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  1. #1
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    Default Are the Canadians wrong?

    Catch the Buzz:

    “We have concluded that current agricultural practices related to the use of neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seed are not sustainable,” the agency says in a statement.

    I tried this thread yesterday and didn't phrase the title correctly. I didn't mean to insult anyone.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    They're just talking about planting procedures, not quitting the use of these chemicals.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Dr. Tibor I. Szabo take on the issue is here.

    There's been a constant stream of news stories in ontario the last couple years of beekeepers loosing mass amounts of bees due to confirmed acute pesticide poisoning.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    We know the pesticides are a problem. Instead of being cautious, it seems they are just going to institute a few minor changes in planting procedures and the government is still trying to use varroa as a scapegoat.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    We have it here, too. It seems to be planting practises are indeed a problem.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Can you explain that? If it were just the planting practices why would it happen everywhere? Isn't it the chemical that is killing the bees? I thought when the chemical hits the ground it becomes inert. Can't be if the bees die from contact with the dust. Most of the dust is going to hit the ground, no?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Way I understand it, the particular machinery we use, under certain conditions, blows dust all over the place.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    It's more than just planter dust that's impacting the bees.

    Since neonics are both water soluble and can have long half lives in soil, they can 'translocate' away from the coated seed and affect pollinators that way.

    There's a broader environmental contamination issue that needs much closer scrutiny.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    It's truly a disastrous substance to be proliferating around the globe. As we pretty much only grow corn and soy in this province, I strongly suspect the officials are doing their best do downplay the catastrophy for the sake of supporting big industry.

    Water is essential for honey bee colonies. Bees fly out from hives even in cold weather to collect water from leaves, soil and wherever they can find it. According to Hunt and Krupke (2012) “each corn seed theoretically has enough pesticide to kill well over 100,000 bees.” Rain water leaches pesticides into the soil where it can remain active for up to three years and honey bees collect water from wet soil, puddles and ditches. Bees consume the water and if the exposure does not cause acute death, the bees bring the water home to poison their colonies resulting in chronic poisoning. Annual applications of neonicotinoids compound the problem. Figure 5 shows water standing in a treated corn field that bees use for water foraging.

    In early spring bees are desperate to collect pollen. They try to collect dust from bird feeders, sawdust, and white powder from poplar tree trunks. A few exposed corn seeds coated in toxic neonicotinoid dust are sufficient to poison entire apiaries as honey bees foraging for pollen carry it back to the colony.

    Since neonicotinoid pesticides are systemic and appear in all parts of a plant including roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit, honey bees become exposed while gathering nectar, pollen, and water.

    By: Dr. Tibor I. Szabo CM, Tibor P. Szabo, and Daniel C. Szabo BSc

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    It's more than just planter dust that's impacting the bees. Since neonics are both water soluble and can have long half lives in soil, they can 'translocate' away from the coated seed and affect pollinators that way. There's a broader environmental contamination issue that needs much closer scrutiny.
    A Bayer rep could take you out to the GMO corn monocultures that were planted with neonic coated seed and show you the wildflowers growing next to the cornfield are teaming with wild pollinators like those shown in this 3 minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AS7xnDRGYjk

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Here is a video showing dust implicated bee deaths.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxXXa...ature=youtu.be

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    Here is a video showing dust implicated bee deaths.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxXXa...ature=youtu.be
    That's a planter dust video so it's not germain to WLC's assertion that: "It's more than just planter dust that's impacting the bees."

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    BD:

    The neonic translocation issue isn't my own assertion but has been cited in the literature for a while now.

    I'm not convinced that all of Canada's bee kills are strictly 'fugitive dust' related.

    On the other hand, the scientific consensus for causes of Honeybee losses includes nutrition, disease, genetics, and pesticides.

    We should ask, "How are they interacting in the case of the reported Honeybee losses in Canada?"

    It's easy to miss something fundamental when our attention is misdirected.

    My greatest concern for pollinator health is the spillover of diseases like those caused by emerging viruses.

    DWV spilling over from Honeybees into the common eastern bumble bee is one example.
    Last edited by WLC; 09-25-2013 at 05:11 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    I believe that it is not only happening in Canada, but many other places. What we have in Ontario and Quebec and probably some of the other provinces is a easy process of reporting and investigating pesticide kills. I am pretty sure that this is lacking in the majority of the US. In Ontario, if you report a pesticide kill to the PMRA they come to your yard with a provincial bee inspector to investigate. The bee inspector examines the hive for signs of other disease and samples are taken back for laboratory testing. Does this happen in your state? If not, you have a big problem. How do you keep track of what you aren't investigating? How do you even know if you have a problem?

    A lot of the spring kills here from neonics were acute poisoning. Large population loss (majority of the foragers) with plenty of dead bees out front with pollen. Strong hives were hit hardest. A lot of these incidents coincided closely with planting. Acute poisoning where the majority of dead foragers test positive for the same pesticide are pretty hard to refute.

    The chronic effects of neonics are more difficult. This can come from a less than lethal dose of dust or from pollen collected from treated plants. When the colonies are under this pressure on top of mites, viruses etc it is tough to prove what exactly killed them. Increased average winter losses here closely correlates with the widespread use of neonics. Of course correlation is not causation, but the rest of the rest of the pressures (mites, etc) were existing before this.

    There is also some question as to whether neonics themselves are very effective. Here is one local farmer's thoughts:

    http://www.edibletoronto.com/compone...neonicotinoids
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    BlueDiamond, the video was for Ace in post #6.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/marla_spiva...appearing.html Marla Spivak knows bees This TED presentation is the best explanation I have heard to date. Worth checking out.
    I’m really not that serious

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    I wonder if spring feeding might be another factor that increases the likelihood of bees getting into neonic dust. It sure seems to drive the bees crazy, searching everywhere and everything for food that doesn't exist.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    Isn't that what bees do? Search for food wherever they can find it whenever temps allow?
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 09-30-2013 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Shot from the hip and hit myself in the foot.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  19. #19
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    In five years this is the first time I've had to do any significant amount of feeding, but I don't think my recent observations are 100% unique. Yesterday, only after I added a top feeder, they were buzzing all around me at a much greater distance than they normally would after really shaking up a hive and getting them angry, starting up orientation flights and investigating random things like my bag of smoker wood. I only looked at two frames before adding the feeders on my two hives. Didn't give them any other reason to change their behaviour.

    I also keep hives on an warehouse roof. Usually I don't see any bees till I get close to the hives. When I fed last week and returned 24 hours later to top them up, I was greeted 75 meters away and two stories down from the hives with bees trying to determine if I was a flower. At the hives, they were doing orientation flights non-stop:



    I watched the entrances for a long time and feel fairly confident they were not robbers. I'm pretty sure they get the signal that there's food coming in from close by and start searching for it where they normally would, outside the hive.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Are the Canadians wrong?

    I guess I haven't noticed that so much when I have fed, but you are correct. When I have fed it seems as though bees look for ways to work on other hives. But I can see where they may seem to have a "Where did that stuff come from? Where can I find more?" sort of focus. Good point.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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