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  1. #41
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    WLC - thank you for being the first person to provide a reasoned response to my question.

    I understand you to say that measuring at the nanogram is so hard, there is no way the author has done it in this paper.

    And now I think I understand you comment about "background noise" better. You meant background noise in the instrument, not background noise of neonicotinoids in the environment, correct?

    Am I correct in understanding your position is that such a measurement is simply too hard for anyone to make?
    Last edited by shinbone; 03-28-2014 at 05:52 AM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  2. #42
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    shinbone:

    First, they're claiming detection limits for the different neonicotinoids in the study in the 1ng/L range.

    Secondly, after examining their materials and methods, ...

    "A four-level calibration curve (5 to 50 mg) was analyzed before
    and after each batch of 10 samples which also contained a
    laboratory or field blank and a fortified sample. Limits of
    quantification (LOQ) in water were as follows: thiamethoxam,
    1.8 ng/L; clothianidin, 1.2 ng/L; imidacloprid 1.1 ng/L; and
    acetamiprid, 0.5 ng/L."

    The range of concentrations for their callibrations are a thousand to a million fold+ too high for the levels of neonics they're claiming to have detected.

    There's a very strong possibility that they've contaminated their own samples as well.

    Someone is going to have to face the music for that.
    Last edited by WLC; 03-28-2014 at 06:06 AM.

  3. #43
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Fair enough, I took your original comment to be mocking the ability of things on the nanogram scale to affect macroorganisms, I guess I just see too many ill-informed swipes at science in general out there, sorry if I misinterpreted your comment.

    On a side note, I'm a little more forgiving of people just learning (or re-learning) basic science, it is never too late to aquire or re-aquire knowledge. The metric system is a particular blind spot in our educational system, and most people don't make too much use of it in their day to day lives (at least, here in the U.S.). If I don't learn at least a dozen new things in a given day, I consider it a waste.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    WLC - Again, good points. Thanks.

    Is the PLOSOne journal peer reviewed? If yes, how could the reviewers let pass such an obvious and fundamental error?
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  5. #45
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    There has been very little time for review, so I doubt it.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #46
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Ian is it flea beetle that you are trying to control with the neonic seed treatments, or are there other major pests for Canola?
    Dave

  7. #47
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burrup View Post
    Ian is it flea beetle that you are trying to control with the neonic seed treatments, or are there other major pests for Canola?
    Dave
    the target is two weeks during emergence to control flea beetle damage. Its when the plant is in its tiny cotyledon stage when its extremely vulnerable. Soon as the plant hits it first true leaf it can grow out of insect damage. I have seen, in years when the treatment period wears off because of delayed weather (and yes, the treatment is only effective for two weeks during early growth), when the plant sits in its cotyledon stage for nearly three weeks, flea beetles shear fields of in that third week. During these years we have to follow with a broad cast spray,... and I have my brother turn the boom off next to my yards to manage drift...we can see exactly where he turned the sprayer off and back on again.

    Id say we lean pretty heavy on these canola seed treatment. And that is the reason why I'm always on the side of Neonics during these discussions. We have been using them for 15 or 20 years already and its not til just last year anyone has ever mentioned canola...

    ask some old farmers about Counter5G...see what they say... that treatment has been known to actually kill cattle which get out into those treated fields... I can just imagine the bees... This is the treatments that had been replaced by this Neonic
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #48
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    shinbone:

    First, they're claiming detection limits for the different neonicotinoids in the study in the 1ng/L range.

    Secondly, after examining their materials and methods, ...

    "A four-level calibration curve (5 to 50 mg) was analyzed before
    and after each batch of 10 samples which also contained a
    laboratory or field blank and a fortified sample. Limits of
    quantification (LOQ) in water were as follows: thiamethoxam,
    1.8 ng/L; clothianidin, 1.2 ng/L; imidacloprid 1.1 ng/L; and
    acetamiprid, 0.5 ng/L."

    The range of concentrations for their callibrations are a thousand to a million fold+ too high for the levels of neonics they're claiming to have detected.

    There's a very strong possibility that they've contaminated their own samples as well.

    Someone is going to have to face the music for that.
    It is obvious that Victor knows nothing about analytical chemistry. I will say one thing in his favor. He is consistent in knowing nothing about many topics he tries to claim to understand. I guess Barry likes lies or he would have long since taken action to stop this behavior. There is nothing wrong with the analyses reported in this paper unless you wish to claim the paper is simply fabricated data. Doing analyses at these detection limits is routine and accurate in skilled hands. Twenty years ago when I ran a lab we did such detection limits all the time. Even detection limits far lower. I will admit it got hard when you wanted a detection limit three orders of magnitude below what is required in this rather routine paper. Can any old back alley environmental lab do such work? No they can not. They do cook book, routine, boring crap with generally unskilled workers as in the business they are in any old crap for an answer is acceptable. I know of such labs that reported results claiming they had been performed on instruments that lab did not even have available and had never owned. If you want cheap, crap results that is what you get.

    There is also nothing in this paper to show it was done in compliance with good laboratory practices (GLP). I suspect it does not comply with GLP and if this is correct the agencies will not consider the data anyhow as they consider it meaningless. In order to get agency consideration you must sign a statement that the work complies with GLP. No weasel words allowed in that compliance statement. Nothing like complies to the best of my knowledge. Falsification of a GLP compliance statement in any way is a potential jail sentence. At minimum the penalty for a false statement of consequence is to be barred for life from working in the area. Generally people who run into such a bar leave the US as no reputable US company will hire them for any professional job.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    I am assuming the numbers are true. Why wouldn't the researcher find these chemicals? In the end what does it mean for the beekeeper? Are the levels too high? Are they very low? What is acceptable?

