Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    I have between 20 and 25 hives that I keep in 4 separate yards. 3 yards are on cotton fields and one is in an actively managed (and sprayed) pecan orchard.

    In Spring, the cotton fields are full of cover crop, mainly wild radish, some clover, dandelion and a lot of weeds I cannot identify. The bees work these cover crops hard. Then, one day, the farmer decides he is going to "burn down" the cover crop and sprays Round Up on the entire field. Between 180 to 300 acres. In the past 4 years, I have lost 3 hives to laying workers (shook out after going queenless) and 2 hives to varroa mites (one of which I just posted pictures of this week on another thread "Dead Out -Classic PMS.")

    The fact that my hives thrive in this environment is purely anecdotal. Perhaps they would give me twice the production if they were located away from glyphosate. I do not run controls, so I have no idea. The farmer plants "Round Up Ready" cotton seed days later and the cycle continues.

    I feel sure similar farming tactics are used in the Midwest, but instead of 300 acre fields of cotton, I am sure 2000 acre fields of canola would not be a difficult thing to come by. Why can't these studies take place in these fields? Why would that be expensive? It just makes so much more sense than bottle feeding a couple dozen bees in Austin, Texas.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    i keep bees on my farm. all the farms in my area are gmo corn and soybeans. my hives are located along the edge of my field. never had a problem due to pesticide / herbicide / fungicide applications.; i also have an orchard with fruit trees . they also get applications of fungicides and insecticides, but not while blossoming. no problems from there either.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by glennster View Post
    i keep bees on my farm. all the farms in my area are gmo corn and soybeans. my hives are located along the edge of my field. never had a problem due to pesticide / herbicide / fungicide applications.
    Same. GMO corn, alfalfa, and soybeans. And Im the one who sprays the fence lines and ditches with roundup. Only real problems I have ever had were a few hives on the edge of a field getting blasted by a cropduster early in the morning and varroa, but the problems boil down to mostly varroa.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Reading these type threads is so frustrating I can hardly do it. One side presenting properly documented results of studies and research, the other side presenting slogans, 1/2 truths, and untruths.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Reading these type threads is so frustrating I can hardly do it. One side presenting properly documented results of studies and research, the other side presenting slogans, 1/2 truths, and untruths.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    (moved thread to appropriate sub-forum)
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #27
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    Big Grin Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by wildbranch2007 View Post
    Your comments remind me of what Mark Twain has allegedly said: "Do not argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."

    Doctors, generations ago, often said nicotine was good based on their personal experience, as well. Check old commercials.

    Earthboy

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    These discussions will carry on for ever usually by the tree huggers that will always try to blame everything else for their inability to keep their bees alive, while others who are surrounded by neonics and glyphosate have a problem with too many bees. It obviously stands to reason that the reason this is so is because the successful beekeepers are in an area where the neonics and glyphosate are supplied by good companies not like Monsanto and Bayer.
    Johno

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    These discussions will carry on for ever usually by the tree huggers that will always try to blame everything else for their inability to keep their bees alive, while others who are surrounded by neonics and glyphosate have a problem with too many bees. It obviously stands to reason that the reason this is so is because the successful beekeepers are in an area where the neonics and glyphosate are supplied by good companies not like Monsanto and Bayer.
    Johno
    Sir,

    Your logic impresses me: "It [Gly] was discovered to be an herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970."

    "Glyphosate (IUPAC name: N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine) is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. It is an organophosphorus compound, specifically a phosphonate, which acts by inhibiting the plant enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase. It is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It was discovered to be an herbicide by Monsanto chemist John E. Franz in 1970.[3] Monsanto brought it to market for agricultural use in 1974 under the trade name Roundup. Monsanto's last commercially relevant United States patent expired in 2000.[citation needed][clarification needed]"

    So, following your logic, then, cocaine is great as far as it is sold by good guys like Government? Please enlighten me.

