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  1. #21
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    Feb 2012
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    San Mateo, Ca, USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    from scientific beekeeping:

    fig-031.jpg
    also worth noting that Randy Oliver poked more than a few holes in the earlier Harvard study

  2. #22
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    syracuse n.y.
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    also Randy olivers comments on bee-l on the new trial.
    http://community.lsoft.com/scripts/w...&F=&S=&P=33421

    Hey, I feel that we should commend Dr. Lu and his collaborators for
    stepping up their game--this time they at least took the time to monitor
    varroa and to treat against nosema.

    Still hard to imagine that anyone actually reviewed this paper. For
    example, their total description of the alcohol wash was "The Varroa mite
    counts were assessed twice using the common alcohol wash method." Only
    later do we learn that they washed only 150 bees per sample, with no
    explanation of from where the bees were collected in the hive (from a brood
    frame?). Nor did they specify the concentration of the syrup solutions.
    Such omissions are normally caught by at least one reviewer.

    Nonetheless, their results are of interest. As Jim calculated, the dosage
    that they use in the fed syrup, 135 ppb (w:v, or slightly less on a w
    basis), is far above the level that Bayer recently found to cause colony
    morbidity (50 ppb, as reported by Bayer's Dr. David Fischer at a recent bee
    conference). So as Johnathan points out, the only surprising thing is that
    the Lu team did not notice such summer morbidity in their trial.

    Of interest were the mite counts in mid August, which were 7-8 per 100
    bees, a level at which viruses start to go epidemic. The treatment with
    formic dropped the mite counts, which then raises the question as to
    whether the apparent adverse effect of the neonics on the colonies was due
    to suppression of the bee antiviral mechanisms.

    What would have been of interest is if the researchers had measured the
    residue levels in the honey of the overwintering colonies. If they had, we
    might have learned the mechanism by which summer exposure to high
    concentrations of neonicotinoids might affect the spring buildup of
    colonies.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #23
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    Jan 2010
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    Ithaca, NY USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    This is an example of the shabbiest sort of work. These researchers take their theory: neonics cause CCD, and try to make a case by poisoning bee hives. The symptoms they produce are consistent with bee poisoning, but not actual CCD. In the field, CCD appears to be contagious, like a virus.

    Meanwhile, researchers in Israel studied actual collapsing colonies in the field and found very high levels of IAPV. This virus was also consistently found in colonies in the USA that collapsed with CCD symptoms.

    Dr. Lu et al are trying to make a case by poisoning bees. There are innumerable ways to poison bees, but that does not indicate that these are the causes CCD. The continual reference to CCD simply shows that Dr. Lu is completely out of touch with the real beekeeping world.

    This is a significant fact that they fail to note: There have been hardly any verifiable cases of CCD in the past few years, CCD has never been widespread, and the number of bee colonies in the US is actually rising.

  4. #24
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    Farmington, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    I'm curious now. In poking around it seems that the "Bulletin of Insectology" may not be as strict in their standards as other scientific journals. However, Harvard is a pretty solid institution.

    Isn't there a review process within the institution that one is working for that gives some sort of imprimatur before their staff/faculty/students publish something that's linked with said institution?
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    This is not Harvard, we are talking about.

    Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) began as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, founded in 1913 as the first professional training program of public health in America. The partnership offered courses in preventive medicine at Harvard Medical School, sanitary engineering at Harvard University and allied subjects at MIT. In 1946, no longer affiliated with the medical school, HSPH became an independent, degree-granting body.
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/history-of-the-school/

  6. #26
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    Farmington, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    But it is Harvard. It's one of their grad schools, like Law or Business or Medicine.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  7. #27
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    New York City, NY
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Since Alex Lu's latest experiments included both imidacloprid and clothiadinin, and colonies fed lethal doses didn't succumb until they were overwintering, the inference is that the 30% overwintering losses here in the U.S. are a result of the use of those pesticides.

    No matter the flaws, it's still a significant find.

  8. #28
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    WLC reaching that conclusion is a huge leap.

    Anyone of us could repeat this experiment at home using any random poison and get similar results. The bees store the poisoned syrup for later consumption and die once they have consumed enough. To expect any different result would be unrealistic and I think the only way someone could design and run such an experiment and then reach the conclusions he reached is if he has already decided neonicitinoids cause CCD and sets out to try to prove that.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #29
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Also note that the issues that didn't pass the smell test the first time are repeated.

    Strong hives early in the season, full of comb and bees and food are fed half a gallon of syrup every week, all summer (and had access to courage...they were free flying).

