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  1. #1
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    Default Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...-banned-europe



    A bee collects pollen from a sunflower in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
    EU states have voted in favour of a proposal to restrict the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees.


    Europe will enforce the world's first continent-wide ban on widely used insecticides alleged to cause serious harm to bees, after a European commission vote on Monday.

    The suspension is a landmark victory for millions of environmental campaigners, backed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), concerned about a dramatic decline in the bee population. The vote also represents a serious setback for the chemical producers who make billions each year from the products and also UK ministers, who voted against the ban. Both had argued the ban would harm food production.

    Although the vote by the 27 EU member states on whether to suspend the insect nerve agents was supported by 15 nations, but did not reach the required majority under voting rules. The hung vote hands the final decision to the European commission, which will implement the ban.

    Tonio Borg, health and consumer commissioner, said: "Our proposal is based on a number of risks to bee health identified by the EFSA, [so] the European commission will go ahead with its plan in coming weeks."

    Friends of the Earth's head of campaigns, Andrew Pendleton, said: "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations. Restricting the use of these pesticides could be an historic milestone on the road to recovery for these crucial pollinators."

    The UK, which abstained in a previous vote, was heavily criticised for switching to a "no" vote on Monday.

    Joan Walley MP, chair of parliament's green watchdog, the environmental audit committee, whose investigation had backed a ban and accused ministers of "extraordinary complacency", said the vote was a real step in the right direction, but added:
    "A full Commons debate where ministers can be held to account is more pressing than ever."
    Greenpeace's chief scientist, Doug Parr, said: "By not supporting the ban, environment secretary, Owen Paterson, has exposed the UK government as being in the pocket of big chemical companies and the industrial farming lobby."

    On Sunday, the Observer revealed the intense secret lobbying by Paterson and Syngenta.
    The environment minister, Lord de Mauley, countered, saying:

    "Having a healthy bee population is a top priority for us but we did not support the proposal because our scientific evidence doesn't support it. We will now work with farmers to cope with the consequences as a ban will carry significant costs for them."

    Syngenta, which makes one of the three neonicotinoids that have been suspended, said:
    "The proposal ignores a wealth of evidence from the field that these pesticides do not damage the health of bees. The EC should [instead] address the real reasons for bee health decline: disease, viruses and loss of habitat."

    Bees and other insects are vital for global food production as they pollinate three-quarters of all crops. The plummeting numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed on disease, loss of habitat and, increasingly, the near ubiquitous use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

    A series of high-profile scientific studies has linked neonicotinoids – the world's most widely used insecticides – to huge losses in the number of queen bees produced and big rises in the numbers of "disappeared" bees – those that fail to return from foraging trips.

    The commission proposed the suspension after the EFSA concluded in January that three neonicotinoids – thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid – posed an unnacceptable risk to bees. The three will be banned from use for two years on flowering crops such as corn, oilseed rape and sunflowers, upon which bees feed.

    A spokesman for Bayer Cropscience said: "Bayer remains convinced neonicotinoids are safe for bees, when used responsibly and properly … clear scientific evidence has taken a back-seat in the decision-making process."

    Prof Simon Potts, a bee expert at the University of Reading, said: "The ban is excellent news for pollinators. The weight of evidence from researchers clearly points to the need to have a phased ban of neonicotinoids. There are several alternatives to using neonicotinoids and farmers will benefit from healthy pollinator populations as they provide substantial economic benefits to crop pollination."

    Neonicotinoids have been widely used for more than decade and are less harmful than some of the sprays they replaced, but scientific studies have increasingly linked them to poor bee health.

    Many observers, including the National Farmers' Union, accept that EU regulation is inadequate, as it only tests on honeybees and not the wild pollinators that service 90% of plants. The regulatory testing also only considers short-term effects and does not consider the combined effects of multiple pesticides. The chemical industry has warned that a ban on neonicotinoids would lead to the return of older, more harmful pesticides and crop losses but campaigners point out this has not happened during temporary suspensions in France, Italy and Germany and that the use of natural pest predators and crop rotation can tackle problems.

    "It is imperative that any alternative chemicals to be used in their place must first pass the same tests failed by the neonicotinoids," said Dr Christopher Connolly, a bee expert at the University of Dundee. "The recent findings have highlighted an urgent need for more rigorous safety testing protocols."

