Oil Seed Rape? I know it's treated with a neonic, but don't know how. And, the bees certainly don't avoid the flowers.
Oil Seed Rape? I know it's treated with a neonic, but don't know how. And, the bees certainly don't avoid the flowers.
Yes, it's certainly attractive to bees but I've never heard that it actually needs bee pollination.
I would be interested in reading about any research proving bees avoid plants that grow from neonic treated seed. I hadn't heard that. Although in our area the list pretty much stops at corn and beans and it's a rare sight to find a bee working either of those crops.
"People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney
I was watching my bees loading up on corn pollen this past summer and taking it to the hives. Yes, corn planted with with neonic coated seed.
No, the bees or the hives did not die, but I can't really say how helpful or detrimental to my hives that pollen was. And even if I was to guess, or speculate, the "thought police" would get in the action right away and point that I am only speculating.
If I was to maybe set up 10 nucs by the corn fields around my hives, and maybe do some measurements against 10 control nucs, the same "police" would argue that what I am doing is not really scientific, the n=10 is too low, or the statistics used are not used correctly...or god knows what ever else "canned" arguments they might have.
And then, everybody gets in the act of "debunking"...
Cuz, we're all in this together...right?
For those interested in our collective self delusion and hypocrisy on these issues, here is an interactive map, courtesy of your beloved, Uncle Sam, aka, .gov :
Spend sometime and play a bit with this map...Did I say it's interactive? Click on the "select another pesticide" button, and just choose from the long list, the "life giving, life enhancing", elixir of your choice. Then play with the time frame...the map only covers 1992-2011, but still, a clear trend is easy to observe.
At the bottom of the page, note the crops these substances get applied to.
Don't just look at the Imidacloprid...because this one by now, it's all being "debunked". Right? I mean that's what "real scientists" are saying...
But say, look at Fipronil, another oh so "innocent" yet so effective pesticide. Because, don't we all put it on our beloved pets, and none of us so far, has grown horns on our foreheads. So its all good.
But Fipronil on corn? Maybe at the same time and application with say Imidacloprid? And maybe some Insect Growth Regulators for good measure...oh and some fungicides. Why not?
I am in NC, and according to this map, Fipronil was not used in NC until 2010. I agree, not as concentrated per acre as you brave folks over there in the corn belt get it, but still. And notice, its not just on corn...its also on fruits and vegetables. Oh, I don't know, all those fruits and veggies might be self pollinating, right? But I digress...
And we have not even scratched the surface on the concept of "synergy" amongst these wonderful creations.
"Better lives through chemistry" as the cognoscenti would say...oh yeah baby, let's just get busy, feeding the world.
Last edited by apis maximus; 01-18-2015 at 01:25 PM. Reason: spelling
I wonder how much he was payed by bayer / Monsanto to publish this drivel.
season 2 - 6 hives and counting!
Synergistic effects? Apis maximus you're delirious ... but you're not alone: you have Marla Spivack company and Mark Winston company, among others. Little thing! I Could bring data from a study in apiaries in Kenya, in which are found much less chemicals in the hives, and where the virus enhanced by the varroa seem to have a much smaller impact. But for what? Maybe are not typical hives...
In the January 2015 issue of American Bee Journal, two Ph.D's from the Pesticide Research Institute, publish an interesting article under the heading " The Curious Beekeeper"...
The title, "Chemical Synergies: When 1 + 1 does not equal 2"
Very informative. The concept of detoxification mechanisms in bees and synergies amongst different classes of chemicals is very well explained. No pointing fingers, no direct accusations. Just biochemistry, chemistry, physiology and physics in action,
A very interesting paragraph, goes to say:
"Pesticide manufacturers have explored the area of synergism in some detail in pursuit of more effective insecticides. A search of the US Patent Database revealed 56 patents for "active compound combinations", developed by Bayer alone, in which the synergistic effects of mixtures of pesticides on crop pests are described in detail. Through these patents, pesticides manufacturers have demonstrated " surprisingly effective" synergistic effects among several diverse groups of pesticides, including....:"
Don't wanna spoil the suspense and anticipation of those true " Curios Beekeepers " that would like to enjoy, by themselves, the story in this article.