    Where did the honey go? These bees never needed a super or any kind
    of swarm management? If the bees died from contaminated stores, what honey was left and what was taken is important.

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  10. #30
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    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    The word around here is that Lu, who knows nothing about bees, is really interested in neonics and humans and is using the bees to start his proof that neonics are bad for humans. I'm about 10 miles from one of the yards and have been in it before. That yard also had an AFB problem last summer.

  11. #31
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    May 2003
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    Farmington, New Mexico
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Well that's interesting. His academic background doesn't indicate much work with bugs. Actually, I don't see anything related to insects.


    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/alex-wu/35/614/477

    Experience

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Doctoral Student
    Harvard School of Public Health
    August 2013 – Present (10 months)Boston

    Epidemiologist, Environmental Epidemiology Program
    Utah Department of Health
    October 2011 – July 2013 (1 year 10 months)Greater Salt Lake City Area
    Epidemiologist
    • ATSDR's Partnership to Promote Localized Efforts to Reduce Environmental Exposure (APPLETREE) Program Assessor
    • Data analysis management/analysis using SAS and ArcGIS

    Epidemiologist
    Utah Department of Health
    October 2011 – December 2011 (3 months)Greater Salt Lake City Area
    National Toxic Substance Incidents Program (NTSIP) Coordinator
    • Coordinated community outreach program
    • Data management/analysis using SAS and ArcGIS

    Intern
    Utah Department of Health
    July 2011 – October 2011 (4 months)Greater Salt Lake City Area
    Tobacco Prevention and Control Program
    • Assist program epidemiologists with data collection, analysis, report preparation, data dissemination, and prepare required documents for legislative reports and documents. Data analysis using SPSS and SAS.


    Intern
    Utah Department of Health
    April 2011 – June 2011 (3 months)Greater Salt Lake City Area
    Cancer Control Program
    • Collaborated with program members and developed and created a needs assessment survey to determine the unmet needs of cancer survivors
    • Disseminated and collected surveys for the annual Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN) Cancer Survivorship Conference

    Lab Technician
    Brigham Young University
    January 2011 – June 2011 (6 months)Provo, Utah Area
    Risk Management and Safety
    • Researched, organized, and developed the revised Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry’s Chemical Hygiene Plan via collaborating with interdepartmental staff and faculty
    • Edited Standard Operating Procedures and Laboratory Inspection Methods department and Risk Management use
    • Conducted laboratory inspections, developed training materials, and prepared emergency response kits

    Intern
    World Health Organization
    May 2010 – July 2010 (3 months)Geneva Area, Switzerland
    Unit of Surveillance and Population-based Prevention, Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion, Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster
    • Collected and entered epidemiological data from country reports and literature
    • Delivered presentation on WHO Global Infobase, a WHO geographic information system, to Headquarter data managers
    • Created departmental reports and factsheets for over 40 countries

    Research Assistant
    Brigham Young University
    January 2010 – April 2010 (4 months)Provo, Utah Area
    Epidemiological study of motor vehicle crashes and safety
    • Coauthored “Epidemiology of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Utah” in the Journal of Traffic Injury Prevention with Drs. Ray Merrill and Steve Thygerson

    Harvard School of Public Health
    Doctor of Science, Environmental Health
    2013 – 2018 (expected)

    Brigham Young University
    MPH, Global Health Promotion
    2009 – 2011

    Brigham Young University
    BS, Neuroscience
    2000 – 2007
    edit to add:

    The bio stuff on the Harvard site differs from the Linkedin info. Perhaps his doctorate and the other Masters are entomology related:

    Ph.D., 1996, University of Washington, Seattle WA

    M.S., 1990, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/chensheng-lu/
    Last edited by Barry Digman; 05-13-2014 at 11:54 AM.
    Nobody ruins my day without my permission, and I refuse to grant it...

  12. #32
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    Apr 2009
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    Stilwell, KS
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    1,918

    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by nschomer View Post
    I brood wax is a bioaccumulator of insecticides, perhaps the acute exposure pretty much built up brood wax levels to the same levels that chronic exposure of lower doses might achieve over time. More experiments would need to be done to establish or rule out this possibility, but I don't think that the experiment as run was lacking merit.
    Bioaccumulation occurs in living organisms not inanimate objects such as brood wax. Also, bees really don’t live long enough to bioaccumulate anything approaching chronic exposure.


