Re: Eye witness to colony collapse: Bee-farmer loses 2,000 hives in one month
I have no doubt this man honestly believes pesticides were a factor, and he may well be correct but evidence of residues and exposure would be critical to establishing a cause and effect here. Lots and lots of things can cause bees to die through the winter. It requires objective analysis to make a determination. If death through illegally applied pesticides can be determined to be a factor then there could potentially be culpability and a case brought against someone, if the cause was determined to be something like varroa or resulting viruses then there would not. I personally know of one excellant beekeeper who has no doubt that foliar spraying of bees he had near sunflowers this summer greatly weakened his hives. Sunflowers are routinely aerial sprayed for many different pests, he claimed all his bees near sunflowers were weak and all of his other hives came through the summer very strong (even though there would have been potential neonic exposure to both groups of bees). He made a pretty convincing case to me particularly since I have had similar experiences through the years near sunflower fields. I bring this up as a reminder that neonics were developed to alleviate the very real problems of foliar spraying that pretty much just kills every bug in the field, it's a real sledge hammer approach that is still being used on some crops such as sunflowers where there are no other alternative like systemic neonics.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney