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  1. #1
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    Default How Colonies Collapse: Multiple Effects of Pesticides on Bee Colonies

    This superb set of slides from a German beekeeper suggests/ hypothesizes a connection between high-varroa-counts and pesticide exposure

    Varroa out of control?

    Combined effects of neonics (and other pesticides) with fungicides and herbicides trigger colony collapse disorder and general decline of pollinating insects

    http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/PKB_engl.pdf

    pesticide effects.jpg
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 02-12-2013 at 07:44 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How Colonies Collapse: Multiple Effects of Pesticides on Bee Colonies

    To my mind it reveals nothing but speculation. there are NO credible studies that indicate that pesticides and fungicides trigger CCD. There is some evidence that fungicides cause problems in the hive but NOT CCD. Interestingly, they are attempting to change the definition of CCD because they can't pinpoint a cause. I also believe that nosema is more of a problem w/ varroa and CCD.The above paper has not footnotes and can not be considered a study in any sense of the word. further it lacks peer review.

  3. #3
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    Default I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    To my mind it reveals nothing but speculation. there are NO credible studies that indicate that pesticides and fungicides trigger CCD. There is some evidence that fungicides cause problems in the hive but NOT CCD. Interestingly, they are attempting to change the definition of CCD because they can't pinpoint a cause. I also believe that nosema is more of a problem w/ varroa and CCD.The above paper has not footnotes and can not be considered a study in any sense of the word. further it lacks peer review.
    You are correct - this set of graphics is not a peer-reviewed study - it is the observation hypothesis of a beekeeper who has studied dozens of such studies.

    To say that there are NO credible studies indicating that neonicotinoids cause CCD is bias in the extreme. There are dozens, if not hundreds of such studies.

    You can download dozens of the most well-known studies from a new charity/ NGO site called 'Small Blue Marble' - here:

    http://smallbluemarble.org.uk/research/

    Your observation that nosema is more of a problem was covered in great detail by the peer reviewed studies carried out by the team of Dr Cedric Alaux in France and a near-identical study produced by Jeff Pettis and Dennis Van
    Englesdorp at the USDA Beltsville labs. Both of those studies revealed that colonies which were exposed to field-realistic doses of imidacloprid - and then exposed to nosema - all collapsed and died from nosema. The control colonies which were NOT fed imidacoprid but which were also exposed to nosema - did NOT collapse and die.

    Both Pettis and Alaux concluded that exposure to infinitesimal doses of neonicotinoids produced an immune system deficiency in the bees which left them vulnerable to any pathogen or parasite. In effect, neonicotinoids are the equivalent of HIV / AIDs in that a single causal agent predisposes the bees to infection by a wide range of viruses, bacteria and fungal diseases, not to mention weakening their ability to resist varroa.

    What was hastily covered up in a flurry of industry-created smokescreens, misdirections and denials was the obvious and most crucial point of Alaux's research and Pettis' research.

    Pettis reported that even though he knew, 100% that he had fed his colonies with imidacloprid, and he knew that this was the crucial factor which precipitated collapse from a nosema infection - his lab (arguably the best in America) could find no trace whatever of the imidacloprid in the pathology of the dead bees.

    What this indicates is:

    1. Neonics are a perfect poison. At field realistic levels they kill the colony but leave no trace whatsoever to be found. this in turn implies that many of the studies which found 'no trace' of neonics in dead colonies over the previous decade - were 'false negatives.' They found no trace of neonics, because they often leave no trace.
    Pettis' and Alauz discoveries also echo the findings of Dr henk Tennekes work, which concluded that - "there is no dose for neonics which does not kill bees" - there is no safe exposure whatsoever; any exposure is inevitably fatal.
    Dr LuC Belzunces from the French National Agricultural Research lab produced an LD50 with bees by feeding them imidacloprid laced syrup at 40ppb - at that dose half the colony died in 48 hours. However, field-realistic doses are about a tenth of this - canola pollen and nectar generally contains 1-10 ppb of neonics.

    So Belzunces then fed his bees a one-thousand-times smaller dose of imidacloprid: 4 picogrammes - or 4 parts per trillion.
    Using that virtually unmeasurable dose he achieved a 100% bee kill in ten days. This finding has been totally ignored by the EPA and our own DEFRA. It clearly shows that ANY exposure to neonics will kill bees.

    2. Many of the colonies which die from varroa or viral, fungal and bacterial infections, are in fact dying because neonics have destroyed the individual bees' immune systems, as well as the social 'collective' immunity that derives from constant interaction and grooming.

