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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Those bees should have been poisoned immediately, but they didn't succumb until they overwintered.
    No they should not have died immediately.

    The poison was at a concentration lower than the LD50 for bees, a dose carefully calculated NOT to kill them immediately, but kill them later once natural nectar was not coming in and the bees were eating the stored syrup daily.

    The experiment was likely carefully thought out to get a result were bees were not killed outright but would inevitably get killed eventually, and that's what happened.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    I wouldn't use the term 'carefully' to describe the experimental design of the study.

    There's too much room for 'improvement'.

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    I don't think that there's a beekeeper anywhere in the world who has shown more bias against Dr. Lu's work than Randy.

    I certainly wouldn't give his opinions on the matter any weight.
    Instead of attacks, why not point out where he errors in his analysis.

  4. #64
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    Medfield, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    While I have immense respect for Randy, and have read his information almost religiously, I do have one small problem with his panning of this particular study. One of the main points of his critique is that the number of hives in the study is too low for statistical significance, which is just not the case. While bees specifically (as invertebrates) are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act, the common mantra amongst animal experimenters is "Reduce, Refine, Replace" - in other words, if you don't have to use animals, don't. Failing that, use the fewest number possible to aquire useful data, in this case a clear difference between the cohorts, even at N=6, provides statistically useful data.
    Personally, I don't think I would have the stomach to knowingly feed colonies something I suspected would kill them, and then observe them slowly dying over the course of months of study. This is a better designed study than Dr. Lu's first, however, and I imagine that if he continues with this line of research, the studies will improve further with time. The dosage should certainly be lowered (under the 50 ppb level that Bayer found toxic), honey and comb from the overwintered hive should be tested for neonic levels, and additional confounding infections should be screened for more aggressively. But to suggest that, should other variables be adequately controlled, cohorts of 6 are too small to yield statistically significant data is simply false.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    I read an evaluation today where it was stated that the dosage was also based on a strong hive with lots of forage diluting the level to a more appropriate level, it is understood that in a test to ID the LD50 the test subject is intended to reach high levels of mortality in a certain period. there is a certain level of absurdity to this method as the long term effects of lower doses appear more relevant.
    I worked in a toxicology lab for five years, and while it was hardly Harvard, Dr. Lu's test design seems pretty standard. If that is 'bad science" as Many have stated or implied then there is an awful lot of it going around.

    At least two of the pesticides I worked with have since been banned, Parathion, and Diazinon.

    Give it time and insects will develop resistance to neonics and they will also be banned. Pesticides kill. Period. Either use them or don't. I choose to grow my own veggies and buy locally grown meat. I don't even use 'organic' pesticides. It is simply a different set of goals.
    Do I want to kill the pest or grow healthy plants that pests ignore.

    I am hoping this translates in beekeeping as well. It sounds similar to what I can glean from natural beekeepers.

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    If that is 'bad science" as Many have stated or implied then there is an awful lot of it going around.
    there sure is

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by FollowtheHoney View Post
    I worked in a toxicology lab for five years, and while it was hardly Harvard, Dr. Lu's test design seems pretty standard. If that is 'bad science" as Many have stated or implied then there is an awful lot of it going around.
    FollowtheHoney I fully respect your understanding of the subject having worked in the field for 5 years.

    However in this instance you have missed the point. Implying that the dose rate used etc was not bad science is if you are thinking the idea is to show that these pesticides can kill bees after a given time frame.
    But the claimed aim of the experiment was not that. It was to show that these pesticides are the cause of CCD. Despite claiming to have proved that, in fact it did not. It simply proved that administering pesticides in this manner can kill bees as they eat their winter stores.

    In normal circumstances these pesticides are not administered in this manner or anything like this concentration.

    The other Elephant in the room is that CCD was non existent in the US last year. So Lu is trying to chase down something that no longer exists, and that is despite that neonicitinoids were still being used same as ever. If it existed in his experimental hives, he has proved he had the only CCD in the US.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 05-16-2014 at 08:04 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    you said it better than i could ot.

    it would have been easy enough to test the stored 'honey' to see if the insecticide became even more concentrated after the processing of the syrup.

    i don't have a problem with the statistical analysis although the omission of error bars on the graphs as is standard in scientific publications makes one wonder.

    the conclusions drawn? laughable.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #69
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    FollowtheHoney I fully respect your understanding of the subject having worked in the field for 5 years.