  10. #50
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Nabber,

    I would not only question the precision and accuracy of her (Morrissey's) results, I would also question her judgement.

    There's going to be a lot of angry folks out there, on both sides of the aisle, who don't like it when someone yells 'fire!', and there isn't one.

    I hope that it really is just a false alarm, for everyone's sake, but her results need independent corroboration at this point.

    I wouldn't trust those numbers either.
    Let me back up a little bit here.

    I do not deny that nanograms (or even picogram and femtogram) units of mass can be accurately measured in other fields (such as cancer research) using extremely expensive equipment. All I am saying is that I distrust nanogram numbers from a long history of personal experience in the environmental testing field. There is a mass unit called a yoctogram that is 10−24 g (0.000000000000000000000001 of a gram). Just because a unit is defined, it does not mean that it can actually be measured.

    If I had access to the full lab reports with the QC data intact, I may be convinced that the data from the study is good. Until that happens, I have to trust what I know.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  11. #51
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Richard:

    First you insult me, then you agree with me.

    My background includes quite a bit of analytical chemistry for proteins, nucleic acids, and chromophores.

    nschome describes the Nanodrop 1000, which I've used. Nowadays, we use the Qiubit fluorometer since it is cost effective and perhaps even more accurate.

    I don't believe that they calibrated their equipment correctly since I understand the limits of the sensors themselves.

    They're simply too noisy at low concentrations to calibrate them with any degree of precision and accuracy.

    Richard, just read their M&Ms and you'll see what I'm mean.
    Last edited by WLC; 03-28-2014 at 02:46 PM.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
    I am assuming the numbers are true. Why wouldn't the researcher find these chemicals? In the end what does it mean for the beekeeper? Are the levels too high? Are they very low? What is acceptable?
    OK, let’s forget about units and assume that the data has passed all QC checks and the numbers are true. Allow me to demonstrate how really small numbers are tricky to work with:

    Table 2 shows a mean value of 1.5 ng/l imidacloprid for surface water samples collected early barley fields. The LD50 for imidacloprid on honeybees is 0.024 g per bee. At 1.5 ng/l, a single bee could drink 16 liters (4.2 gallons) of contaminated water and still have a 50% chance of survival. I don’t know of any bee that drinks that much water, so it is hardly anything to get excited about.

    Everybody seems to think that science is absolute and only gives the truth. The problem that most people do not understand that there is no single number or answer. Look at the above example involving just two parameters (concentration of imidacloprid, and LD50). Neither of these numbers are really correct. The concentration of imidacloprid is more like 1.5 ng/l plus or minus say 5%, so the range is really 1.425 to 1.575 ng/l (the careful observer would note the last digit in each number that brackets the range has slipped into the pictogram range meaning more trouble in accuracy). LD50 is really hard to measure; depending on the source, the values can vary by more than 25% (and that would be very conservative). So let’s say the LD50 ranges from 0.018 to 0.03 g per bee. I will leave out the possible 100's of other variables that although small, add up to more inaccuracies.

    Sooooo, the amount of contaminated water that some number of bees (theoretically 50%) would have to drink to die lies somewhere from less than 3 gallons to more than 5 gallons per bee. That’s about as accurate as it gets folks. Does anyone care to make multibillion dollar policy decisions based on this kind of data?

    So Haraga the question goes back to you. In the end what does it mean for the beekeeper?

    The answer: absolutely nothing.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  13. #53
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Agreed. It's a water quality issue, and it's the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency's problem now.

  14. #54
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    There has been very little time for review, so I doubt it.
    according to our provincial apiarist, her paper has now been published on Plos One, which is regarded as peer reviewed
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #55

    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    And because neonics do not cause any trouble in surface water, the Netherlands banned neonics forever just recently. Some of the surface water was so drenched in neonics you could use it as an insectide right away. Dr. Tennekes from the Netherlands found the high concentrations in surface and ground water.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    And what have they replaced them with? I wonder how those European beekeepers are liking the organophosphates?

  17. #57

    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Good ol' DDT I guess. Since neonics are 10,000 times more toxic as DDT one can ask what is better for bees.

    Personally I prefer sprayed pesticides over systemic pesticides, because I can move my bees away from any spraying. Also they damage is more visible which is easier to handle as chronic damage.

    A new fashion is pesticide free agriculture. As can be found in beekeeping. You just keep your corn and canola in small cells and it works right away. More seriously, there are good developments in organic agriculture. A problem for us here is the race between traditional agriculture, that produces food and new agriculture that produces engery (biogas...). As the stuff is not used to be eaten, one can use stronger pesticides on it. On the other hand, there are new developments using wild herbs and plants for biofuel production, which do not need pesticides applications and which also provide plenty of flowers for our bees.

    Well, the hope dies last, as we say.

  18. #58
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post

    Well, the hope dies last, as we say.
    I like that saying
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #59
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    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Personally I prefer sprayed pesticides over systemic pesticides, because I can move my bees away from any spraying. Also they damage is more visible which is easier to handle as chronic damage.
    When you've lost 50 -100 hives at a time because someone sprayed the wrong field you might feel differently. I have yet to see any damage from neonics.

  20. #60

    Default Re: "...Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada." Paper in PLOSOne.

    Sure I hate to see posionings of all sorts. I really do, it is a sad sight. But visible damage leads to sueing the farmer and the insurance compensates the financial loss. With systemics hives die months later and who can be blamed then? Nobody. The cause is hidden by the delayed impact. Also it is very unreliable, sometimes it does have effects, sometimes doesn't. You never know. This uncertainty produces sleepless nights.

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