I am sure there are some PhD scholars working on this. We are still in a big mess.
Out of the 87 solicited hives in our local group (just 21 individuals surveyed), one individual admitted to using Hard mite treatment on 10 hives, another Soft treatment on 14 and another organic on 8 hives. The rest were treatment free. Out of 87 hives over 33% perished last year. What does that data tell you? Everyone is looking for the answer. Everyone except for you, right? Your hives are healthy and have no problems. You might spend more time helping everyone achieve your level of proficiency. Not your nature?
For someone who sees this subject as old and uninteresting you devote way too much time to it. What is your agenda?
I think it is more likely for a tree hugger to start a hive than the average citizen. I don't know what you have against environmentalists and I don't really care. Your bees too will fail given a bad environment.
You are not on my front line, I am not on your side, I am on the side of the bees and beekeepers.
Recent headlines claim a link between Clothianidin and CCD, but no such link has ever been demonstrated. In Germany its effect on overwintering has been studied and no effect on the overwintering ability of honey bees was found.
In the first project year honey and bee bread samples were specifically analysed for imidacloprid residues of treated oilseed rape sites. This crop is intensively treated with plant protection products and oilseed rape pollen and nectar are very attractive for bees.
Within the framework of the German Bee Monitoring Project winter losses of bee colonies were evaluated from the database of 120 beekeepers and 1200 bee colonies by assessing the following parameters: data on the apiary, strength of the colonies in autumn and spring, honey yields, residues in bee bread (stored pollen), bee disease analysis.
1. Between oilseed rape sites and non-oilseed rape sites no differences were found for colony losses neither for the overwintering quotient (= colony strength in autumn divided by colony strength in spring).
2. Highly significant correlations were found between winter losses and the Varroa infestation levels in autumn. The risk for colony loss increases with the number of mites in the colony in autumn.
3. Similarly the correlations between the infection with ABPV and DWV in autumn and winter losses were significant.
SOURCE: "Periodical honey bee colony losses in Germany: preliminary results from a four years monitoring project"
We conducted a long-term investigation to ascertain effects on honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies during and after exposure to flowering canola, Brassica napus variety Hyola 420, grown from clothianidin-treated seed. Colonies were placed in the middle of 1-ha clothianidin seed-treated or control canola fields for 3 wk during bloom, and thereafter they were moved to a fall apiary.
There were four treated and four control fields, and four colonies per field, giving 32 colonies total. Bee mortality, worker longevity, and brood development were regularly assessed in each colony for 130 d from initial exposure to canola. Samples of honey, beeswax, pollen, and nectar were regularly collected for 130 d, and the samples were analyzed for clothianidin residues by using high-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection.
Overall, no differences in bee mortality, worker longevity, or brood development occurred between control and treatment groups throughout the study. Weight gains of and honey yields from colonies in treated fields were not significantly different from those in control fields. Although clothianidin residues were detected in honey, nectar, and pollen from colonies in clothianidin-treated fields, maximum concentrations detected were 8- to 22-fold below the reported no observable adverse effects concentration. Clothianidin residues were not detected in any beeswax sample.
Assessment of overwintered colonies in spring found no differences in those originally exposed to treated or control canola. The results show that honey bee colonies will, in the long-term, be unaffected by exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola.
Exposure to Clothianidin Seed-Treated Canola Has No Long-Term Impact on Honey Bees. by G. CHRISTOPHER CUTLER AND CYNTHIA D. SCOTT-DUPREE
Department of Environmental Biology, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1
Both pollination by bees and pesticide treatments are essential components of modern agriculture. Unfortunately, these two elements of agroecosystems are sometimes incompatible, with bees and the beekeeping industry having sustained losses through pesticide poisoning.
Although use of systemic insecticide seed treatments is generally regarded a more ecologically sound alternative to foliar insecticide applications, systemic insecticides may be translocated to pollen or nectar during development of the seed-treated crop, meaning pollinators foraging on these plants could be exposed to toxin.
Concerns of adverse effects of imidacloprid seed treatments on pollinators has been a subject of much debate (Schmuck et al. 2001, Maus et al. 2003, Faucon et al. 2005), but our knowledge of potential impacts of clothianidin, a new chloronicotinyl insecticide, on pollinators is minimal.
In the current study we attempted to use a realistic, worst-case scenario for honey bee exposure to clothianidin seed-treated canola. Seed was successfully treated with clothianidin at the highest recommended commercial rate for Canada and planted at a high seeding rate in 1-ha fields, ensuring ample forage for worker bees.
