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  1. #1
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    Default The Australian distraction

    Australia provides a very useful smokescreen for the pesticide lobbyists because:

    a. It's very far away
    b. It's very big - 6th largest country in the world -7,690,00 sq km
    c. Very few Americans have been there
    d. Beekeeping there is largely 'bush-beekeeping' - in wild country

    The honeys which are most-valuable from Australia are wild-floral honeys like acacia, manuka, eucalyptus, bush mallee, myrtle, meadow honey and a dozen others. About 90% of Australia's landscape is 'wild' - the great centre of the country is either desert or bush. Relatively little beekeeping is concerned with pollination of arable crops. Many beekeepers, according to Jeffrey Gibb, live solitary lives, ranging through the wild bush, collecting wild honey for sale. So, exposure to neonics is probably only in those areas where wheat, canola are grown and of those only neonic treated canola probably presents a real threat.

    So, most of Oz beekeepers have little contact with neonics. The ones who run migratory pollination businesses in arable crop areas, like Warren Jones - are suffering large losses.


    From The Buzz About Bees website run by Amanda Williams:

    It is often claimed (by the pesticide industry) that Australia's honey bees are healthy despite the fact that neonicotinoids are used there.

    The question is raised: “If neonicotinoids kill bees, why aren’t Australian beekeepers losing theirs?” or “Neonicotinoids are used in Australia and they have healthy honey bees”.

    So is this true? Is everything hunky-dory for Australia's honey bees?
    What do we know about Australian beekeepers and their experience of neonicotinoids, honey bees and beekeeping?
    In June 2007 a very revealing document was produce by Mr Warren Jones, President of the Australian Crop Pollinators Association - see right.

    Warren Jones explains about his role:

    “I am the President of the Crop Pollination Association Inc. This association represents the beekeeper pollinators that service agriculture's pollination requirements across a broad range of crops in all eastern states, Western Australia,Tasmania and NT. We provide representation to AHBIC, the peak body established to represent all sectors of beekeeping.”
    You’ll see from the document that Warren Jones’ beekeeping experience and service to agriculture spans 34 years.

    In relation to this issue, of particular interest was this comment:


    Page 4

    “There has been a wide use of neonicotinoids to treat a large range of pasture seed and other seed prior to planting, which includes most of our horticulture and vegetable production. Consequently our bees are continually in contact with neonicotinoids from the agricultural environment. We are finding it very difficult to maintain our hives at pollination strength, requiring an increase in use of young queens and replacement nucleus hives to maintain our hives”
    By Autumn 2009, Warren Jones comments to The Australian Organic Producer in his article:
    [B]“Where Have All The Bees Gone?”: [/B]

    http://www.bfa.com.au/Portals/0/BFAF...-bees-gone.pdf

    In this article, he makes it very clear that he believes neonicotinoids represent a real threat to Australia's honey bees, and comments:

    “Currently in Australia the demand has never been higher for bee pollination but until more control on the use of neonicotinoids is established available bee numbers are unlikely to improve."
    He also points out that- one reason we have heard very little about the impact of neonics in Australia is that there is NO RESEARCH PROGRAMME OR RESEARCH INSTUTE STUDYING THE PROBLEM. Australia does not even have a bee-lab capable of detecting neonics at the ppb level.

    “To be a successful crop pollinator you have to have full knowledge of how the chemicals being used in a crop could harm the pollinating bees. We have to use either our own personal experience or overseas studies as there is no current Australian research available,”
    Meanwhile, Jeffrey Gibbs, in his article [B] Neonicotinoid Pesticides: To Australian Beekeepers from an Australian Beekeeper[/B], highlights concerns about neonicotinoids and provides some interesting insight into why Australian beekeepers seem to be relatively quiet on this issue – or at least not making a major public fuss.

