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Thread: Neonic facts

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    The toxicity of neonics will be "re-discovered" after many-many deaths... -cerezha
    I don't doubt or question the toxicity of neonicotinoids in bees or other insects.

    I do question how long neonicotinoids persist in the soil and in plants. Aphids feeding on crops that have been planted with seed treatments or soil treatments of neonicotinoids show no effects to their populations four to six weeks after planting. This class of insecticides is intended to target piercing-sucking insects (such as aphids) more than other insects, and the systemic action of the pesticides should target them nicely. I've done the counts of aphids on the two groups -- treated and not -- and can confirm that no difference exists in the populations and population growths on both soybeans and corn treated with neonicotinoids at planting. I've counted aphids on both from early July through September here.

    I question how much field exposure bees actually face in most years from neonicotinoids. Bees here do not seem to collect much pollen in corn, and I've rarely encountered large numbers of bees in corn fields in the last several years (despite spending thousands of hours in corn fields sampling insect populations of various species). I've never observed bees around here collecting guttation fluids from corn; that doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, but I doubt it's common here.

    And I question whether even a strong correlation between neonicotinoid exposure and CCD exists. That seems to be the central thesis in this thread, yet I'm not convinced that such a correlation exists. Even that Harvard study that was linked in Randy Oliver's review demonstrated that the bees in the treated hives died in January and February. Now, I have not seen CCD in person, but I thought the losses occurred in the fall (a.k.a, "fall dwindling?") rather than in the winter? And I thought a suite of other symptoms also characterized CCD?
    Last edited by Kieck; 03-05-2013 at 11:58 AM. Reason: clarification

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    John: if you take nothing else away from your experience on this forum I would hope it is that there are some pretty bright well spoken folks on here capable of analyzing and arriving at informed conclusions that may be different than yours. People that come on here only to make what, in effect, are nothing more than social statements are really missing out on some great bee discussions by some really talented beekeepers. Please join us, you just might like it, most of us would like to hear about beekeeping in Scotland and I would think you would enjoy hearing about the experiences of beekeepers in other parts of the world as well.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #203
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    Is it just me or does it seem we talk about heavy losses after every extreme dry summer,.?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  4. #204
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    making me nervous listening to all this loss talk.

    going to go check my shed today
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  5. #205
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    I've taken bigger losses this winter than I ever have, but I knew it was coming. Fall flowers ended blooming here by the second week of September, and freeze-up didn't really set in until the middle of November. My bees shut down brood rearing really in late August, and never produced the late brood that I expect to get them through the winter. I tried feeding them to get them to raise another round of brood in October, but couldn't get them to do it.

    I blame it on the unusually early progression of the various blooms during the season last year, and severely dry conditions from late July through December.

  6. #206
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    that seems to be a common theme among the majority of beekeepers I have talked to up here.
    our bees stopped flying middle of October, and have been locked up in the dark ever since November. Not even the outdoor hives have had warm enough days to make cleansing flights. Starting to worry up here,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #207
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    nashville tn usa
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    I don't doubt or question the toxicity of neonicotinoids in bees or other insects.

    I do question how long neonicotinoids persist in the soil and in plants. . . . .
    This has definetly been the best answer to my original question. Experience beats all the other rhetoric. Thank you.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-08-2013 at 06:28 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  8. #208
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    Oak Harbor, WA
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    From the NIH: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3250423/

    Soil collected from areas near our test site revealed that neonicotinoid insecticide residues were present in all samples tested (Table 1), with clothianidin occurring in each field sampled. Herbicide residues were also found in these samples. Sampling of the waste talc from planting activities revealed that extremely high concentrations of clothianidin were found in talc exposed to treated seed (Table 2). Fungicides applied to the seed were also found. Analysis of talc used to plant untreated seed contained low quantities of the same pesticides, this is likely due to contamination and reflects the difficulties associated with thorough cleaning of equipment between plantings. Direct sampling of anthers revealed that many of the same compounds were present in maize grown from treated seed, albeit in far lower concentrations (Table 3). Collection of pollen from traps in the field demonstrated that thiamethoxam was present in 3 of 20 samples, while pollen containing clothianidin was present in 10 of 20 samples (Table 4). Fungicides were also frequently detected: azoxystrobin and propiconazole were found in all pollen samples, while trifloxystrobin was found in 12 of the 20 samples analyzed. Maize pollen was frequently collected by foraging honey bees while it was available: maize pollen comprised over 50% of the pollen collected by bees, by volume, in 10 of 20 samples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    I don't doubt or question the toxicity of neonicotinoids in bees or other insects.

    I do question how long neonicotinoids persist in the soil and in plants.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-08-2013 at 06:29 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  9. #209
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    San Mateo, Ca, USA
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    these type of threads appear every couple of months. Of course if Neonic pesticide use were the cause of CCD, then the CCD impact areas would map to the areas of the country that have the strongest concentrations of neonic pesticides use but it doesn't; however. In areas of strong pesticide use like North Dakota bees thrive and has been reported CCD in areas of the country where no row crops are grown.

    pesticides aren't going away any time soon. Perhaps it's just my pref, but I'd rather that the pesticides which are getting used are somewhat naturally derived (as neonics pesticides are derived from tobacco). It's definitely a safer and more targeted pesticide (ie. targets invertebrates) than the first generations of pesticides. Dr. Eric Mussen who studies pesticide affects on bees for a living has mentioned that low concentrations of neonic pesticides on bees (as would happen from secondary exposure via spray on field crops) effects bees the same way as tobacco on humans (as a stimulant) and actually makes the bees faster and more productive. At high concentrations it has the opposite effect and starts to slow bees down. Direct exposure, as in the anomaly of the airborne neonic pesticide blowing directly into hives in Germany that always gets sited, is a lethal dose for bees and causes immediate 'direct death from pesticide' not CCD.

    here's a great link from randy oliver's site
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/neon...cience-part-2/

  10. #210
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    Just for a bit of fun this year, when I saw some tobacco seeds being sold for $5, I bought a pack. Ended up with 96 plants which have been harvested and are now drying. I don't smoke but have been hearing all my life about tobacco being used to smoke bees and was curious to try it.

    What I'm doing is mixing a tobacco leaf or two with my other smoker fuel. And yes, it DOES make the smoker burn better, and can puff up a good amount of smoke pretty quick. Not sure if it was coincidence but on the odd occasion the bees have been more aggressive than expected perhaps they don't like it.

    In any case having read this thread I now realise my mistake. All my bees will have sub lethal doses and I can expect them all to perish from CCD.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #211
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    San Mateo, Ca, USA
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    Oldtimer,
    they're probably cranky because you didn't come by with their fix earlier. you'll need to make some nicotene-based fondant to tide them over between smokings!

  12. #212
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    Now there's a plan. Actually I can feel a new book coming on. "Nicotine Based Beekeeping. The Natural Way".
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #213
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    Jan 2003
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    Default Re: Neonic facts

    wow thats sure a different direction of discussion from the most typical neonico posts ! Ha ha
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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