    Those who voted in favour - who WON the vote were:
    Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, France, Cyprus, Germany, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden

    In Brussels, the countries that voted against the ban were: the UK, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Austria and Portugal.

    Those who abstained were Ireland, Lithuania, Finland and Greece

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Outstanding news indeed. I hope the US gov is paying attention.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Be interesting to see how reversion to traditional insecticides and application methods will affect the bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberwilhelm View Post
    Outstanding news indeed. I hope the US gov is paying attention.
    Easy, there tickled pink... yields will drop, and sales of us commodities will continue to rise........ Now the trumpets will swear its the root of all our problems even though they have already learned to handle the mites... So the do-gooders without data will continue to try to get them banned here.....
    but hey that euro sure worked great!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Well that is indeed a large scale experiment.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Well that is indeed a large scale experiment.
    Indeed

    "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations..."

    Most proponents of knee jerk bans seem to quote common sense instead of science.

    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?

    I'm anxious to read about the unintended consequences of this.
    Try it. What could happen?

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    Indeed

    "This decision is a significant victory for common sense and our beleaguered bee populations..."

    Most proponents of knee jerk bans seem to quote common sense instead of science.

    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?

    I'm anxious to read about the unintended consequences of this.
    You took the words out of my mouth. We'll see what the results are at the end of the ban. I predict results which can be spun at least 18 different ways.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    Where is their proof? How is this going to affect crop yields? Food prices?
    I'm curious..upon introduction of said pesticides did you see a major price reduction at the register for vegetables and such? Big question though ... will 2 years be long enough to show one way or another if the ban will provide enough evidence to show the damage done and better yet will crops yield more? less? or stay the same?
    Think about it....Buy American

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    French bee-farmers lost over 1 million colonies in 2 years - 1994-1996 - following the introduction of Bayer's 'Gaucho' on sunflower crops at that time. Sunflower honey was the most valuable honey crop in France and accounted for 80% of bekeepers income - the honey harvest crashed by over 50% and the number of colonies fell by a similar amount.

    After four years of raging debate, in which Bayer denied everything, The French Government banned neonics on: corn, canola and sunflowers in 2000AD, after it convened the highest level Scientific Committee that is possible under the French Constitution. The Committee considered over 120 peer-reviewed scientific studies and banned the neonics - thirteen years ago! The ban has never been taken off.

    What happened to beekeepers?

    The bee numbers rebounded; the national honey crop doubled again.

    What happened to the farmers?
    The short answer is 'nothing'. Farmers went back to crop-rotation and using softer, non systemic pesticides IN RESPONSE to actual attacks by insects - instead of the blanket 'insurance-policy' use of systemic neonics on every seed, in every field, on every crop of corn, canola and sunflowers.

    If you take a trip to France, you will find the farmers fat, happy and drinking their favourite wine. Agriculture in France is booming - no drop in yields or profits.

    Conclusion, despite what the poison industry tells you, farmers do NOT have to use systemic poisons on every seed, in every field, year after year.

    FRENCH DOCUMENTARY : INTRODUCTION OF IMIDACLPRID IN 1994 CAUSED ONE MILLION DEAD BEE COLONIES BY 1997

    I strongly recommend that you watch at least the first 5 minutes of this documentary; it is a compelling testimony as to the destruction of the French beekeeping industry by Bayer's pesticides and the complete failure of all the European regulators and so-called watchdogs (EFSA).

    The documentary is in French, but the sub-titles are in English – and the visual evidence is compelling.


    The French bee-deaths documentary 'Temoin Genant' (Embarassing Witness) is now on Youtube; it deals with the disaster which struck the French beekeeping industry from -1994 – 1999, when over 400,000 bee colonies a year died, following the introduction of Bayer’s systemic neurotoxin Imidacloprid/ 'Gaucho' for use on sunflowers and maize.

    CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE VIDEOS


    This is the link for Part One:

    http://youtu.be/9boueJGtLPY

    Part Two

    http://youtu.be/XM2Agj68uCk

    Part three

    http://youtu.be/CC9fWFE8ExM

    Part Four

    http://youtu.be/okA8pxkoXX4

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    French bee-farmers lost over 1 million colonies in 2 years - 1994-1996 - following the introduction of Bayer's 'Gaucho' on sunflower crops at that time. Sunflower honey was the most valuable honey crop in France and accounted for 80% of bekeepers income - the honey harvest crashed by over 50% and the number of colonies fell by a similar amount.
    Way to be on the stick, 20 years later! wohooo...

    FYI Corn prices up the limit yeserday!!! thanks !

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Way to be on the stick, 20 years later! wohooo...

    FYI Corn prices up the limit yeserday!!! thanks !
    Yeh, given that American bee farmers have lost 5,650,000 colonies since 2007 - that's 'official' EPA/.USDA figures, your concern for your fellow Americans is deeply moving. With people like you around, 'who can stand against us'; this is the attitude that won the war: devil take the hindmost, I'm getting richer.

    If you add in the bee colonies which died since 1998, when neonics started to be used on a large scale, and from 2003, when Clothianidin was illegally given a 'conditional' license by the EPA without completing any field or life-cycle studies, many estimate that American bee farmers have lost over 10,000,000 colonies since the late 1990s.

    At $200 a hive that's $2 billion worth of bees.

    Many bee farmers have gone bankrupt; others have cut their losses and gone out of the business. Some of them have been in the bee business for three generations.

    Never mind. You just keep planting those neurotoxins in the soil. Screw the bees, the birds and the wildlife.
    Do you draw water from a well near your fields by any chance?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post


    What happened to the farmers?
    The short answer is 'nothing'. Farmers went back to crop-rotation and using softer, non systemic pesticides IN RESPONSE to actual attacks by insects - instead of the blanket 'insurance-policy' use of systemic neonics on every seed, in every field, on every crop of corn, canola and sunflowers.

    If you take a trip to France, you will find the farmers fat, happy and drinking their favourite wine. Agriculture in France is booming - no drop in yields or profits.
    I have not traveled all over Europe, but I have been in a good part of it. When you compare USA agriculture with European agriculture, it seems to be like comparing Apples and Oranges. European agriculture struck me as almost "Small Scale" in comparison to the size of the farming that goes on in this country.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    I'd really like to see the day when Beesource limits the number of posts from a single person on the SAME topic. This seems to be bordering (pun intended) on agenda pushing/fear mongering. If we can't impose such a limit, then perhaps we can move these to the CCD forum, where they may get more traction. It seems that every post Borderbeeman makes is something related to neonics. WE GET IT, you have VERY strong opinions on the dangers of neonics.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Empirical evidence is information that justifies a belief in the truth or falsity of an empirical claim.
    Example: Just visited a very knowledgable beekeeper with around 30 hives. He lost half of them last year. He lives back in the hills of Tn . They don't grow corn, soy or any agi crop for many miles (maybe some "weed") that may use pesticides....yet he had similar bee loss as others. The blame was put on vorroa. Had not a thing to do with neonics.
    We don't follow Europe for obvious reasons.

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I'd really like to see the day when Beesource limits the number of posts from a single person on the SAME topic. This seems to be bordering (pun intended) on agenda pushing/fear mongering. If we can't impose such a limit, then perhaps we can move these to the CCD forum, where they may get more traction. It seems that every post Borderbeeman makes is something related to neonics. WE GET IT, you have VERY strong opinions on the dangers of neonics.
    I have posted several things recently because there was a massive political change in the pesticide issue yesterday. The 27 countries of Europe - with a combined population considerably larger than the United States, just decided to BAN the neonics. Sorry if I disturbed your snooze, but for an entire CONTINENT to ban a group of pesticides is pretty earth-shaking news in the small world of beekeeping. Moreover, America has lost 5,650,000 bee colonies since 2007. That is simply devastating. My posts are mostly about neonics because my bees are dying; I am only a hobby beekeeper with ten hives, but I have lost 8 out of 10 colonies this winter. It is not varroa that is killing my bees; it isn't viruses, or bacteria, or climate change, or any of the other smokescreen diversions the industry puts out. It is because the landscape all around me, for 20 miles in every direction is dominated by yellow oilseed rape fields, and green barley and wheat fields. Every single seed, in every single field is treated with a neurotoxic poison that is 7,000 times more deadly to bees than DDT.