    Bayer Cropscience proudly advertises the mechanism by which sub-lethal doses of imidacloprid, one of their neonicotinoids, kills colonies of Termites, which like bees, are social insects. The key is that disoriented social insects stop grooming and thus get infected with natural pathogens. Here is the quote from the Premise 200SC leaflet . Premise 200SC, is a Bayer product for Termites, which like bees, are social insects.

    http://www.elitepest.com.sg/brochure/Premise_200SC.pdf
    The leaflet reads:


    “The termites are susceptible to diseases or fungi found in soil. A principle part of their defence mechanism is their grooming habits, which allows the termites to get rid of the fungal spores before these spores germinate and cause disease or death. Premise 200SC interferes with this natural process by lowering defence to nature’s own weaponry.”

    "What is Premise 200SC plus Nature?
    Low doses of imidacloprid such as the edge of the Treated Zone, disoriented the termites and caused them to cease their natural grooming behaviour. Grooming is important for termites to protect them against pathogenic soil fungi. When termites stop grooming, the naturally occurring fungi in the soil attack and kill the termites. Imidacloprid makes fungi 10,000 times more dangerous to termites. Nature assists imidacloprid in giving unsurpassed control. This control is called Premise 200SC plus Nature."
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 02-12-2013 at 07:22 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    This does seem to be mostly speculative, but that doesn't mean that it is incorrect. The link between malnutrition and colony failure is probably (I would speculate) valid.

    I have noticed that in the cases of successful treatment free bee keepers either they don't really rely on harvested honey as an income source or they harvest less than might be usual - thus (speculatively) resulting in colonies with better nutritional security. As a General rule better fed creatures are more robust than malnutritioned ones.

    We don't have much control over a lot of factors, but we can keep our bees fed. And BTW, honey may be better than sugar, but sugar is better than starvation.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    You can download dozens of the most well-known studies from a new charity/ NGO site called 'Small Blue Marble' - here:
    This is a tiresome exercise, but many of those "well-known studies" have been thoroughly discredited by trained scientists.

    I don't know of anyone spraying Premise on crops. This hysteria over imidacloprid ignores the real danger of the synergy between some pesticides and the much more dangerous, IMO, fungicides. My bees were exposed in one orchard to fungicide spray this spring and they were in terrible shape coming off those apples. Took them all summer to recover and they made no honey. I have bees next to imidacloprid treated corn and they are booming, made a nice crop of honey this year and last year I had 100% survival in that yard. I also note that many beekeepers suffered the effects of CCD with bees that had not been exposed to neonics.

    Dr. Pettis also went on record when he spoke in Europe that CCD wasn't caused by the neonics. The paper you refer to by Pettis states: "At the end of 10 weeks, eight of 30 [colonies in the experiment] tested positive for Nosema but there
    was surprisingly no relationship between Nosema infection
    and imidacloprid treatment which would have been predicted
    by the lab study." You can't have it both ways.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    My recollection of the Pettis study is that several bees died in the cage from the control group. These dead bees were discarded from the study, and it was never investigated if these bees had nosema or if nosema contributed to their deaths. Given that these bees were intentionally inoculated with nosema, and susceptibility to nosema was what was being investigated.
    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    This is a tiresome exercise, but many of those "well-known studies" have been thoroughly discredited by trained scientists.
    This is indeed getting tiresome. I, unfortunately, am old enough to have had to live through years and years of:

    cigarette manufacturers proclaiming that "there are no valid long term studies that prove cigarette smoking causes cancer"

    and our government proclaiming that "there is no concrete evidence that agent orange causes ill long term effects"

    Guess what......smoking cigarettes causes cancer and agent orange is muy malo no matter how many times one says it aint so!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    [QUOTE=camero7;895530] "This is a tiresome exercise, but many of those "well-known studies" have been thoroughly discredited by trained scientists. "

    RESPONSE: Please enlighten us by naming any one of these studies that has been 'discredited by trained scientists' Easy to say, not so easy to prove.

    camero7 wrote: "I don't know of anyone spraying Premise on crops. "

    Nobody suggested that anyone ever has sprayed Premise on crops. It is a Bayer product sold to kill termites; the active substance is imidacloprid. Bayer markets it specifically because it :'destroys social communication and grooming behavior in termite colonies' - leading to the collapse of the termite colony. Termites and bees are both social insects which live in a giant 'superorganism' controlled by a single queen and governed by pheromones. Anything which destroys social communication in either termites or bees would tend to cause a colony to fall apart. We have the evidence of 10 million dead beehives that something is highly effective at killing them.

