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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
    Better question: Why didn't the farmer planting the pesticide-coated corn seed--the very type of seed that had allegedly killed many bees the year before--why didn't he wait to plant when it wasn't a windy day so as to minimize planter dust and make sure the poison stayed on his property?
    Back in the spring of 2012 Bayer and Minnesota State officials, tested Steve Ellis's bees that were alledgedly made sick by planter dust as is explained in this May 2012 newsstory: http://www.nbcnews.com/video/nightly...79683#51944695

    But to this day Steve Ellis has not come forward to tell the world what the results of those tests were. So the farmers in Steve Ellis's neighborhood would have no reason to believe their planting operations would likely create a problem for anyones bees. According to zabasearch.com there is a Steve Ellis at 20501 County Road 5, Barrett, MN 56311 which is near Elbow Lake, MN which is the location where the newsstory was filmed. If you type that address into google earth you'll see it is a typical midwestern corn belt landscape.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    I would place my beeyard in the original place and install video cameras to catch vandals. Than, I will work hard to put them into the jail. Also, I will purchase AK-47 (if legal) and made sure that everybody saw me patrolling my beeyard properly equipped. I am intended to protect my property and my integrity.
    I hear you bro, but there's a problem with that. Yes, if the vandals come back, they will definitely be caught on camera, vandalizing your hives. Assuming they're not masked or concealed well enough to confound the police (unlikely, kids as a rule are not that smart), you'll be able to have them arrested. But - they'll be arrested for vandalizing your apiary, which means that they just killed all your bees - again! So they've been caught, but there was a price.

    Now you and I - well I, I don't really know how many colonies you live to keep - for argument's sake let's say I put ten hives in that apiary, and I lost all ten to the vandals. I can absorb the cost of ten new hives without too much hardship, so I can still call the colonies' sacrifice a victory in the end.

    But let's try to fit that shoe on the foot we're discussing in this thread. Another person recently suggested that, all things being equal, it did not seem very likely Mr. Ellis would set up his colonies as bait to be sacrificed in order to catch the "vandals" - in this case, the farmers and their toxic chemicals - because his sacrifice would be something like a quarter of a million dollars in bees and furniture. That's huge, and I must say I agree it's very unlikely anybody would be willing to just "absorb" that kind of hit solely make a point about planter dust unless they were truly obsessed fanatics.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    If you type that address into google earth you'll see it is a typical midwestern corn belt landscape.
    Okay, but maybe it's not for the best to post what could be the guy's home address here. I realize you got it from a publicly-accessible website; but for the principle of the thing.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    If you type that address into google earth you'll see it is a typical midwestern corn belt landscape.
    Exactly.....typical of anywhere in the Midwest. So do you think ALL BEEKEEPERS should stay out of all of the MIDWEST until the "dust has settled" and any possible pollen and nectar sources that may have been contaminated by a product not intended for use on those sources is "dried up"?

    My area in west central WI typically has dandelion bloom starting at the end of maple and willow bloom. Our dandelion bloom normally runs the whole month of May. During dandelion bloom we also have apple, cherry, oak, yellow rocket, plum, poplar, tartarian honeysuckle and other miscellaneous trees. Corn planting typically starts late April and can continue into early June.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  5. #85
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    "Some of the problems associated with planting can likely be solved with some effort to change planting practices. The neonics are effective pesticides that are relatively non-toxic for many life forms (most notably humans), but (of course) are highly toxic to insects. Like all pesticides, they should be used judiciously – where there is a demonstrated need. This is a principle of pest management that has largely gone by the wayside in some large acreage cropping systems. The bee story is one indication that perhaps it is time to re-evaluate whether it is necessary to use up to 1.25 milligrams of neonicotinoids on virtually every single corn kernel that is planted in the country. Planting corn is the largest use of arable land in the US, and each corn seed theoretically has enough pesticide to kill well over 100,000 bees.

    http://www.extension.org/pages/65034...ney-bee-health

  6. #86
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by melliferal View Post
    ...they'll be arrested for vandalizing your apiary, which means that they just killed all your bees - again! So they've been caught, but there was a price....
    It seems to me this is exactly what settlers did - Indians burned down their homes and they returned back and rebuild! Return and rebuild! I think, this is true part of Americans! I am not American (well, I am living here for 20 years ), but I would do the same again and again until truth prevail (always!). If somebody dusted my house (property, cat, bees etc) with chemical dust - I would bring this person into the house and force to clean the house... not really viable in US, but in Russia, it would be very acceptable - moreover, people will help to exercise the rightness. Nobody will tell me that I have to relocate because of dust. If Americans will follow your instructions - they should go back to Europe...
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    So the farmers in Steve Ellis's neighborhood would have no reason to believe their planting operations would likely create a problem for anyones bees.
    This is simply not true. The problem with planter dust from neonicotinoids has been well known for at least 10 years.....

    http://ento.psu.edu/publications/are...s-killing-bees

  8. #88
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
    This is simply not true. The problem with planter dust from neonicotinoids has been well known for at least 10 years.....
    http://ento.psu.edu/publications/are...s-killing-bees
    The math is simple: There are 1000's of corn farmers in southern Minnesota and 100's of beekeepers. Since 2006 only a few of those beekeepers (one of whom is Steve Ellis) in that whole area have alledged bee kills due to planter dust and even those incidents have not been verified by Minnesota officials or Bayer. Therefore the corn farmers have no reason to believe planter dust poses a significant risk worthy of concern.

  9. #89
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    The math is simple: There are 1000's of corn farmers in southern Minnesota and 100's of beekeepers. Since 2006 only a few of those beekeepers (one of whom is Steve Ellis) in that whole area have alledged bee kills due to planter dust and even those incidents have not been verified by Minnesota officials or Bayer. Therefore the corn farmers have no reason to believe planter dust poses a significant risk worthy of concern.
    Ok, for the sake of argument, let's say that the farmers didn't know (I think that's hogwash, but ok).

    You know who did know? Bayer and Monsanto. After a 30 second google search I found reports dating back to 2003 that documented large hive kills from neonicotinoid planter dust, and I'm sure if I dug further I could find reports from the mid to late 90's as well, much less Bayer and Monsanto's own research.

    So, if Bayer and Monsanto are aware of the problem (which they have been for at least 10-15 years, and they are not putting warning labels on their products and/or product application directions that spell out the known risk to pollinators from planter dust, then they are negligent and should be held accountable.

    Put another way: If Beekeeper Bob's bees swarm, and go over to Farmer Joe's pasture and sting and kill his $50,000 show horse, Beekeeper Bob is responsible and must pay damages to Farmer Joe. But if Farmer Joe plants insecticide-coated seed on a windy day, and the planter dust carries over to Beekeeper Bob's apiary and kills $300,000 in bees, well, that's Beekeeper Bob's fault for keeping bees in corn country.....

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDawg View Post
    So, if Bayer and Monsanto are aware of the problem (which they have been for at least 10-15 years, and they are not putting warning labels on their products and/or product application directions that spell out the known risk to pollinators from planter dust, then they are negligent and should be held accountable.
    This thread is about an alledged "Large pesticide bee-kill in Minnesota" and so far no one has verified whether planter dust is even responsible. Steve Ellis, the person who has been inferring that planter dust might be responsible also made that inferrence a year ago and yet for some undisclosed reason he has not come forward to tell us what Bayers pesticide residue testing revealed about his sick bees. And because a year ago Steve Ellis considered planter dust to be a potential big threat, it makes no sense that this year he would knowingly place 1000+ hives next to a field that would soon be planted. He lives in an area where all the fields get planted with neonic treated corn or soybean seeds.

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Approximately 200 incidents reported in Ontario in spring of 2012 during corn planting season

    http://www.farmwest.com/node/1283
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    Approximately 200 incidents reported in Ontario in spring of 2012 during corn planting season
    http://www.farmwest.com/node/1283
    What about the number of incidents in 2006-2011? And 2013? Not hardly any, apparently, perhaps because soil conditions were not as dry as compared with 2012.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Do you actually track the bees? How you know? I was under impression that it is common knowledge that bees do forage within 3-4-5 miles radius from the beehive. Are you intended to diminish this knowledge? With proper meteorological conditions I believe that dust may travel a few miles distance. We commonly have the dust from Mohave Desert in LA. It is more than few miles. I also saw the dust from agriculture in the Central Valley - it covers the horizon... If airplane used - a few miles easy, you even would not see it as a dust - particles are so small and thus, stay in the air ... and travel
    Well if we do some simple math and logic we know 4 miles is a bit of a stretch. and under those conditions we would not have any buildup as all the forage gathered would be consumed in travel. Normal travel range is around a mile on the high side, with most of the effective forage occuring within a mile wide circle. not saying that they won't go farther, but here in the midwest and in effective honey operations we would not use 4 miles. and in fact if you look at CA pollination info you will find what they show to be correct spacings for hives, its not 4 miles.. a 3-4-5 mile radius, well within that large of area we would fine TONS of poisens other than planter dust!

    Our planter dust normaly doesn't travel anywhere near like dust in the desert. 1/2 mile or so on a bad day, less than 1/4 is typical when the moisture levels are good. (which is worse for the bees) worst case on full tillage, bad wind dry air would be around a mile I would guess.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  15. #95
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueDiamond View Post
    What about the number of incidents in 2006-2011? And 2013? Not hardly any, apparently, perhaps because soil conditions were not as dry as compared with 2012.
    Have a look at the change in winter mortality after 2006 on page 3 of thie 2011 Ontario Apiarists report:
    http://www.ontariobee.com/sites/onta...eport-2011.pdf

    This isn't causation, but there certainly appears to be correlation.

    Last year the PMRA (our pesticide regulator) and provincial bee inspectors responded together to each of the 200 incidents last season. The inspectors were there to see if there were other factors. Samples were taken. The provincial apiarist spoke at our beekeeping meeting a couple of weeks ago. 70% of the samples taken tested positive for clothianidin. The incidents were in variety of weather conditions and from the photos I have seen, pretty much looked like the Ellis video. An official report from the PMRA on last years results is still pending. For this season we have a list of "best practices":

    http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/.../index-eng.php

    This is while they re-evaluate the use of these pesticides in Canada.

    There are already many reports of similar pesticide kills this season, though no test results yet to follow up.

    While in some areas of Ontario it is possible to move your bees away from corn fields, in other areas it would be very difficult. The apiarist said that in one county, 70% of beekeepers had been effected.

    I will try to remember to follow up with the PMRA report when released. 200 incidents is a decent sample size and the conclusions will the interesting.

    Our provincial beekeeping association originally supported "best practices" for planting and better communication, but after last year they are now pushing for a ban during re-evaluation and compensation for losses related to neonicotinoid poisoning.

    http://www.ontariobee.com/issues-and...bee-poisonings
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  16. #96
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Have a look at the change in winter mortality after 2006 on page 3 of thie 2011 Ontario Apiarists report:
    And what year did varroa and tracheal mites become well established up there?

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    And what year did varroa and tracheal mites become well established up there?
    It has been here since the mid 90s. That is what makes the correlation interesting, there isn't anything else that lines up.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  18. #98
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    Spanish Fork, UT, USA
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    I try and keep most of my bees away from corn fields. I quit using several of my locations when the nearby farmer planted corn.

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    ....Our planter dust normaly doesn't travel anywhere near like dust in the desert. 1/2 mile or so on a bad day, less than 1/4 is typical when the moisture levels are good. (which is worse for the bees) worst case on full tillage, bad wind dry air would be around a mile I would guess.
    1 mile radius is still 2000 acres - arguments presented above are still viable. Also, since we are talking about pollution of MY property (as an example) by somebody else, I guess it would be wise to establish a buffer zone to insure that his chemical dust will not enter MY property in ANY situation. The bottom line is that it is not possible for a single beekeeper to check all these 2000 acres (and farmers) for potential risks to his bees. It is a responsibility of the state (whichever) agency to establish the policies to prevent one business to contaminate another. It looks like Ontario is well ahead of us.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Large pesticide bee-kill in minnesota

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    Approximately 200 incidents reported in Ontario in spring of 2012 during corn planting season

    http://www.farmwest.com/node/1283
    It is interesting, because many people here at beesource used Ontario (and Australia) as an example that neonicotinoids have no effect on beekeeping in that areas. I am wondering what those people will tell us if Canada will ban neonicotinoids? Would be fun to revisit this thread in couple of months, years (?)
    Серёжа, Sergey

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