    The honeybees, the butterflies, the bumblebees, the hoverflies, the lacewings, the earthworms - are all disappearing from the entire landscape - because neonics are designed to kill them very effectively. There has been a 50-70% decline in the 19 most common farmland birds in the UK: sparrows and starlings, once seen in flocks of thousands, are now just gone, not a trace. Skylarks are down 86% in 20 years; partridges by 90-%; linnets, yellowhammers, goldfinches - all of them in massive decline. Why do you think this is happening? Simple answer, there are barely any insects, caterpillars or earthworms in the entire landscape. No aphids means no sparrow chicks; no grubs or caterpillars means no skylark chicks.

    So - pardon me for being concerned - but we are talking about general ecosystem collapse here.
    Anyone who thinks that 'the environment' is of less value than money, should try holding their breath while counting their dollars.
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 05-01-2013 at 07:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    I am just a hobbiest and I have not followed the details of the neonic controversy.

    However, to me, borderbeeman is so over-the-top foaming-at-the mouth biased, that I do not trust a single word he/she says without corroboration from another source. If he/she says the sun has risen, I look out the window to check.

    That's just me.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I am just a hobbiest and I have not followed the details of the neonic controversy.

    However, to me, borderbeeman is so over-the-top foaming-at-the mouth biased, that I do not believe a single word he says without corroboration from another source. If he says the sun has risen, I look out the window to check.

    That's just me.
    Industry strategy number 5 - if someone offers a piece of evidence that you can't counter - attack the person, rather than the content of the discussion. it's called an 'ad hominem' attack and its been in the Playbook since the time of Aristotle, who first listed the ten kinds of 'false arguments'.

    BTW the only time I foam at the mouth is when my electric toothbrush is buzzing away. PS, the word is 'hobbyist' not 'hobbiest', but I guess spelling isn't your forte; neither is reasoned discussion.
    Toodle pip.

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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    borderbeeman - Call it "ad hominem" or anything else you want, you, sir, have zero credibility, and, you did it to yourself.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    First about Varroa: As this article states "If you’re not part of the genetic solution of breeding mite-resistant bees, then you’re part of the problem. Every time you allow drones or swarms to issue from a colony that owes its survival to a miticide application, you’re hindering the natural process of evolution toward mite-resistant bees!"
    .
    This is 100% correct. MANY Bee Keepers (From my observations, not all) are so worried about money VS the health of the Bees. If you can't afford to lose your hives to find survivor bees or requeen with VSH lines or other Hygienic types of bees than you probably shouldn't be in it. If you raised dogs or cats you would be called a filthy backyard breeder that is in it for the money rather than the quality of the dog/cats. There has to be change by everyone towards fixing the problem rather than throwing new products on the bees to kill the mites. I understand many bee keepers rely on their Bees for income but you don't have to change everything at once, changing over time and at a pace you can afford is also another strategy as long as you are committed to really having better bees in your apiary.

    About the original article. If food prices go up, I'll eat something else like i do now. I refuse to pay $3.50 for Honey Dew or $6.00 for a Watermelon or $7.00 for a lb of Cherries. I might buy them once a year as a treat and would like more but I'm fine with eating cheaper fruit. Demand also drives prices higher and this sparks a GOLD rush, everyone wants to do it to make money. Someone is always ready to sell their product a bit cheaper. Everything finds a way to work itself out. If we cut these pesticides, another way will be found... Regardless, prices are going higher all the time for food...
    Last edited by trance; 04-30-2013 at 10:37 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Europe bans neonics in all 27 countries - landmark day for bees

    You quote our hive losses but that means nothing in this context. How many lost were due directly to neonic applications/usage? We'll never know I bet so quoting total losses of colonies means nothing in this post. I do agree with some of your points though Border. Starlings.... if you miss them so much we can send you the millions we have over here, you can have them back. You claim neonic usage, perhaps it's more of a monoculture issue. Either way, pesticides are going to be used so how can you blanket claim it's solely neonics? Ag practices will change now as well, so again, if bees etc.. recover is it because neonics are banned or is it because there's more diversity in planting.

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