    Bees are social insects which cannot survive in isolation; they have a weak individual immune system but a strong 'social' immune system (c.f. Prof. Jurgenm Tautz's masterwork 'The Buzz About Bees'). Since imidacloprid is known to disrupt social behaviours in both termites and bees - causing them to stop grooming and communicating - it is obvious why it kills both termite colonies and bee colonies.

    Bees do not come into contact with Premise in crops. They gather pollen and nectar contaminated with imidacloprid (same pesticide) from hundreds of different brand formulations, notably Bayer's 'Gaucho'.

    When Bayer applied for a license back in 1992 they stated in the risk assessment that it was 'impossible for bees ever to come into contact with imidacloprid in nectar or pollen' - because although it was systemic in the crop, it was: "never expressed in pollen or nectar".

    We now know that this was completely untrue; neonics are present in pollen and nectar.
    So were they lying, or were they just technically incompetent? You decide.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    I Googled: "impossible for bees ever to come into contact with imidacloprid in nectar or pollen"
    And got no results. Can you cite the risk management report you are referring to?

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    Bees and termites are not all that closely related within insects. They belong to different orders. Termites are hemimetabolous (that is, they develop without tissue reorganization during a pupal period). Bees are holometabolous. Eusociality evolved separately in termites and in bees; their social behaviors do not make them closely related phylogenetically. Communication and geospatial orientation systems in bees and termites are quite different between the two groups of insects.

    Chemicals may affect them similarly, but not for the reasons presented in this thread.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I beg to differ - there are dozens of peer reviewed studies

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    This does seem to be mostly speculative, but that doesn't mean that it is incorrect. The link between malnutrition and colony failure is probably (I would speculate) valid.

    I have noticed that in the cases of successful treatment free bee keepers either they don't really rely on harvested honey as an income source or they harvest less than might be usual - thus (speculatively) resulting in colonies with better nutritional security. As a General rule better fed creatures are more robust than malnutritioned ones.

    We don't have much control over a lot of factors, but we can keep our bees fed. And BTW, honey may be better than sugar, but sugar is better than starvation.
    david has it exactly right here.

    and the 'set of graphics' showing malnutrion being a bottom line cause of disease and collapse is, well, old news. even more so than us humans, bees are what they eat. i would put feeding syrup above neonics as a primary cause of disease and collapse.

    the lack of any difference the levels of disease and collapse between bees kept near heavy neonic use and bees that are kept no where near neonic use is the most compelling reason for not believing that neonics are a primary cause for disease and collapse. (i would suggest randy oliver's objective analysis of the peer reviewed papers that have been published on this).

    i would add to david's last comment, (highlighted by me), that short of a severe drought or some other freak weather, starvation can be eliminated by avoiding pbb. (translated don't rob all the honey and give them syrup to overwinter on)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    I Googled: "impossible for bees ever to come into contact with imidacloprid in nectar or pollen"
    And got no results. Can you cite the risk management report you are referring to?

    Deknow

    Uncertainty: cause or effect of stakeholders’ debates?
    Analysis of a case study: the risk for honey bees of the insecticide Gaucho ®

    Laura Maxim, Université de Versailles;
    Jeroen P. van der Sluijs, Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development

    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.12.052


    1.2. Honey bees’ exposure to imidacloprid


    [1994]
    Bayer claimed that imidacloprid applied on seeds cannot be present in flowers, because it disappears
    before the treated plants flower (GVA, 2006; AFSSA, 2002). The consistent association between the use
    of Gaucho® in treating sunflowers and the appearance of intoxication symptoms during sunflower

    [1995–1997]
    All of Bayer’s studies concluded that Gaucho® used in sunflower seed-dressing is harmless for
    honeybees (GVA, 2006; Curé in AFSSA, 2002). However, the significant lack of quality in Bayer’s
    studies was repeatedly demonstrated by independent scientists.

    [1998–1999]
    The studies undertaken by Bayer during this period either could not detect imidacloprid or detected it, but
    could not quantify it
    (GVA, 2006; SCT, 2003). One exception was a laboratory study that quantified the
    substance in sunflowers treated with Gaucho® to be 3.3 ppb in pollen and 1.9 ppb in nectar (Stork, 1999,
    in GVA, 2006; SCT, 2003).