    DOWNLOAD ARTICLE HERE: http://pierreterre.com/blog/neonicot...oid-pesticides

    Jeffrey's article has some interesting quotes too, such as:


    “Last October, I was helping Jack Alt of Deepwater, New South Wales shift a sizable load of bees, from a NEONIC seed treated canola plot at Premer NSW. We were shifting the bees back onto clover, closer to Jack's home. Although the bees had been on a bumper crop of canola, Jack was disturbed that his load of 250 hives had suffered premature swarming, loss of queens, loss of bee numbers and dead-outs. Jack then replaced queens, kept working the bees (as we all would), and kept the load on clover for the next few weeks. I observed the same hives later on a Silver Leaf [Iron Bark] flow. In my opinion there were less than half the bees there should have been, or even less. This was Jack’s second Adverse Experience with his bees foraging canola over the last two years. I asked Jack: “Do you think that this may be because of the seed treatment on canola?” Jack replied, “I don’t think we’ll be working canola anymore.”

    Jack is concerned about the (contamination with neonics) of the pollen of Turnip Weed and Salvation Jane coming up afterwards, in the same paddocks.”
    (Jack is referring to the fact that neonicotinoids are highly persistent – i.e. they remain in the soil for years after the first planting. They can then be absorbed by other plants growing in that soil, and because they are systemic pesticides, they permeate the plant as it grows, and the poison may then be presented to bees and other non-target insects, through nectar and pollen, at toxic levels. This effect has been observed in scientific studies, such as Bonmatin et al 2004).

    In September 2012, this Australian item was published on the net:
    "Concern from beekeepers prompts review of some insecticides":


    “Anxious apiarists have prompted the nation's chemical regulator to review regulations around insecticides used in the grains, cotton and vegetable industries. The Australian Pesticides and Veterinery Medicines Authority is examing those products which contain neonicotinoids, a relatively new class of chemicals used as seed dressings”.

    Find it, by copying and pasting this link into a new web page:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/con...9/s3591361.htm

    So contrary to the view that Australia’s bees are having no problem with neonicotinoids, there is evidence that suggests otherwise. Seems like yet another argument to defend neonicotinoids that is not based in truth.

    CONCLUSION
    So let's see if the attack dogs respond to this by
    addressing the issues
    addressing the facts
    engaging in reasoned debate

    . . or are we back to personal attacks, harassment, invasion of privacy etc.

    I think I can guess in advance what we will see.
    Last edited by borderbeeman; 05-03-2013 at 02:33 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    What we will see is once again you attack a country you know nothing about and as you put it, is very far away. I don't know about the person you quote, I do know there are bleading fools on every contintent, and i know that the Aussie beeks who post here say your not even close on your facts... I tend to belive them.......

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    What we will see is once again you attack a country you know nothing about and as you put it, is very far away. I don't know about the person you quote, I do know there are bleading fools on every contintent, and i know that the Aussie beeks who post here say your not even close on your facts... I tend to belive them.......
    [off topic content removed by mod]

    I posted links to two articles:
    One by Warren Jones - president of the Australian Pollinators Council (?) who has 34 years experience as an Aussie migratory beekeeper. The second is by Jeffrey Gibbs of the Northern Light Candle Company - a beekeeper of decades standing who manufactures candles. Both are extremely concerned about bee deaths linked to neonics.

    How is that 'attacking a country'??

    I am reporting on the concerns of beekeepers in that country; I am doing them a service by sharing their concerns with the wider world.

    Incidentally I know quite a bit about Australia - have visited there and New Zealand and have many friends in both countries, not as many as I have in America, where I have lived for some years, but still, good friends and true.

    [off topic content removed by mod]
    Last edited by Barry; 05-03-2013 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Keep it up Borderbeeman, You have pointed out the facts time after time on this fourm . One day before it's it late these American neonics supporters will waken up, I hope. I love bees. Once again I hope to see honey bees thick in the clover on lawn as I did as child in the 50es.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    opps my bad, you attack a countrys beekeprs and farmers. which you are not one.......And your beekkeeping knowledge in AUS is unknown.... we have Aussie beeks here...on this forum..... and they point out your wrong constantly, and yet you persist is spreading mistruths... Yankee joe, have you read Randy Olivers article?? I am betting not....... facts tend to allude some people.... you should really read studies and DATA before weighing in....... squawking from a box does not make one an expert.......

    lets send Mr Jones an email and discuss the facts....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    The honeys which are most-valuable from Australia are wild-floral honeys like acacia, manuka, eucalyptus, bush mallee, myrtle, meadow honey and a dozen others.
    Manuka is not even an Australian honey

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Many beekeepers, according to Jeffrey Gibb, live solitary lives, ranging through the wild bush, collecting wild honey for sale.
    That, being your paraphrase of what Jeff may have really said, is such a distortion of reality it is a joke. Australian beekeeping as carried out in what you call the "wild bush" (not a commonly used term in Australia), is done in langstroth hives with beekeepers following the flow across the country. It is advanced, and highly skilled. They are not a bunch of cave men raiding hives and collecting wild honey.

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Incidentally I know quite a bit about Australia - have visited there and New Zealand and have many friends in both countries
    OK. So you've been to my country, New Zealand, and have many friends here, Right? Which obviously qualifies you as an expert in our beekeeping related issues. Care to share whose bees it was you looked at while here?

    And oh, you are surrounded by 20 miles of continuous rape seed. Yeah Right.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-05-2013 at 03:31 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The austrlian distraction

    And rather than further edit the last post, are you trying to say there is CCD in Australia? There isn't.

    No doubt Aussie beekeepers lose bees to pesticides of several classes including neonicitiniods. But if neonictinoids are to be banned, they have to be shown to be worse.

    Up to a couple years ago when it mostly broke, Australia has been subjected to several years of severe drought, really bad even by Australian standards. The drought has killed or weakened large numbers of gum trees, the mainstay of Australian honey production. Bees have faired badly, and when I visited the Melbourne beekeepers club there was a lot of discussion and concern about the issue. I'm telling you this to make you aware there are other things can cause problems to bees, than just pesticides.

    Neonicitinoids are a pesticide, and as such are a concern to beekeepers, same as all pesticides are. You got real jumpy the other day when you accused NZ farmers of illegal use of DDT, and had a rant about how bad DDT is. So, are neonicitiniods worse? Any evidence?

    I visit Australia regularly, I have friends there, and family, my own daughter lives there. I have even been chased by an angry kangaroo. But merely visiting a country does not necessarily make one an expert on all things about it.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-05-2013 at 03:59 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The austrlian distraction

    I can see why borderbeeman is trying to attack the reality in Australia. The fact that Australia has no varroa, widespread neonicotinoid use, yet overwhelmingly healthy bees is a very uncomfortable truth for the single issue anti neonicotinoid people. Australia is an interesting experiment in progress.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    It is advanced, and highly skilled. They are not a bunch of cave men raiding hives and collecting wild honey.
    Gotta admit, the cave men raiding hives idea is way more romantic!
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    I think ole Borderbeeman would have been far better off not even bringing up the "Australian distraction". How funny are those arguments. "It's far away". "Few Americans have been there" sounds like something out of a 19th century Harpers Weekly. . Oh and by the way we are interacting with some of the strange inhabitants in real time right here on Beesource.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #11
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Thank you oldtimer, I was hoping someone with local knowledge would chime in.....

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    [QUOTE=Oldtimer;935061]Manuka is not even an Australian honey


    Actually, you are mistaken about Manuka (though I understand your confusion - I was too!) The trees from which Manuka honey is gathered occur in both New Zealand and Australia. The term 'Manuka' is a Maori name for the trees, rather than a botanical definition - the same trees produce the same honey in Eastern Australia. In New Zealand it is called 'Manuka'- in Australia it is called 'Tea Tree' or Jellybush Honey: same trees, same botanical species - different name. Manuka owns the brand in terms of world marketing.

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

    "Mānuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in New Zealand and Australia from the nectar of the mānuka tree. It has in vitro antibacterial properties, but there is not conclusive evidence of benefit in medical use. It has been classified as a Therapeutic Good in Australia, and has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007.[1]


    Manuka honey is 'primarily' obtained in New Zealand from the Manuka or Tea Tree, Leptospermum scoparium and also from the Kunzea ericoides (Kānuka, White tea-tree or Burgan and classified as Leptospermum ericoides prior to 1983).

    Although these two plants are distinguishable by the smoothness of their foliage, the honey produced by each is virtually indistinguishable by pollen, taste and aroma.

    The honey from both is called Manuka honey. These species likely originated in Australia/ Tasmania, where there are dozens of Leptospermum species known collectively as Tea Tree or Jellybush. The name Tea Tree arose from the custom of making tea from the leaves, purportedly coined by Captain Cook.

    In Australia, this honey is known as Tea Tree honey or Jellybush honey or even Leptospermum honey, and share many of the same characteristics as New Zealand’s Manuka honey (recently a honey with the same properties as Manuka has been found to be produced from Leptospermum polygalifolium, from Australia).

    http://www.mothernature.com.au/honey-manuka.html



    "Mother Nature’s Black Label Manuka Honey is a premium product with a distinctive flavour and a dark amber colour. Manuka honey has a darker and richer taste than clover honey and has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.

    Manuka honey is a unique type of mono-floral honey produced by bees gathering nectar predominantly from flora found on the Tea Tree bush (Leptospermum scoparium), which is indigenous to New Zealand and the drier east coast of Australia. Manuka (from Māori 'mānuka') is the plant’s common name in New Zealand, also known as 'tea tree' in Australia. "

    THE 'CULTURE' OF AUSTRALIAN BEEKEEPING
    I meant no disrespect whatever to Australian beekeepers in my comments - and you are quite right- I have little knowledge of beekeeping there apart from what I have read; my point was that this is true of almost everyone outside Australia. Bayer has exploited this knowledge-gap to use Australia as its 'get out of jail free' card; the pesticide manufacturers can claim almost anything in respect of neonics and Australian bees and nobody - apart from Jeffrey Gibbs and Warren Jones has ever bothered to confront them about their lies.

    It is a vast country, a long way away and few of us have ever been there. It also has an almost unique global resource in that there is still so much natural forest and bush that beekeepers can still 'choose' whether to focus on natural areas for monofloral honeys, rather than being forced to concentrate on arable crops and managed fields.

    Jeffrey Gibbs has written:

    "To respectfully include the outsider, I have to start with an explanation. Australian Beekeepers are very secretive; they tell you about the honey flow when it is in the drum. . . . They cover vast areas of country searching honey. Each Beekeeper has one or two other Beekeepers entrusted with information closer to home. Our Beekeepers in Australia don't often go to meetings because they have bees to run. Mistrust for Authority runs rife, regulations considered an extra burden, most Beekeepers like to be out on the bees in preference to other duties. The rest, like taxation, the marketing and selling of their honey, wiring frames and filling out forms, is often faithfully left to others.

    Beekeepers have left a lot of important decisions in the hands of others, at times to the detriment of the Honey Industry, because they are busy running bees."
    I did not suggest Aussie beeks were 'living in caves', I said that they lived independent lives, running independent businesses in a country so vast that few Europeans can ever grasp the scale and distances involved. Many of them do live in remote rural places and they travel huge distances.


    As this graphic shows, Australia is slightly smaller in area than the USA.

    If you consider population, the differences are enormous.
    Population USA 303,824,646 (July 2008 est.) Population Australia 20,600,856 (July 2008 est.)
    Australia has less than 1/15th of the population of the USA, living in a continent that is almost as large as the USA. That means there is vastly more undeveloped country and natural habitat. Beekeepers still have the choice to focus on the natural areas of the country - as do many Americans in mountain areas and wilderness areas. Here in Europe almost the entire landscape is 'managed' for agriculture or industry - the dominance of pesticides is overwhelming, as it is in the USA.


    That is what I took from Jeff Gibbs article and that was all I meant.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night (Bayer, Monsanto, etc picked up the tab). Now I can speak as an authority too about Australia!
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  14. #14
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night (Bayer, Monsanto, etc picked up the tab). Now I can speak as an authority too about Australia!
    I have tried to find ANY logic or thread of meaning in the above statement - but it is as meaningless and substanceless as a 'bucketful of smoke'.

    If you don't have anything meaningful to contribute to the debate, maybe you should just not bother.
    I mean why go to the effort of even reading this section of the Forum if you have nothing to say?
    PS if you were trying for Irony or Sarcasm, you missed by a mile. Maybe you should read some Thurber or Stephen Leacock - or even Groucho - he was pretty good at sarcasm.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    They are not a bunch of cave men raiding hives and collecting wild honey.
    Just had a LOL moment when I visualized Oldtimer collecting all that "wild honey" while wearing his kangaroo loincloth. That's gotta be tricky keeping those pesky "wild" bees out of the tender spots. Maybe beesource can take up a collection and send you a Ultrabreeze suit.....
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #16
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    LOL

    Borderbeeman, re what you say about Manuka honey, sorry, your sources are incorrect.

