See: http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/Pages/news..._measures.aspx "It appears the tree species’ natural toxicity to bumblebees in combination with the pesticide contributed to the deaths."
Significant Minority vs Insignificant Majority, 20% of causes produce 80% of the effects.
if you google you'll find lots of links on this. A number of lime / linden are toxic to bumbles but not honeybees. Some are toxic to both. Some produce good honey.
we all know that the pesticides are killing the bees we just have to keep informing people and spread the word on how deadly they are not only to the bees
They are deadly to us too.
NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.
There are some legitimate concerns about neonics. First, they are chlorinated nicitinoids, which means, quite shockingly, that they are resistant to degradation in the soil. This was quite a surprise to Bayer (allegedly), but should not have been since the vast majority of chlorinated substances used for pesticides have been banned for just this reason. As a result, repeated use of neonics on seeds results in sustained levels in the soil that tend to rise annually.
Second, the application to seed isn't targeted, it's "to enhance stand density", meaning it's used mostly to sell more of it without a definitive reason. This sort of scattershot application of pesticides shouldn't be tolerated under any circumstances, any more than "propholatic" use of antibiotics in overcrowded feedlots should be (far better to spread the animals out than create antibiotic resistant bacteria).
Third, the dust from air seeding is a severe problem as it settles on the dandelions and other flowering weeds beside the fields, and the bees will be quite busy collecting the nectar and pollen from those plants. It's quite common to see a big dust cloud behind planters here regardless of the weather or soil conditions. Again, "preventative" use of pesticides shouldn't be allowed.
Fourth, with corn in particular, there is a serious problem with neonics showing up in guttation droplets in cool damp weather. This is most common in new seedlings where there is a significant amount of neonic from the seed treatment in contact with the rootlets, but because neoics build up in the soil, can be a problem in larger plants as well. These droplets form by the plant transporting sugars into them to draw water up from the soil, and are highly attractive to bees. Given the right conditions, the concentration of neonics can be high enough to be directly toxic to the bees collecting them. This may not happen every year, but I think I saw some pesticide die-off about that time with my bees once. As the neonics build up in the soil, the amount excuded in guttation droplets will rise.
Fifth, neonics are metabolized very quickly by bees, and may not persist long enough to be detected properly in dead bees, making it hard to determine directly if they were poisoned.
I have a suspicion that pesticide usage is way out of control in the US -- sure, some of them are better than they were in the 50's and 60's, but we are using unbelievable amounts, and they cannot be good for bees. Fungicides are showing up as a serious problem because they prevent fermentation of pollen in the hive, with the result that the bees are not getting some vital sterols that they cannot synthesize. Around here, the local farmers apply fungicides by areal spray (stupid as 90% of the application goes somewhere besides the target) so you can assume the pollen all over is affected.
Thank you for taking the time to post that Fred.
Significant Minority vs Insignificant Majority, 20% of causes produce 80% of the effects.
Good news is Bayer has a varroa control now. Its called neonicotinoid pesticides and it works for your bees as well.
you have got to be working in collusion with either Monsanto, the pesticide companies or one of their bought off affiliates. There are many studies verifying the existence of neonics in pollen.
How much did Monsanto, Bayer, and affiliates pay to get that one done? Sounds like the explanation for CCD cause....uhhhhh "its lost of food supply, poor beekeeper habits, varroa mites and maybe influenced by pesticides"
Here is an article just posted across Canadian news both TV and in the News Papers
Canada : News Findings: Pesticide sale must stop: scientists
Scientists say dwindling bee colonies can be traced back to a particular pesticide.
A group of international scientists has completed the only global study of neonicotinoid pesticides and concluded there’s a definitive link between its use and the deaths of bees and other pollinators.
“As independent scientists, we can now say conclusively there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action,” Madeleine Chagnon, study co-author, told reporters on Parliament Hill on Wednesday.
Calling themselves The Task Force, more than 50 scientists studied the impact of neonicotinoids, not just on insects and animals but on ecosystems.
“Neonics persist for a long time in soil and leach and end up in our waterways,” scientist Sydeny Ribaux said. “We are concerned about their large-scale use and impacts on human health and ecosystems.”
Task Force scientists said ideally the stuff would be banned, but even if it’s use could be restricted to only when needed rather than as a preventative, it would greatly increase chances of bee survival.