    Very Respectfully,

    Earthboy

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Earthboy have you managed to keep your bees alive? Now I should take a leaf out of Mark Twains book and just ignore you but as I am having such fun tweaking you greenies I cant help myself. The reference to monsanto and other manufacturers was sarcasm and humor, As far as Gly is concerned I also believe it to be some sort of antibiotic but I digress. I spray it around my hives as well, great stuff. Now as far as cocaine is concerned the only experience I have had with that was talking to some New Yorkers on a charter boat in the Carribean who were smoking pot and snorting cocaine and when I approached them about it they told me not to worry about it as they were professional persons in New York and would be quite responsible. They are probably legislators by now. This makes me think that maybe this was a reason that many objected to the use of OA as in some quarters anyone seeing the white powder would stick it up his nose. Now if government could turn a profit from cocaine I an sure that they would get involved but Knowing governments it would not last long as there would soon be a shortage of cocaine and it would still be cheaper to buy from the cartels Anyhow thats enough rubbish for now but the whole story lies in the supposed field related doses.
    Johno.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    These discussions will carry on for ever usually by the tree huggers that will always try to blame everything else for their inability to keep their bees alive, while others who are surrounded by neonics and glyphosate have a problem with too many bees. It obviously stands to reason that the reason this is so is because the successful beekeepers are in an area where the neonics and glyphosate are supplied by good companies not like Monsanto and Bayer.
    Johno
    a more accurate statement was never posted on beesource.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuiGeneris View Post
    I'm a microbiologist/immunologist by profession, work in a department with people who study bee microbiota, and have some microbiotia/probiotic research ongoing in my lab (relating to heart disease, not bees), so perhaps I can shed some light.

    TLDR: The results are interesting, but at best, the only concussion the data reasonably supports is that bees which never have been exposed previously to glyphosate may have a short-term increased risk of dying from bacterial infection after their first glyphosate exposure.

    Long version:
    The study used standard microbiota-measuring methods, but otherwise have some serious flaws in their study design and interpretation. There are also some red flags suggesting that some of their results are spurious (e.g. statistical noise).

    Methods
    1. The dose of glyphosate used is high - they tested two doses - one at the high-end of what the studies they quoted as realistic field exposures, and the other exceeded the maximum reasonable estimate of field exposure by 33%. So they basically tested the worst-case-scenario and something far worse than the worst-case-scenario.
    2. Their study duration was short. In most long-term studies, microbiota are astoundingly resilient, with most microbiota-changing insults only producing a temporary change. In most cases, the microbiota return pretty quickly to normal after an insult. They only looked at days 0, 3 and 5 - far too short a time to allow for any recovery or adaptation of the microbiota to glyphosate.
    3. The pathogen used to test for an effect was an odd choice, as was the infection method; Serratia is a relatively rare pathogen of bees, and they hatched sterile bees (i.e. bees without normal microbiota development) for these experiments. I don't know the bee immune system very well, but birthing mammals sterilely profoundly impairs their immune system.


    Results
    The results have a number of red flags. I've not yet found a good way to explain this in lay language, so my apologies if this is not clear. There are a number of changes that are observed that are problematic - four in particular are especially concerning:
    1. Whole-microbiota stats are lacking; stats were only performed on individual species
    2. There are several cases where there is a lack of dose-dependence - i.e. the lower dose causes a larger change in the microbiota composition than the higher dose, or only the lower dose causes a change.
    3. These changes occur in samples which show high variability
    4. Similar bacterial species do not respond to glyphosate in a similar manner.

    These all point to a serious flaw in their analysis which throws a lot of the data into question. Here's where things get hard to explain...The way microbiota analysis is conducted is called "multi-variate analysis" (multiple variable analysis), with the abundance of each species representing a separate variable. The very first step in these analyses are that you run a statistical test which asks "is there a statistically significant difference between the net change in the microbiota between my treatment groups" - i.e. you test to see if the combined changes across all species together is different between the doses of glyphosate.

    If the answer to that question is 'yes', then you go on and do sub-group analyses - i.e. you ask which specific species are changing in response to glyphosate.

    If the answer to that question is 'no', then your analysis is done. By definition there are no differences to be found, so performing a subgroup analysis is irrational.

    This paper didn't perform that first test, and jumped straight into subgroup analysis. And the results of those sub-group analyses are exactly what you would expect to see if you perform a subgroup analysis when the result of the first test is 'no differences in the microbiota'. The lack of a dose-response and randomness of where significant changes are observed (e.g. related species which should behave similarly, are observed to behave differently), are all hallmarks of the kinds of spurious associations you expect to see when subgroup analyses are performed improperly.
    Thank you for this post SuiGeneris. I hope everyone reads it. Twice.

  14. #33

    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Why should glyphosate be a problem to bees fed with artificial pollen patties ( hopefully organic source) and sugar syrup ( probably organic sugar too)?