So, y'all go read for yourselves...the rest of the story.
Last edited by apis maximus; 01-18-2015 at 03:05 PM.
So while oil seed rape doesn't need bee pollination, it certainly makes a positive difference. No farmer dispenses with the bees service and the extra 20 % harvest. You need 5 hives per 2.5 acres to achieve this, though.
Being the skeptic that I am...I would say that Mark Winston must have somehow paid you to say all of this...There is no real scientific proof for all this non-sense. It's all anecdotal...Right?
Only some "tree hugging", "emotionally unbalanced scientists"...more than likely Europeans, would say such things.../sarc off
Another interesting ( to me at least) point, is that some of these "self pollinating" crops, certainly do not "need" the bees to pollinate them, the bees do need the pollen to raise brood. They just can't do it otherwise.
Plants, in general, don't just "reward" bees with their sweet nectar...the bees actually "steal" the plants pollen too. Well, steal is figurative term, but really, they do. It only so happens that the plants themselves have so much pollen to give away, and still got plenty left to engage in reproduction themselves. Everybody wins so to speak....well, sort of.
So, you say..."You need 5 hives per 2.5 acres to achieve this, though"...
Using the stats from USDA, a back of the napkin math exercise , just for the USA alone....in 2014 there were 1,714,000 acres were planted with canola...http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_...PS&comm=CANOLA
Lets say, 25% would be considered for varied reasons, crop loss. I don't know...But lets just use for easy math, 1 million acres. According to your figure, that would give 1 million acres canola, at 5 hives needed/employed for every 2,5 acres...how many hives would that be ?
OK, not all that canola might yield nectar...I don't know, hives I've seen in canola fields are just filling up suppers like it's going out of style...
But, getting back to the question...how many hives would benefit from the arrangement you just described Bernhard?
Lets just let the real scientists answer that, for now.
Apis, do you have patties on those hives? If they are going for the corn, they must have nothing else... And corn is not very nutritious.
Nutrient deficiency warning! Take it seriously
Good one Ian
Dully noted...and as they say around some parts of the world..."**** the torpedoes, full speed ahead"
Oh, and I did not even think about all that canola you folks up there have.
Oceans of yellow, undulating fields on a deep, blue sky background...how poetic.
It was easier to find Randy Olivers quote of the neonic avoidance than my own. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/neon...cience-part-2/
The study was by Dr. Axel Decourtye in France.
And... Are we getting 20 ppb of neonic in our canola nectar ?
The limiting factor on those yellow fields is moisture and heat. When those two factors line up, stack them boxes. The bees will plug up to two boxes per week!
.... Neonics will not even repel the bugs they are targeted three weeks past the treatment period,... Let alone bees two months later! Ha ha ha ha
I heard a lecture at a bee club meeting from a scientist who has done research showing that bees actually keep foraging on syrup that is contaminated with neonics. The other point was that when that nectar gets turned into honey (which then would eaten during winter) the concentration of pesticides goes up due to the nectar losing moisture. The next stage in the research needs to be to analyze what effects the neonics have, if any, when in concentrations that would actually be found in stored honey.
However, my question on this is whether neonics are really even in the nectar bees are collecting. What crops, other than squash and melons, would they get contaminated nectar from, and is there any correlation between hive deaths and putting hives near those crops? (Those are not rhetorical questions.)
Yes indeed, those are not, and should not be, just rhetorical questions.
Would you mind bringing some of your own thoughts that might help lead the conversation forward?
If we are talking about a SYSTEMIC application...not FOLIAR...although some of the FOLIAR applications end up being SYSTEMIC, how do we go about framing that discussion?
Does SYNERGY of these products ( neonics in this case since you named them) come into play? I am all ears.
Thanks for playing.
I don't have any answers, just questions.
On one hand, it seems like all the pesticide companies have had to do is measure what field exposures kill bees. If a pesticide kills bees in the field and/or makes them too sick to recruit foragers, then it is more reasonable that dead bees is a viable measure.
