies first! Sergey
    Last edited by cerezha; 06-18-2012 at 07:49 PM.

  14. #174
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    If I lived in California I would not be able to step outside because everything there causes cancer (at as least some studies have suggested....)
    Exactly, but note that amount of chemicals in our (Californian) environment, which causes the cancer, probably 100 times less than reported amount of really bad stuff in the old-wax coated foundation! What drives me crazy is that people do aware that even tiny amount of chemicals could produce cancer in humans but completely in denial that chemicals could have similar (not cancer, but something else) effect on their bees or other animals?

    By the way, old wax is relevant to this discussion since only foundation approach permits the re-use of wax and therefore accumulate the bad stuff in the comb. No foundation - no old wax/comb! It was very nice discussion and I learned a lot (mainly how recycling of wax may cause the problem, I underestimate that). Thanks everyone for sharing your opinion. Sergey from cancerous (I am a cancer) California.

  15. #175
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Exactly, but note that amount of chemicals in our (Californian) environment, which causes the cancer, probably 100 times less than reported amount of really bad stuff in the old-wax coated foundation!
    In California, even Starbucks has to post a sign in their store about the (unproven) cancerous effect of roasting coffee. Cerezha, I'm guessing you are not a coffee drinker (or roasted tea drinker for that matter either)

    Again, just to center this discussion we're talking about the thin wax coating on plastic frames. I'm someone who uses both foundation and foundationless frames and I don't lose any sleep over plastic frames.

    Like probably everyone reading this post, I live in a house that is made with drywall and plywood containing lethal amounts of formaldehyde. That said, its not a big deal and I expect that issue is 1000x bigger than having bees interacting with trace amounts of mite treatment in the wax coating on the plastic foundations.

  16. #176
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    for the record, I'm physically "sitting" in my house all year round

  17. #177
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by BayHighlandBees View Post
    for the record, I'm physically "sitting" in my house all year round
    BayHighlandBees,
    How you took care of bees, if you sitting inside all time? Do you keep them in the house? If they are in the house - you have to immediately evacuate them from the dangerous environment! Also, I never drink Starbucks coffee as well as I do not dine at McDonald, but I have to admit that I exposed to bunch of dangerous substances from the airport nearby. In this sense, I am very concern about my bees and already start the company to shut down the airport. As for "the thin wax coating on plastic frames", you made mistake in arithmetic once in this discussion trying to downplay the amount of the wax in the coating, I corrected you. It was 30x mistake. You still is trying to twist the real situation - see my post above with very simple calculations indicating that this "thin wax coating on plastic frames" contains enough dangerous chemicals to kill 20 thousand bees! If we assume that efficiency of killing is very low, 10%. What it means? Well - 2K bees per frame, 10 frames per box - 20K bees per box! This is very conservative calculation. Just think about this and do not downplay the findings of this discussion. It is your personal choice to use or not to use the foundation, but it is just not right, to establish "your" truth by compromising others. It is just my opinion. Cancerous Sergey from sunny California
    Last edited by cerezha; 06-18-2012 at 09:37 PM.

  18. #178
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Little bit more arithmetic:
    12.4 ug = 12400 ng per 1 g of wax times 9 (9 gr of wax per frame) = 111600 divide by 2 (2 ng per bee) = 55800 divide by 2 (LD50) = 27900
    Just remember though that LD50 is based on the bees being fed the chemical directly and not living around it. Bees dont ingest wax.

  19. #179
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The LD50 of many of these wax contaminants is 2ng/bee.
    The miticides we've been talking about are not at an LD50 of 2ng/bee as you mentioned. Coumaphos specifically is listed as non-toxic (at beyond LD50 > 100μg/bee). Which miticide were you thinking is categorized as high toxic (2ng / bee)?

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

  20. #180
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I said 'pesticides', as in dozens of them.

    How they can work synergistically is unknown since there's so many of them present.

    I suppose we could pick out examples where the maximum value found for a particular pesticide present in wax samples tested at above the LD50.

    But, I think that the foragers in the treated wax comb group lasting an average of only 4 days rather than 8 days is a BIG issue.

    Frankly, it's more than enough for me to say that it is the 'hype' about using foundationless.

    The Wu and Mullin papers taken together make a strong argument for going foundationless. Or, we need to use decontaminated wax in foundation.

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