    1994: early warnings
    In France, dressing seeds with Gaucho® was authorised in 1991 for sugar beet, in 1992 for maize
    and in 1993 for sunflower. Gaucho ® was first used in sunflower farming in 1994. After that year,
    beekeepers started to report alarming clinical signs. After several days of foraging during the sunflower
    flowering, many honeybees did not return to their hives. Bee behaviour also caused concern:
    honeybees gathered close together in small groups on the ground or hovered disoriented in front of
    the hive; foraging behaviour was abnormal; and queens produced increased amounts of brood to
    compensate for the loss of foragers. In certain cases, dead honeybees were also reported in front of the
    hives.

    In affected apiaries, most hives were impacted. Those apiaries suffered a 40–70 % loss in sunflower
    honey yield in the years after 1994, relative to the average yield obtained in previous years. Before
    1994, the annual yield variation had been ± 10 %. At the end of winter, losses were up to 30–50 %
    of the hives, compared with the usual 5–10 % (personal communications from 20 beekeepers;
    Coordination des Apiculteurs, 2001; Alétru, 2003).

    Evolution of knowledge over time
    When Gaucho ® was launched commercially, the manufacturer (Bayer) considered that it posed no risk to
    honeybees
    , provided it was applied as seed‑dressing(Bayer, 1992).
    Bayer's reaction to the beekeepers demand was to conduct field and semi‑field (under‑tunnel)
    research. According to Bayer these studies showed that Gaucho® posed no risk to honeybees (Belzunces
    and Tasei, 1997).

    However, the clinical signs continued. Bayer's experiments were presented at the Fourth
    International Conference on Pests in Agriculture, held in Montpellier on 6–8 January 1997, and also
    during a meeting organised by the Association de Coordination Technique Agricole (ACTA) in October
    1997. They were criticised (ACTA, 1997; Belzunces and Tasei, 1997), so public scientists were also asked
    to research the issue.

    Honeybee exposure to imidacloprid: 1993–1999
    One of the main issues in assessing exposure to Gaucho was the precision of measuring very
    low concentrations of imidacloprid in pollen and nectar. In 1993, the detection limit established by
    Bayer‑funded scientists for measuring the presence of imidacloprid in plants was 10 ppb (Placke and
    Weber, 1993). However, it was later found that much lower detection limits (DL) were needed to identify
    imidacloprid's presence in pollen and nectar.

    The studies undertaken by Bayer during this period either could not detect imidacloprid in pollen
    and nectar, or detected it but could not quantify it
    (CST, 2003). In 1999, a study quantified the substance
    in sunflowers treated with Gaucho to be 3.3 ppb in pollen and 1.9 ppb in nectar (Stork, 1999).
    When public research started (1997–1998), the General Directorate for Food of the Ministry of
    Agriculture (DGAL) demanded analyses using 'the lowest detection limit possible', but 'without
    going below 0.01 mg/kg' (10 ppb). For the 1998 programme DGAL noted that 'it is not useful to
    try to work with the lowest detection limits'

    This DL corresponded to the characteristics of the Bayer method (Pflanzenschutz Nachrichten Bayer,
    46.1993.2 inverse chromatography in liquid phase and UV detection). Bayer representatives also participated
    in the committee charged with developing the research protocol.

    These first studies of public researchers reported the presence (< 10 ppb) of imidacloprid in sunflower leafs
    and pollen but did not quantify it (Pham‑Delègue and Cluzeau, 1998).
    The findings from research 'raised suspicions about the effects of the product, without formally proving
    its responsibility'(Ministère de l'Agriculture, 2001b).

    Doubts about the harmlessness of Gaucho (imidacloprid) led to the application of the precautionary principle. In January 1999 the Minister of Agriculture, Jean Glavany, decided to ban the use of Gaucho in
    sunflower seed‑dressing (Libération, 1999b). This ban was renewed in 2001 for two years, again in
    2004 for three years and at present, February 2012, it is still in force.

    Honeybee exposure to imidacloprid: 2000–2002
    Beekeepers continued to report clinical signs of intoxication after Gaucho (Imidacloprid)
    use in sunflowers was suspended in 1999. Three explanatory hypotheses
    were proposed:
    • honeybees were still being exposed to the pollen of maize treated with Gaucho
    (sunflower and maize are in flower in the same time);
    • imidacloprid persists in soil after treatments of other crops (such as sugar beet, wheat
    and barley) and was taken up by untreated sunflowers grown one or more years after a
    seed‑dressed crop;
    • honeybees were affected by the dressing of sunflower seeds with Régent ® (Fironil)
    , which had been provisionally authorised in December 1995.
    Following the extension of the ban on using Gaucho on sunflower and the refusal to ban it on
    maize, in 2001 (Ministère de l'Agriculture, 2001a; Conseil d'Etat, 2002), the Ministry of Agriculture
    established a Scientific and Technical Committee for the Multifactor Study of the Honeybee Colonies
    Decline (henceforth the 'CST') Comité Scientifique et Technique de l'Etude Multifactorielle des Troubles des Abeilles.