However, if the poison is in the nectar and sub-lethal doses don't even keep the bees from gathering the nectar, then there are a whole host of questions:
1. How much poison is in the nectar?
2. What's the concentration go up to in stored honey?
3. What are the lethal, sub-lethal, and synergistic effects (both with other chemicals bees are exposed to and pathogens) of the concentrations found in honey stored from contaminated nectar?
No idea as to those questions, although it does seem this has to be examined, given some pretty clear proof that the bees will keep collecting nectar that has sub-lethal (and expected) concentrations of nectar.
All I can add to my last post is that there are some other possible crops that get treated with neonics: canola and sunflowers. (However, I don't know whether those crops actually get treated with neonics.)
What is clear is that merely saying "the LD50 of this poison well above what bees will get in nectar" is an insufficient way to evaluate the effects of the pesticide.
Just a quick link for anyone interested in reading a review on Neonics and bees, to maybe help the conversation along:
The most important fact that jumps out to me is the lack of knowledge on the sub lethal effects of neonics on bees in the field (learning and behavioural effects) and how that may affect long term colony growth/health and pollen forager recruitment. In my opinion the lack of acute lethal effects may obscure some of the long term danger that using neonics may have as they are used in nearly every fruit crop.
And in my opinion one of the better studies showing the value of wild bee pollinators in agricultural systems (and the relation to landscape):
Last edited by CanadaBeekeeper; 02-01-2015 at 11:02 AM.
As a member of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), I hear a lot about the big, bad, evil Monsanto (and 'GMOs') at the annual agricultural fair (colloquially known as the "Hippy Fair", at least locally, though the official name is The Common Ground Country Fair). Unfortunately, the biggest, loudest and most militant voices seem to belong to the least educated, and who have little or no training, knowledge or education in science and the scientific method. Of some I have heard who *do* have some education and proudly flaunt certain letters attached to their names as a mark of 'authority', that education is often NOT based in science, or or not based in the discipline in which they are trying to appear as experts. Some of the most radical of these people espouse socialist/communist values and openly admit to goals of eliminating private enterprise and private property ownership. Much of their shouting is nothing more than opinion, with little in the way of facts, data and science to back it up.I wonder how much he was payed by bayer / Monsanto to publish this drivel.
Some time ago (2011 to be precise), Monsanto acquired Beeologics, originally an Israeli firm, that is "...dedicated to restoring bee health and protecting the future of honey bee pollination. Beeologics’ mission is to become the guardian of bee health worldwide."
Now why on earth would they do such a thing?
The logical answer is that it is in their best interests. Some crops currently depend on honeybees for pollination, and if farmers who depend on their products together with honeybees fail because those products kill the bees, they will lose customers. Their financial success depends a great deal on producing products that will make farmers successful, and who will then buy _more_ product.
More than two hundred years ago a major bee die-off occurred (in England) during 1782-1783 (Edward Bevan, 1827), the description of which sounds remarkably similar to CCD. Monsanto was almost certainly not responsible for this event. It is also similarly unlikely to have been a result of 'Neonics' or any other mass pesticide application.
Is it possible that 'neonics' and other pesticides are unhealthy for bees and other living things? Absolutely. For that matter, even some of the so-called "organic" products that I use will kill bees, and their labels contain warnings on how to use them so as to avoid doing so.
Bee die-offs have occurred without Monsanto's assistance, to automatically link them, vilify them, try them in the court of public opinion without hard facts, data and science to prove it is, well, 'irresponsible' is the most polite thing I can call it.
If you want to be successful, study successful people and do what they do.
For many the anti-neonic agenda fervor has never been about scientifically repeatable "facts." Prove the direct causal relationship between neonic and bee die offs in a real world scientifically accepted and repeatable fashion and this is a dead story. That stuff would be yanked off the shelf and effective class action lawsuits would sprout like spring dandelions.
If it turns out you can't you prove your claims; resort to innuendos, conspiracies and whatever else you can use to advance your agenda. The agenda being more important for many than scientifically repeatable findings is what should concern us all.
Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...