Scientist Jean - Marc Bonmatin said roughly 30% of bee populations die annually. If current use of neonics go unmitigated, Bonmatin warned bee extinction is a reality.
But neither farmers nor the companies producing the pesticides are keen on a ban.
Tara Moore, spokesman for supplier Pioneer Seeds, said demand from farmers for seeds not treated with the pesticide is not great. The Western Producer magazine reported earlier this year that seed suppliers who’d been asked by farmers to supply more untreated seed hadn’t resulted in farmers placing significant orders.
“Growers understand the value (this pesticide has) for production,” Moore told QMI Agency.
The scientists said pesticide makers’ profits are simply too high for them to support a ban.
Bayer, one of the largest producer of neonic pesticides in Canada, wouldn’t estimate its annual profit from the pesticides, but cast doubt on the science behind calls for the ban.
“We don’t support the need or the background (for a ban),” Bayer spokesman Paul Thiel told QMI Agency.
Earthboy, I'm curious? Do you know what GM crops are? Do you think they've been genetically modified to coat their seeds with pesticides?
Neonicotinoids are a chemical pesticide class typically applied in a coating to seeds.
Genetic modification is something entirely different.
Bayer does not, to the best of my knowledge, have any tobacco executives, and in any case the addictive nature of it has nothing to do with bee deaths.
>"Linden trees can also be toxic to bees under some circumstances, according to both Preston and Black. But Black said that toxicity is very unusual, and typically occurs in drought conditions when the tree's nectar is concentrated."
Ridicules... linden trees are a great source of nectar and are not at all poisonous to bees.
"It appears the tree species’ natural toxicity to bumblebees in combination with the pesticide contributed to the deaths."
So the Wilsonville, Oregon bee kill on June 18, 2013 was not a widespread incident - it was limited to the Target Store shopping center parking lot and caused by a combination of improper pesticide application (spraying 55 asphalt shopping center parking lot ornamental linden trees with a neonic when they were in full bloom) and the natural toxicity of the european linden tree.
Here is a answer and supporting information to some of your questions along with a history about neonicotinoids and it's sub chemicals
Clothianidin is authorized for spray, dust, soil drench (for uptake via plant roots), injectable liquid (into tree limbs and trunks, sugar cane stalks etc.), and seed treatment uses, in which clothianidin coats seeds that take up the pesticide via the roots as the plant grows. The chemical may be used to protect plants against a wide variety of agricultural pests in many countries, of which the following are mentioned in citable English-language sources: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, UK, and the United States. Seed treatment uses of clothianidin, corn in particular, have been revoked or suspended in Germany, Italy and Slovenia. The suspensions are reflective of E.U. pesticide law and are generally associated with acute poisoning of bees from pesticide dust being blown off of treated seeds, especially corn, and onto nearby farms where bees were performing pollinator services.
Although nicotine has been used as a pesticide for over 200 years it degraded too rapidly in the environment and lacked the selectivity to be very useful in large-scale agricultural situations. However, in order to address this problem, the neonicotinoids (chloronicotinyl insecticides) were developed as a substitute of nicotine. Clothianidin is an alternative to organophosphate, carbamate, and pyrethroid pesticides. It poses lower risks to mammals, including humans, when compared to organophosphates and carbamates. It also plays a key role helping to prevent the build up in insect pests of resistance to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides, which is a growing problem in parts of Europe.
Clothianidin was first given conditional registration for use as a pesticide by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2003, pending the completion of additional study of its safety to be done by December 2004. Bayer did not complete the study on time and asked for an extension. The date was postponed to May 2005 and they also granted Bayer the permission it had sought to conduct its study on canola in Canada, instead of on corn in the United States. The study was not completed until 2007. In a November 2007 memo EPA scientists declared the study “scientifically sound,” adding that it, “satisfies the guideline requirements for a field toxicity test with honeybees.”
Clothianidin continued to be sold under a conditional registration, and in April 2010 it was granted an unconditional registration for use as a seed treatment for corn and canola. However, in response to concerns raised by bee keepers, in November the EPA released a memorandum in which they stated that some of the studies submitted did not appear to be adequate and the unconditional registration was withdrawn.