    The New Zealand Manuka plant has a close cousin in Australia, they call teatree. When NZ Manuka became very expensive, the Australians investigated their Teatree honey, but found it did not contain UMF, the ingredient that makes Manuka honey expensive. They then experimentally imported some NZ Manuka plants, but found that when grown in Australia, it also did not contain any UMF.

    There has been agitation in Australia to rename their Teatree honey to the NZ Maori name, Manuka, even though it is not the exact same plant, and does not have the same properties as NZ Manuka. I know they have been attempting to find any which way to jump on the NZ Manuka bandwagon. Funny, Australians, who always like to ridicule NZer's about our accent, suddenly want to talk Maori LOL
    I am not aware of what lies behind the jars you show, I do know we send them bulk Manuka honey for re packing. I will investigate the jars you have pictured and report back on this, won't be today though.

    Question for you though, whose bees was it you looked at in NZ?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night (Bayer, Monsanto, etc picked up the tab). Now I can speak as an authority too about Australia!
    I watched Crocodile Dundee last night. I'm one up on you! That makes me almost an Australian, right? If one of you Aussies wants to fly me over, I'll come speak at your bee club meeting. I've got over 21 days experience at this.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    I watched Crocodile Dundee last night. I'm one up on you! That makes me almost an Australian, right? If one of you Aussies wants to fly me over, I'll come speak at your bee club meeting. I've got over 21 days experience at this.
    I just knocked back a Foster's. Does that trump a movie?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    .
    Didn't have time this morning but now I have forwarded some of your post to people involved in Manuka so as to find out why Manuka honey is being sold as an Australian honey. I'll get back when I've had a reply.
    Meantime....


    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    Actually, you are mistaken about Manuka (though I understand your confusion - I was too!) .....

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

    "Mānuka honey is a monofloral honey produced in New Zealand and Australia from the nectar of the mānuka tree. It has in vitro antibacterial properties, but there is not conclusive evidence of benefit in medical use. It has been classified as a Therapeutic Good in Australia, and has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007.[1]

    Manuka honey is 'primarily' obtained in New Zealand from the Manuka or Tea Tree, Leptospermum scoparium and also from the Kunzea ericoides (Kānuka, White tea-tree or Burgan and classified as Leptospermum ericoides prior to 1983).

    Although these two plants are distinguishable by the smoothness of their foliage, the honey produced by each is virtually indistinguishable by pollen, taste and aroma.
    Did you get all your information from Wikipedia? Just goes to show that not everything you read on the net is true. Even Wikipedia.

    I produce both Manuka honey, and Kanuka honey. Unlike the little man who writes Wikipedia. I can tell you, without even having to resort to the internet, that they are quite distinguishable from each other. They also have different properties in terms of health benefits. Next time you are on one of your visits to my country, drop in and see me. I'll give you some of each to try.

    Kanuka honey is NOT sold as Manuka honey, or at least not by the industry in my country. Surprised Wiki even prints this stuff. Shows the problem with 3rd hand research.

    Some of your confusion may be because Kanuka and Manuka bear a superficial resemblance to each other. However genetically they are two very different plants.

    While we are waiting for an answer on the Manuka thing, there's a question, more on topic that I asked you, that you forgot to answer. As a follow up to your critique about the evils of DDT, I asked you which you would consider worse. DDT, or Neonicitiniods. I repeat the question.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-07-2013 at 02:49 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #20
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    Default Re: The Australian Distraction Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by borderbeeman View Post
    If you don't have anything meaningful to contribute to the debate, maybe you should just not bother.
    I tried to contribute to your debate and you brushed me off. Said you didn't know why my bees would be healthy. I'll say it again. I keep more than 1000 colonies including wintered nucleus colonies and production colonies. I made 100+ lbs/colony from the honey producers. My bees are surrounded by corn treated with clothianidin. My winter losses are between 10% and 15%...same as always since varroa arrived. Diagnosing the losses, it becomes obvious the most of the losses were from varroa.

    So, tell me why my bees aren't aren't sick from neonics. If one were to believe in your dogma, my bees should be crashing from CCD.

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