    However in this instance you have missed the point. Implying that the dose rate used etc was not bad science is if you are thinking the idea is to show that these pesticides can kill bees after a given time frame.
    But the claimed aim of the experiment was not that. It was to show that these pesticides are the cause of CCD. Despite claiming to have proved that, in fact it did not. It simply proved that administering pesticides in this manner can kill bees as they eat their winter stores.

    In normal circumstances these pesticides are not administered in this manner or anything like this concentration.

    The other Elephant in the room is that CCD was non existent in the US last year. So Lu is trying to chase down something that no longer exists, and that is despite that neonicitinoids were still being used same as ever. If it existed in his experimental hives, he has proved he had the only CCD in the US.
    I don't disagree as far as A connection to CCD goes I should have referred to the OP.

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    I honestly don't think Dr. Lu has bad intent. The problem is that he's a toxin specialist who is trying to simulate an societal collapse with insects. You really need someone with an Entomology background and I don't see that Dr. Lu has that. But that's why the studies are poorly run. He's simply administering poison directly to the bees at levels he knows is lethal (rates that are 3x the lethal levels) and documenting the results.

    If he were to bring in experts that understand bees (I recommend the folks at UC Davis who do lots of pesticide testing for the State of California) then he would get the tests setup and executed in a more competent manner.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    doing test with bees in the field to test a societal collapse is a much different type of study then say using lab rats to test toxic levels of chemicals for humans. That's why I think Dr Lu struggles with his bee tests.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by BayHighlandBees View Post
    I honestly don't think Dr. Lu has bad intent. The problem is that he's a toxin specialist who is trying to simulate an societal collapse with insects. You really need someone with an Entomology background and I don't see that Dr. Lu has that. But that's why the studies are poorly run. He's simply administering poison directly to the bees at levels he knows is lethal (rates that are 3x the lethal levels) and documenting the results.
    As I've posted before, the word around here is that he's really not interested in bees. He wants to extrapolate his results to humans. An even bigger stretch.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    So it turns out that feeding bees insecticide is more likely to kill them than not feeding them insecticide. Fascinating I guess, although I don't see this information as anything new or particularly useful.

    If I were to propose my own study, I think it would be more useful to study neonicotinoid concentration in honey prior to winter, followed by winter/spring loss rates of the same hives and looking for a statistically-significant correlation. Feeding the insecticide to the bees is right out; rather, placement of colonies in a variety of locations, including some in proximity to operations using neonicotinoids normally, should do the trick.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #75

    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    When we are talking about a billion dollar business nothing is going to be fair. That article is just another smoke screen.

    "Principle of precaution"? "Better safe than sorry"? Europe? Are you joking?

    Beekeepers were protesting massively and there is enough scientific material to ban the stuff. After > 10 years of protests. That's the whole story. Looking at time and effort it took, one can't speak of precaution.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    I agree and written so most people can understand it.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    The article missed the point: syrup laced w/ lethal doses of neonics showed delayed lethality.

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    No. That was not Lus point.

    Lus point was that neonics cause CCD.

    But he didn't prove that. He proved that syrup poisoned at a slightly lower level than it would take to kill the hive immediately, can kill the hive later as they continue to eat poisoned food stores through winter and the cumulative effect does them in.

    It would be like a medical researcher trying to prove that the modern ailment of people dying of heart attacks is caused by salt. To prove it he feeds his subjects high levels of salt, just below lethal dose, until they die of a heart attack. To him, he has proved it. Everybody else knows that heart attacks are caused by too much fat, obesity, lack of physical activity, a whole range of causes. but the researcher in his mind, has proved they are caused by salt. Just like Lu, in his mind, has proved that CCD is caused by poison laced syrup.

    That's ignoring that heart attacks, as a cause of death, exist. CCD, apparently, no longer does. Except in Lus hives.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The article missed the point: syrup laced w/ lethal doses of neonics showed delayed lethality.
    You mean that deliberately feeding poisoned syrup to bees kills them? Who knew? And you think that is a revelation? Is that your idea of the Scientific Method?
    Graham
    --- Practical reality trumps philosophy!

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Newly published Harvard study on neonics

    The only finding worth replicating is the delayed lethality of syrup containing lethal doses of neonics.

    The rest of the paper is peripheral.

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