    Late lessons from early warnings: science, precaution, innovation

    Between 2000 and 2002, using different methods and lower detection limits, public scientists
    identified 2–4 ppb of imidacloprid in seed‑dressed sunflower and maize pollen (Bonmatin et al.,
    2001 and 2002; Bonmatin and Charvet, 2002), 13.3 ppb of imidacloprid in seed‑dressed sunflower
    pollen (Laurent and Scalla, 2001) and 1.6 ppb in seed‑dressed sunflower nectar (Lagarde, 2000).
    During these years, it was understood that honeybees could collect imidacloprid‑contaminated
    nectar and pollen for up to a month of sunflower and maize flowering. Bees could show the effects
    of repeated consumption of contaminated pollen and nectar almost immediately or some days or
    weeks later because pollen and nectar are stored in the hive. Furthermore, different categories of bees
    could be exposed in different ways and to varying extents. For example, pollen foragers (which differ
    from nectar foragers) do not consume pollen, merely bringing it to the hive. The pollen is consumed by
    nurse bees and to a lesser extent by larvae (Rortaiset al., 2005).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    Back up the truck a minute!

    You posted:
    When Bayer applied for a license back in 1992 they stated in the risk assessment that it was 'impossible for bees ever to come into contact with imidacloprid in nectar or pollen' - because although it was systemic in the crop, it was: "never expressed in pollen or nectar".
    I asked for a source....if that's what Bayer said in a 1992 risk assesment and you are quoting it, you must know where it came from?

    You responded with a long list of stuff from a single paper...only a few words are relevant to your claim:
    Bayer claimed that imidacloprid applied on seeds cannot be present in flowers, because it disappears
    before the treated plants flower (GVA, 2006; AFSSA, 2002).
    What is GVA? What is AFSSA? Why would one cite sources from 2006 and 2002 to support something that is claimed to have been said in 94 in the article? What flowers are they talking about?
    I can't find a free copy of the paper, and I won't spend money on it. What is she talking about? What are her sources? What did Bayer actually say?

    But we are still left with your claim about what Bayer said in 92 in a risk assessment. Is it on this list:
    http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chemic...099/129099.htm
    I don't see any risk assessments from 92.

    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    there is a similar ongoing discussion on bee-l:

    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...-L&D=0&P=82059

    you have to click 'next' on 'by topic' to follow it.

    most of it is over my head, but it appears that the american vs. european communities have very different takes on the research.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Please prove that any of the papers mentioned have been 'discredited'.

    RFID Tracking of Sublethal Effects of Two Neonicotinoid Insecticides on the Foraging Behavior of Apis mellifera
    Christof W. Schneider,1,2,* Jürgen Tautz,2 Bernd Grünewald,1 and Stefan Fuchs1

    The development of insecticides requires valid risk assessment procedures to avoid causing harm to beneficial insects and especially to pollinators such as the honeybee Apis mellifera. In addition to testing according to current guidelines designed to detect bee mortality, tests are needed to determine possible sublethal effects interfering with the animal's vitality and behavioral performance. Several methods have been used to detect sublethal effects of different insecticides under laboratory conditions using olfactory conditioning. Furthermore, studies have been conducted on the influence insecticides have on foraging activity and homing ability which require time-consuming visual observation. We tested an experimental design using the radiofrequency identification (RFID) method to monitor the influence of sublethal doses of insecticides on individual honeybee foragers on an automated basis. With electronic readers positioned at the hive entrance and at an artificial food source, we obtained quantifiable data on honeybee foraging behavior. This enabled us to efficiently retrieve detailed information on flight parameters. We compared several groups of bees, fed simultaneously with different dosages of a tested substance. With this experimental approach we monitored the acute effects of sublethal doses of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid (0.15–6 ng/bee) and clothianidin (0.05–2 ng/bee) under field-like circumstances. At field-relevant doses for nectar and pollen no adverse effects were observed for either substance.


    The important part of this study is highlighted above. Of course at higher doses they do impact bees. But, of course they are insecticides after all and last I knew bees were insects. You can access the complete study below.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256199/

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