In 2012, arguing that after more than 9 years the EPA continues to maintain the registration status for clothianidin despite the fact that the registrant has failed to supply satisfactory studies confirming its safety, an alliance of beekeepers and environmental groups filed a petition on March 21 asking the EPA to block the use of clothianidin in agricultural fields until they have conducted a review of the product. The petitioners state that they are aware that the EPA has moved up its registration review of clothianidin and other neonicotinoids in response to concerns about their impacts on pollinators, however they note that this process is projected by the EPA to take six to eight years and is thus grossly insufficient to address the urgency of the threat to pollinators.
Regulatory authorities describe the toxicological database for clothianidin as "extensive", and many studies have been reviewed to support registrations around the globe for this chemical. Laboratory and field testing revealed that clothianidin shows relatively low toxicity to many test species but is highly or very highly toxic to others. Toxicity varies depending on whether the exposure occurs on a short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) basis.
Because it is systemic, persistent and highly toxic to honey bees, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada has requested additional data to fully assess the potential effects of chronic exposure of clothianidin, resulting from its potential movement into plant pollen and nectar.
Permissible amounts of clothianidin residue on food and animal feed vary from crop to crop and nation to nation. However, regulatory authorities around the globe emphasize that when used according to the label instructions, clothianidin residues on food are not expected to exceed safe levels (as defined by each nation's laws and regulations).
In the 2003 United States EPA assessment report it was stated that clothianidin should not present a direct acute or chronic risk to freshwater and estuarine/marine fish, or a risk to terrestrial or aquatic vascular and nonvascular plants. It is considered to be toxic to aquatic invertebrates if disposal of wastes according to disposal instructions are not followed. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency of Canada lists it as "very highly toxic" to aquatic invertebrates, but only slightly toxic to fish.
In the 2003 EPA report it was stated that although no water monitoring studies had been conducted, due to the extreme mobility and persistence of clothianidin in the environment, clothianidin has the properties of a chemical which could lead to widespread groundwater contamination should the registrant request field uses involving direct application of clothianidin to the land surface. In a 2010 EPA report it was noted that the registrant had recently added new uses on the labels, including using it directly applied to the soil surface/foliage at much higher application rate than as specified in 2003. As a result, the potential for clothianidin to move from the treated area to the nearby surface water body under the new uses is much greater than the use as a seed treatment.
Bees and other insect pollinators
Honey bees pollinate crops responsible for about a third of the human diet; about $224 billion worth of crops worldwide. Beginning in 2006, beekeepers in the United States began to report unexplained losses of hives — 30 percent and upward — leading to a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD). The cause of CCD remains under debate, but scientific consensus is beginning to emerge suggesting that there is no one cause but rather a combination of factors including lack of foraging plants, infections, breeding, and pesticides—with none catastrophic on their own, but having a synergistic effect when occurring in combination.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority notes that clothianidin ranks "among the most highly acutely toxic insecticides to bees" through contact and oral exposure. Since clothianidin is a systemic pesticide that is taken up by the plant, there is also potential for toxic chronic exposure resulting in long-term effects to bees and other pollinators from clothianidin residue in pollen and nectar. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in addition to potential effects on worker bees, there are also concerns about lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects in the queen from chronic exposure. However, in a 2012 statement the EPA reported that they are not aware of any data demonstrating that bee colonies are subject to elevated losses due to long-term exposure when clothianidin products are used at authorized rates.
Honey bees and other pollinators are particularly sensitive to clothianidin, as evidenced by the results of laboratory and field toxicity testing and demonstrated in acute poisoning incidents in France and Germany in 2008, and in Canada in 2010 and 2013 associated with the planting of corn seeds treated with clothianidin. To reduce the risk to pollinators from acute exposure to clothianidin sprays, label instructions prohibit the use of these products when crops or weeds are in bloom and pollinators are nearby, but in the U.S. label instructions do not require the use of a "sticker", a sticking agent meant to reduce dust from treated seeds during planting. However, according to the EPA, the use of sticking agents to reduce dust from treated seeds is standard practice in the U.S.
In a July 2008 German beekill incident, German beekeepers reported that 50 to 100 percent of their hives had been lost after pneumatic equipment used to plant corn seed blew clouds of pesticide dust into the air, which was then pushed by the wind onto neighboring canola fields in which managed bees were performing pollinator services. The accident was found to be the result of improper planting procedures and the weather. However, in 2009, Germany suspended authorization for the use of clothianidin on corn, citing unanswered questions that remained about potential exposure of bees and other pollinators to neonicotinoid pesticides.
A 2011 Congressional Research Report describing some of the reasons why scientists believe honey bee colonies are being affected by CCD reported that the United States Department of Agriculture had concluded in 2009, "it now seems clear that no single factor alone is responsible for the malady." According to the research report, the neonicotinoids, which contain the active ingredient imidacloprid, and similar other chemicals, such as clothianidin and thiamethoxam, are being studied for a possible link to CCD. Honey bees are thought to possibly be affected by such chemicals, which are known to work their way through the plant up into the flowers and leave residues in the nectar and pollen that bees forage on. The scientists studying CCD have tested samples of pollen and have indicated findings of a broad range of substances, including insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides. They note that the doses taken up by bees are not lethal, but they are concerned about possible chronic problems caused by long-term exposure.
A report released in 2012 found a close relationship between the deaths of bees and the use of pneumatic drilling machines for the sowing of corn seeds coated with clothianidin and other neonicotinoid insecticides. In pneumatic drilling machines, seeds are sucked in, causing the erosion of fragments of the insecticide shell, which are then expelled with a current of air. Field tests found that foraging bees flying through dust released during the planting of corn seeds coated with neonicotinoid insecticides may encounter exposure high enough to be lethal. They concluded: "The consequent acute lethal effect evidenced in all the field sowing experiments can be well compared with the colony loss phenomena widely reported by beekeepers in spring and often associated to corn sowing." Another field study released in 2012 looked at sublethal effects of clothianidin and imidacloprid in amounts that bees might be exposed to during foraging. Sublethal doses can affect orientation, foraging, learning ability and brood care. The study found: "clothianidin elicited detrimental sub-lethal effects at somewhat lower doses (0.5 ng/bee) than imidacloprid (1.5 ng/bee). Bees disappeared at the level of 1 ng for clothianidin, while we could register the first bee losses for imidacloprid at doses exceeding 3 ng."
In a 2012 study, scientists found that an analyses of bees found dead in and around hives from several apiaries in Indiana showed the presence of the neonicotinoid insecticides clothianidin and thiamethoxam. The research showed that the insecticides were present at high concentrations in waste talc that was exhausted from farm machinery during planting and that is left outside after cleaning the planting equipment. Talc is used in the vacuum system planters to keep pesticide treated seeds flowing freely and was studied by the investigators since the waste talc can be picked up by the wind, and could spread the pesticide to non-treated areas; they did not however investigate whether and how much pesticide spreads this way. The insecticides were also consistently found at low levels in soil up to two years after treated seed was planted, and on nearby dandelion flowers and corn pollen gathered by the bees. Also in 2012, researchers in Italy published findings that the pneumatic drilling machines that plant corn seeds coated with clothianidin and imidacloprid release large amounts of the pesticide into the air, causing significant mortality in foraging honey bees.
Neonicotinoids banned by European Union
In 2012, several peer reviewed independent studies were published showing that neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, had previously undetected routes of exposure affecting bees including through dust, pollen, and nectar; that sub-nanogram toxicity resulted in failure to return to the hive without immediate lethality, the primary symptom of colony collapse disorder; and showing environmental persistence in agricultural irrigation channels and soil. These reports prompted a formal peer review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which stated in January 2013 that neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, pose an unacceptably high risk to bees, and that the industry-sponsored science upon which regulatory agencies' claims of safety have relied on may be flawed and contain several data gaps not previously considered. Their review concluded, "A high acute risk to honey bees was identified from exposure via dust drift for the seed treatment uses in maize, oilseed rape and cereals. A high acute risk was also identified from exposure via residues in nectar and/or pollen. In April 2013, the European Union voted for a two-year restriction on neonicotinoid insecticides. The ban restricted the use of imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam for use on crops that are attractive to bees (maize, cotton, sunflower, and rapeseed), and goes into effect on December 1, 2013. Eight nations voted against the motion, including the British government which argued that the science was incomplete.
Following on the release of the EFSA report in January 2013, the UK Parliament has asked manufacturer Bayer Cropscience to explain discrepancies in evidence they have submitted to an investigation.