Honey bee colonies were placed in the middle of canola fields during the bloom period, ensuring maximum exposure, and then they were moved to a fall apiary near bloom end. Little alternative forage was available to workers while in canola fields, and workers actively foraged on the canola.
To assess potential long-term impacts, data were collected intensely over 130 d during summer and fall, and again in the spring. Overall, we found no differences between colonies from clothianidin-treated and control fields.
SOURCE: Exposure to Clothianidin Seed-Treated Canola Has No Long-Term Impact on Honey Bees.
Peter, I'm not a scientist. I'm not qualified to evaluate the study cited. If I were, the quotation you provide doesn't provide enough detail concerning methodology and data to do so. Scientific studies are subject to peer review. This study may stand up to peer review. It may have already been subject to substantial peer review. It may have been substantially refuted in the literature. We don't know, we are not scientists. The study originally provided by Bayer in its registration application claimed similar results, and was subsequently refuted. We do know this: EPA has repudiated the very study it accepted to approve the registration, and the registration stands, without an appropriate and legally required study. Lacking such a study, the substance shouldn't be registered.
I really don't. Scientific conclusions aren't drawn from a single study. The study must be taken in the context of the literature. Were there peer responses to this study? Attempts to duplicate the results? Were they successful? Are there other studies that yield conflicting results? The answers to all of these questions, taken together, allow qualified researchers to draw reasonable, defensible conclusions. I'm not a qualified researcher and I don't have access to the literature to answer all of these questions. To look at one study in a vacuum, without the context of the academic literature and peer reiview, isn't very useful, particularly to a lay person like me. The question I'm qualified to ask is the question previously put: Why is the EPA allowing a registration without the applicant having provided adequate support? That's the question this thread properly addresses.
The EPA reviewed and approved the study protocol prior to its initiation and it was peer-reviewed and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology. Upon reviewing the results of the long-term trial, the EPA noted the study as "scientifically sound and satisfies the guideline requirements for a field toxicity test with honey bees."
Clothianidin is the leading seed treatment on corn in the United States and has been used extensively for over six years without incident to honey bees. Innovative seed treatment technology represents an environmentally sound approach to crop protection. Treating the seed provides a targeted and effective means of application that helps increase yields, safeguard our environment and ensure a sustainable means of crop production.
From the link that opened this thread, an EPA memo:
"A previous field study (MRID 46907801/46907802) investigated the effects of clothianidin on whole hive parameters and was classified as acceptable. However, after another review of this field study in light of additional information, deficiencies were identified that render the study supplemental. It does not satisfy the guideline 850.3040, and another field study is needed to evaluate the effects of clothianidin on bees through contaminated pollen and nectar. Exposure through contaminated pollen and nectar and potential toxic effects therefore remain an uncertainty for pollinators."
Look... again, I don't see any of us fruitfully debating the science. I haven't yet seen anyone posting with credentials sufficient to the task. I won't debate the science. But the question of registration without the legally required study remains.
Last edited by peterloringborst; 12-18-2010 at 08:01 PM. Reason: grammar
Peter, I don't set the bar of qualification to judge academic works. Academe does that all on its own, with degrees that look something like "M.S.", "Ph.D.", et cetera. I'm not telling you not to engage in academic debates over the merits of arcane scientific research in a field in which you've earned no degree. I'm telling you I won't.
To say we are too stupid to evaluate science reflects on us, not on the scientists who do the work. For whom are they doing it? We need to look at the work and see if it allays our fears that the environment is being wrecked by scientists who care nothing for us. Will you sit back and say, how should I know, I don't read it and I don't debate it?The study referenced is important research, conducted by independent experts and published in a major peer reviewed scientific journal.
Alright, you've forced my hand. There are those with whom I'll debate it. Happy now? Good day, sir.
Glad that you're back.
If you really want to see why banning neonicotinoids is good for beekeepers, you can look at the reduced hive losses that have occurred in europe recently because of that ban.
However, I haven't really looked into any research showing a correlation between the banning of neonics and a reduction in CCD cases in europe. Maybe the ban reduced the # of CCD hives; maybe it didn't.
Would you have any post, european neonic, ban papers showing a CCD reduction (or not)?
In my opinion, the EPA isn't the same agency that was created decades ago to safeguard our environment. The emergency approvals of various pesticides by the EPA, without credible scientific safety studies, illustrates how the EPA has been influenced by various interest groups (the good, the bad, and the ugly). In short, they need to be taken to task when required.