    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    The text is unclear when it talks about testing the sucrose syrup and hfcs.... the text states that they found "non-detectable residues" of neonics in the plain feed. If this were the case, there would be big problems with the experiment. I'm quite sure he means "no detectable"...I would tend to think of this as a typo/wordo (Lu's English is quite good, but not quite a native speaker), except that implying that neonic residues are in everyone's feed seems to be what he claimed in the last study and part of his thesis that ccd is simply neonic poisoning.
    Lab results are flagged ND (not detected above method detection limits) if the results are below the detection range of the instrument or method. When reporting the lab results, the terms not detected, non-detect, non-detectable tend to be used interchangeably. "No dectable levels" is usually not used because it is unclear.

    Every lab method has detection limits that are associated with the process. Problems arise when a lab reports a high detection level for an analyte such as ND (500 g/kg). This means the compound was not found above 500 g/kg, but the actual level could be 499 g/kg. This is bad if you are talking about potential exposures at the 10 /kg level. You cant tell without looking at the actual lab reports.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  13. #33
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Calif. USA
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    272

    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Bayer has evaluated the study and posted it's response here:
    http://www.bayercropscience.us/news/...vard-statement

    Excerpts:

    a) Feeding honey bees levels of neonicotinoids greater than 10 times what they would normally encounter is more than unrealistic it is deceptive and represents
    a disservice to genuine scientific investigation related to honey bee health.

    b) Given the artificially high levels tested over 13 consecutive weeks, the colony failure rates observed are completely expected.

    c) Unfortunately, this latest study conducted by Dr. Lu repeats the fundamental flaws seen in his previous research and provides no meaningful information regarding honey bee risk assessment.

  14. #34
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    Mar 2014
    Location
    Medfield, MA, USA
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    44

    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    @Nabber
    "Bioaccumulation occurs in living organisms not inanimate objects such as brood wax."

    Seeing brood wax as a simple inanimate object is a rather simplistic way of looking at it. Many people consider a single beehive to act similarly to a single organism, with the brood wax thus being analogous to the ovaries of the superorganism. In any case, it's not like I plucked this outta my backside:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:...l.pone.0014720 (amongst others)

    A more useful definition of bioaccumulation puts it simply as when the rate of pesticide intake is greater than the sum total of pesticide expulsion and/or remediation (rendering it non-toxic). This certainly happens in the brood wax, as subsequent generations of brood are fed from contaminated stores, or additional contaminants are brought in. And the paper above illustrates that this can certainly have a net negative effect on colony health.

  15. #35
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Pretty good study here:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3338325/

    Neonicotinoids in bees: a review on concentrations, side-effects and risk assessment

    From the conclusions:
    Via the plant sap transport neonicotinoids are translocated to different plant parts. In general, the few reported residue levels of neonicotinoids in nectar (average of 2 μg kg−1) and pollen (average of 3 μg kg−1) were below the acute and chronic toxicity levels; however, there is a lack of reliable data as analyses are performed near the detection limit. Similarly, also the levels in bee-collected pollen, in bees and bee products were low.

  16. #36
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Getting to the bottom of what a field realistic dose is something that has been avoided.

    The low single digits are what we usually hear about.

    The presence in beebread as reported by the usda pollen survey is shocking.....I've posted it several times.

    The other issue is that the presence in nectar/pollen is usually averaged but individual data points are all over the place.
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  17. #37
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    Ithaca, NY USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    > the brood wax thus being analogous to the ovaries of the superorganism.

    Ovaries may be a bit of a stretch, but it is certainly correct to regard the colony as an organism, and the brood combs as an organ of that entity. And to refer to substances in the comb as "bio-accumulation." On the other hand, many beneficial substances also bio-accumulate, such as natural antibiotics, microorganisms, pheromones, and various enzymes produced by the bees.

  18. #38
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    http://www.bloombergview.com/article...sn-t-help-bees

    In the new study, researchers didn't waste time with a low initial dose. They began right away with syrup containing 136 micrograms of insect-killer per liter. Eventually, six of the 12 colonies fed the spiked syrup failed. Calling the researchers' credibility into further question, the second study, like the first, ascribes colony failure to colony collapse disorder, a malady with characteristics not evident in either trial.
    Last edited by camero7; 05-15-2014 at 05:13 AM. Reason: added info

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    With all the flaws in the Lu studies, they still produced one important finding.

    A beekeeper won't have any clue that their colonies have been poisoned until after they've failed to overwinter.

    In other words, there won't be any obvious signs of insect poisoning.

    You'll find an empty hive on the other side of winter.

    While it's not an orthodox definition of CCD, it's close enough for most folks.

    IMHO, it's a remarkable observation.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Yeah, if you feed them poison. They will never accumulate that level of neonics from the field. Worthless study.

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