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  1. #1
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    Default Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Thanks to Shinbone for prompting me to think about this conundrum. He is of course gloriously wrong, in his assertion that the number of colonies killed in America is less than 10,000,000. My bee-farmer contacts say that even this may be a gross under-estimate because it does not take into account the number of 'splits' which professional beeks have carried out in order to replace dead hives. However, my initial posting was about 'global' bee deaths. Thanks to Shinbone, I would now confidently state that the number of dead colonies within the USA is at least 10 million since 1994.

    he may not believe me, as a mere limey of course, but Kim Flottum seems to know a bit about bees. And Bret Adee is the nation's largest beekeeper, is he not? Never mind, I'm sure they are just delusional as well.

    What does that actually mean?
    America is roughly 3,000 miles wide. Allocating 10,000,000 dead hives along 3,000 miles of road (route 80?) gives the figure of 3,333 hives per mile.

    There are 1,760 yards in a mile, so that means you could just about place 2 hives, side by side, for every yard, of every one of those 3,000 miles from New York to San Francisco.

    That's a lot of dead hives.
    That's a lot of dead bees.
    At 40,000 dead bees per hive, I make it 400 billion dead bees.
    which says a lot for the sheer efficiency of neonicotinoids. They sure are good insecticides.



    This article from the Washington Examiner really pays reading:
    exdc5-67oh6v64ceb46zxilmo_layout.jpg

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/honey-...rticle/2523542

    Honey bee deaths hit 40%, losses $1.6 billion

    March 8, 2013

    As the Environmental Protection Agency nears approval of another deadly new pesticide, the honey industry is revealing that the mysterious disease snuffing out bees, blamed in part on advanced pesticides, killed 40% of the nation's hives last year, bringing the total lost to at least $1.61 billion over the last six years.

    Industry officials told the EPA this week that honey bee operators who travel the country pollinating the nation's vegetable, nut and fruit crops like apples orchards from Winchester, Va., to Thurmont, Md., are on the verge of extinction and that the further use of new insecticides in the neonicotinoid class could be their end.

    "We have to conserve bees, we have to value them," pleaded Bret Adee, the nation's largest bee keeper, at an EPA pollinator summit this week. Adee, who lost 60 percent of his hives last year, added, "If we were talking about cows, this would be all over the news."

    While the EPA is worried about the plight of the honey bee, responsible for pollinating about 70 percent of the world's organic foods, it is set to OK a new neonicotinoid called Sulfoxaflor, sought by southern growers of grain and cotton.

    Several groups have joined beekeepers to beg the EPA to reverse course. The Center for Food Safety, the Pesticide Action Network, American Bird Conservancy and Friends of the Earth, are worried that Sulfoxaflor will kill bees, birds and some saltwater fish. They also claim that it hasn't been tested enough.

    The honey industry believes that advanced pesticides are largely responsible for the curse called "colony collapse disorder," in which bees simply stop returning to their hives.

    Kim Flottum, the editor of Bee Culture, the industry magazine, said that the "trainwreck" occurs mostly in commercial hives where bees are placed near pesticide covered grain fields. "The poison is everywhere corn is," he said.

    Adee revealed that the industry has lost 5,650,000 hives over the past seven years. Each hive cost about $200, putting the loss at $1.13 billion. Add in the lost honey production from those hives, and the loss grows to $1.61 billion. "The problem is pretty large," said Adee, co-owner of Adee Honey Farms in Bruce, S.D.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    >>Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    I can answer that-

    Confirmed deaths by neonics = zero ; sorry, there is no "smoking gun", no true evidence, only conjecture.
    News feeds which copy each other and are repeated to infinity doesn't make it real.

    That is certainly less than "CCD" = >4% of total colony deaths, another vague and ill defined malady used

    This is all pure "side show" and serves as a distraction from real issues.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    I must add that the poster appears to be trolling the US bee forum, and spamming it multiple times daily, with belief dogma, in an attempt to foist a political view on others and effect legislation in a country in which he does not reside.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Coffee Bee employs the FIFTH strategy in the FIVE DOG DEFENSE: Suppression of dissent; suppression of information; suppression of free speech.

    I thought this was an international bee forum, or does the internet only operate within the borders of the USA>
    The article above is not 'belief dogma' (that is a religious term), nor is it in any way political.

    It is a peer-reviewed scientific paper from one of the most respected bee-researchers in the world, from one of the most reputable universities in the world.

    The problem with neonicotinoids, along with Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta - is that these are TRANS-NATIONAL issues. Neonics and pesticides are manufactured by Bayer in Germany; by Syngental in Switzerland; by Monsanto in America. These corporations are bigger than many governments in the world.
    They have imposed these deadly neurotoxins on America, Europe and the developing world by 'regulatory capture' - taking over the so-called 'regulators' in each country. The EPA has been headed by Monsanto executives for decades now. The same is true in my country.

    If anyone has a 'belief dogma' around here, it seems to be you.
    I proceed from evidence- from peer-reviewed science and from the eye-witness experience of thousands of beekeepers who have lost millions of colonies. but then, I guess you think Bret Adee is pursuing a 'belief dogma'- along with Steve Ellis from the National Honey Board? And Tom Theobald in Colorado - he's obviously what? A beekeeper campaigning to save his fast disappearing bee business?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    I suggest you take that up with the USDA, the EPA and the National Honey Board of America - that is where these official figures came from. I thnk Bret Adee has a pretty good grasp on what is 'real' - after 40 years in the bee business; I think that the owner of the largest bee-business in the entire United States also has a pretty good grasp on reality when he says he lost 60% of his colonies last year and his judgement - from the science, the epidemiology and the post-mortems in the bee lab - is that its the neonics which are the major factor.

    Kim Flottum also seems to have his finger on the pulse of American beekeeping; he ought to after his years as Editor of Bee Culture. I suppose his judgement that 'the poison is everywhere that corn grows' - that's just 'conjecture too eh.?

    Abraham Lincoln said:
    "You can fool all the people some of the time
    And some of the people all of the time
    But you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    thank you for keeping information from reputable sources in front of the beekeeping community.

    one of the biggest challenges with these neonics, that i see for people to accept is that they do not directly kill the insect, meaning, the old paradime was pesticide srayed, bees killed , lots of dead bees on gound in front of hive. Real obvious something happened.

    The new thing is they are just gone, suddenly noees in hive, no dead bees as evidence that an event happened, except the beek had looked in hive 2 weeks earlier and it was thriving.

    just as a note for people to remember, older pesticides worked in parts per million to kill insects, the new neonics are parts per BILLION.
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Bee numbers will not rebound in Europe as a result of the ban on the neonicotinoid insecticides.

    How do we know this? Dr Julian Little from Bayer CropScience points out:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22339191

    "We have two controls for all of this. One is France; we've had
    massive restrictions on these products for over 10 years, have
    we seen any improvement in bee health? No.
    The other control is Australia where neonicotinoids are used in
    exactly the same way as in the UK, same formula same crops
    and they have the healthiest bees on the planet. The difference
    there is they don't have varroa [mites]."

    "What we have been upset about is how [lab based] research
    [on the effect of neonicotinoids] has been put into policy. Because
    when you repeat it with real bees, real colonies in real fields, you
    don't see any effect."

    "The varroa mite is key," says Dr Little. "If you don't have varroa
    you have healthy bees regardless of whether neonicotinoids
    are used. Varroa and bee health are inextricably linked."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Yea, but, but, Dr. Little is from big evil Bayer! Anything she says is obviously bought and paid for by Big Ag. Wait, you quoted her therefore you're one of their shills too. It can go on for hours....

    Borderbeeman pops up to stur the pot and appears a very lonely person who merely trolls from site to site walking his dogma. When the bee numbers don't rebound as his type claims, this will invariably be blamed on some other convienent Big Ag straw tiger. The environmentalist dogma (it's a religon to some folks) for more governmental control will continue until we're living in mud huts in our own filth, burying our children, but being at one with Mother Earth. (Kumbaya playing in the background for that last part )
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Kim Flottam, who writes for Mother earth??? the one that says the biggest cause of CCD is stress on bees??

    Free speech yes, funny how a Brit who thinks we have screwed the world wants to take advantage of our guiding principles.... I can promise Beesource has lost more followers because of you Bordembee, than it has gained. Free speech is a fine flag to fly, but so is deleted button..... One I wish the moderators would use for your post... but you would return with a new handle... so its better than some of point out how wrong you are, for the ones who don't know can make a intelligent choice. I for one would delete you, but I realized how many newbies and uninformed people would be mislead by diatribe.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    More industry responses:

    http://tinyurl.com/cdg87my
    A spokesman for Syngenta said: "No evidence from the field has ever been presented that these pesticides actually damage bee
    health, with the case against them resting on a few studies which identify some highly theoretical risks."

    http://tinyurl.com/cfz5sxh
    "We can use them safely and not endanger the health of bees," says David Fischer environmental toxicologist with Bayer
    CropScience. "There is not a correlation with the use of these products and the loss of colonies. What tends to be publicized
    is not an accurate reflection of the weight of the evidence."

    http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2012/04/24/3
    When Gaucho was taken off the market [in France], Fischer added, the health of the country's bees did not improve. He also pointed out that
    imidacloprid has been widely used in the United States since the mid-1990s, but the sharp decline in bees did not come until
    about a decade later. Fischer's remarks were largely confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has done extensive
    research on the issue.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    I have to say that I don't find the statements from industry flak-catchers any more convincing than borderbeeman's somewhat hysterical posts.

    Both strike me as promoting an agenda.

    As an organic gardener for 50 years, I'm not a great believer in the sustainability of pesticides and herbicides; I believe that in the long run, they do more harm than good. On the other hand, the scientific evidence for evil effects on bees due to neonic use seems unimpressive. However, there is evidence that successful beekeeping can go on in areas with heavy neonic application. There's the example of Australia, but that one is rendered somewhat irrelevant to the situation of American beekeepers by their lack of a major stressor-- varroa mites. But what decided me was the existence of a treatment free beekeeper in an area that is mostly soy and corn. These crops are heavily treated with neonics, as I understand it, and yet he has very low losses, despite the mites.

    It seems at least plausible to me that the cultural practices of many commercial beekeepers are the main cause of these very high losses. It could be that neonics are the straw that broke the camel's back in some cases; I don't know. In any case, once it has been demonstrated that there there are management techniques that allow bees to thrive in spite of neonic use, it seems to me that a rational person has to rule out neonics as the primary culprit in the huge losses some beekeepers have had.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    it seems to me that a rational person has to rule out neonics as the primary culprit in the huge losses some beekeepers have had.
    Beekeeper Randy Oliver's paper:
    http://gallery.mailchimp.com/5fd2b1a...ng2013_opt.pdf
    "The numerous field studies to date have failed to find any link between seed treatments and later colony health issues."

    He also points out that the Michiana Beekeepers Association (Indiana) reported 80% winter survival during the mild 2011-12 winter season
    despite the fact that those beekeepers were sitting in the middle of neonic treated corn/soy monocultures.

    Obviously if any researcher ever successfully documented, via a real world field study, a link between seed treatments and later colony health issues
    that person would instantly become a world famous scientist. But despite years of trying, all real world field studies to date have failed to establish
    such a link.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Very well stated Blue and Rhaldrige. My losses of 2011 winter were less than 1% and I take all the extractable honey. 2012 about 30%. but I know why, and its not chemicals....... Its me.....

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Blue Diamond/Borderbeeman,

    So which is it? The bees rebounded in France or not? I hear nothing changed really most of the time but Border is claiming it's bee heaven in France once more.... Maybe he'll blame it on GMO's next... oh wait......
    Last edited by JRG13; 05-03-2013 at 12:20 AM.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    [QUOTE=rhaldridge;933161] industry flak-catchers [QUOTE]

    To disagree with with what's labeled as a semi-hysterical post earns that title? Speaking for myself, I've been called worse by better. I catch no flack for anyone but myself. You yourself say the "scientific evidence for evil effects on bees due to neonic use seems unimpressive."

    "But what decided me was the existence of a treatment free beekeeper in an area that is mostly soy and corn. These crops are heavily treated with neonics, as I understand it, and yet he has very low losses, despite the mites."

    "a rational person has to rule out neonics as the primary culprit in the huge losses some beekeepers have had."

    Here's your "Industry flak-catcher" jacket.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    [QUOTE=D Coates;933180][QUOTE=rhaldridge;933161] industry flak-catchers

    To disagree with with what's labeled as a semi-hysterical post earns that title? Speaking for myself, I've been called worse by better. I catch no flack for anyone but myself. You yourself say the "scientific evidence for evil effects on bees due to neonic use seems unimpressive."

    "But what decided me was the existence of a treatment free beekeeper in an area that is mostly soy and corn. These crops are heavily treated with neonics, as I understand it, and yet he has very low losses, despite the mites."

    "a rational person has to rule out neonics as the primary culprit in the huge losses some beekeepers have had."

    Here's your "Industry flak-catcher" jacket.
    Well, thanks, but I think the difference is that I don't actually work for the pesticide industry. As I understand it, flak-catchers get paid.

    I'll be waiting for my check.

    In all seriousness, I do take into account the employment of the messenger. Maybe I'm a cynic, but there it is. I prefer to get my information from those who have no monetary reason to lie, such as independent researchers like Randy Oliver. If BlueDiamond had only posted the info from Randy Oliver, instead of press releases from industry spokemen, I'd have had no complaints.

    By the way, I love your nuc design!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    I think it is great that someone is posting these articles and hope that he/she keeps bringing them forward. The one thing that is amazing to me is that I am somewhat fortunate to have beeyards in towns and in the countrysides. And my bees in the countryside suffer much more than those in town. If I had my druthers, I would only have yards within town limits.

    Am I bad beekeeper for suffering large losses in 2012. I guess I could be, but then maybe the deck is being stacked against beekeepers. There is alot of money riding on insuring that the neonics continue and it goes from the manufacturer to the farmer to the supermarket and no one wants to make less money regardless of what it might be doing to ourselves.

    I find it hard to believe that the big operators who are suffering some of these major losses are bad beekeepers. But they likely have their hives in the countryside. So, I truly hope that borderbeeman continues posting and if we find that neonics are the real culprit, then I hope that the manufacturers of these chemicals have really deep pockets.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    ...posted the info from Randy Oliver, instead of press releases from industry spokemen,...
    Well, we had numerous discussions on this matter and during one of these, somebody disclosed (accidentally?) that Randy Oliver, in fact, has (had?) some support from Bayer ... sorry for spoiling idealistic picture. This discussion turned into the melodrama (tragedy?) after EU has been decided (not asking permission from American beekeepers?) to ban neonics in 27 countries. Bravo EU!!!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Do you know why Rural bees usually do better centralPA?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Just how many american bee colonies have been killed by neonics?

    Wow, your insights are just staggering.
    Julian Little is the main spokesman for Bayer - the main manufacturer of neonicotinoids, apart from Syngenta. Bayer is making over 1billion a year from selling neonics to farmers.
    Little's job is to defend his masters poisons to the last ditch; just as tobacco companies propagandists denied that tobacco caused cancer - for 50 years after it was clinically proven.

    What Little doesn't like, and doesn't listen to is :

    When INDEPENDENT scientists report that Bayer's neurotoxic poisons kill bees at just 3 parts per billion.

    When INDEPENDENT scientists advised the Fench government to BAN these systemic poisons in 2000

    When INDEPENDENT scientist advised the German and Italian governments to BAN them in 2010

    Little's job and his Bayer predecessors job - all along - has been:

    1. To deny that these pesticides are harmful to bees
    2. To initially claim that it was 'physiologically impossible for the poisons to emerge in the flowers
    3. When Dr Bonmatin proved that neonics DID emerge in the flowers, Bayer sued him for 'defaming its product'. The National Beekeeping Union of France supported him - the judge threw the case out in an hour and awarded damages against Bayer. Nice people you ally yourself with - hope it pays well.
    4. As dozens of studies piled up, proving beyond any reasonable doubt that neonics were responsible for mass bee deaths - Little and his spin doctors thought up- 'The Varroa defense'

    5. THE DISTRACTION STRATEGY; 'Varroa, viruses, cellphones, aliens'
    Varroa was present in Germany, France, Italy, Holland and all of mainland Europe since the 1970s. It was everywhere. They did not suffer any mass bee deaths despite 30 years of varroa infestation.

    Then Imidacloprid was introduced on sunflowers in 1994 and BANG!!! One million dead hives.
    The beekeepers knew what it was within weeks. Some, who had a thousand hives or more (all had varroa to some degree or other) put half their hives in the chestnut forests or lavender fields. All those hives survived - with the varroa - and made good honey crop. The other half of the hives were put into the sunflowers - almost all those hives 'collapsed', either immediately, or as they went into the winter.

    Since the truth came out in France in 2000 - and the ban was implemented - Bayer, Little - and Blue Diamond knew that the game was up. The Science was In. Those with a brain and some integrity could see the truth when it was presented to them; those with no integrity got to work to spread thick dark clouds of smoke and camouflage all over the truth.

    The techniques used were the same as the tobacco lobby:

    Deny, deny, deny
    Bury regulators in mountains of false 'science' - expensively commissioned from 'pestitute' scientists
    Employ hundreds of propagandists and spin doctors to fill the media with lies
    Employ online Forum 'actors' to fill the forums with 'the varroa defense'
    Employ online Forum attack dogs to bully, attack and intimidate anyone who tries to tell the truth
    It is also alleged that Bayer created and owns many of the online Forums.
    I am still hoping that this is NOT the case with this Forum, but given the strange behaviour of the Moderator - who sets rules about: no harassment, no bullying, no hatred - but appears to allow free rein to those who clearly do this all the time . . .I have my doubts.

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