    Itīs the wild insects which lack nourishment in such an environment. Or the natural beekeeper`s bees.

    Iīm not speaking about the humans consuming glyphosate now whose children and grandchildren will have the long term results of today`s managements. So why should this generation care? We will be gone and leave behind a poisoned earth.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I feel sure similar farming tactics are used in the Midwest, but instead of 300 acre fields of cotton, I am sure 2000 acre fields of canola would not be a difficult thing to come by. Why can't these studies take place in these fields? Why would that be expensive? It just makes so much more sense than bottle feeding a couple dozen bees in Austin, Texas.
    Its far more complicated than that. The "secret" to any good piece of science is to hold all variables constant except the one that you manipulate. That way you can be certain any differences you see are due to the variable you manipulated, rather than an extraneous factor.

    In a field study that is not possible; even if you find a forage-sized region that is glyphosate free, you need it to match your glyphosate-containing area exactly - same amount/types of forage, same water availability & water quality, same levels of wind/shade/cloud cover/etc, same diseases circulating, same varroa infestations, etc. And you also need your hives to be as identical as possible - same genetic background, same "base" microbiota, etc. If you can do that, you can have a field study the same in structure as the one in the paper, and get good results. But achieving this level of control across multiple sites simply isn't possible.

    The way you work around that is that you add a series of additional measurements to each of your sites, and you take a much larger number of samples, in order to determine the impact of these extra factors. Most "field" microbiota trials sample dozens to hundreds of individuals - compared to the handful in this study. Already, the cost as quadrupeled or more; and we're not even taking into account the costs of addressing the extraneous factors. To address those factors you need more hives (again, as similar as possible) and form each hive you'll need a lot of additional measures - rates of food intake, growth rate of the hive, types and numbers of pathogens and varoa present, etc. More hives and more measurements = more people, and people don't come cheap. Likewise, you are tracking additional factors, and quantifying these requires different experimental equipment and reagents - all of which cost money. And, if your trial site isn't near where you live/work, you also have to house and feed yourself and your crew.

    As a simple example, the microbiota study my lab is conducting right now would have been ~$60K to do with mice, which lack genetic diversity and which we can keep in a controlled environment and feed a controlled diet - i.e. perform the study in a manner similar to the one posted at the start of this thread. But we're doing the study in people (i.e. a field trial), and so we need to track and account for diet, genetic diversity, and other lifestyle factors. We're in the middle of the study, so the final bill isn't set yet, but we're expecting to be around ~$400K.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Thanks SuisGeneris for explaining the controls necessary for a reasonably conclusive experiment.

    Far too often we see links posted to experiments having controls about as rigorous as a grade school science fair project. If it supports our beliefs, we applaud, and yet even if a well executed experiment is contrary to the persons convictions, they claim all scientists works are profit driven fraud.
    Frank

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Thanks SuisGeneris for explaining the controls necessary for a reasonably conclusive experiment.
    Yes. Nice to hear from those whose fields of expertise we touch on. I learn a lot from them. Thank you.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Thanks SuisGeneris for explaining the controls necessary for a reasonably conclusive experiment.
    I agree, thanks for the realistic explanation!
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    One part I'd like to touch on is in the study they forced the bees to feed on syrup laced with the high doses of glyphosate. If a weed is sprayed with glyphosate while flowering, there is no way it continues to produce nectar for 5 days. It looks like a piece of straw by day 7.

    Except in the case of roundup-ready crops. But if you're still spraying roundup on soybeans that are already heavily blooming, doubtful if those beans would make a good honey crop anyway. And I'd bet that a hive would likely fly to the next field that didn't have the same application window, thereby limiting its exposure.

    Did I read the study correctly if I thought I read that the higher dosed set of bees actually tested healthier than the lower dosed bees in one of the sets? That makes the study hardly conclusive, I'd think.

    Also, if a study this small had claimed that roundup had no effects or improved the health of honeybees, many of the same people who champion this as conclusive would be claiming "Monsanto must've donated a new lab to the university". Or that the study was too small, or more studying needs to be done.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdfarmer555 View Post
    Did I read the study correctly if I thought I read that the higher dosed set of bees actually tested healthier than the lower dosed bees in one of the sets? That makes the study hardly conclusive, I'd think.
    What has been alluded to earlier in the thread is that this result shows that the difference is more than likely just noise.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Really bad honeybee vs. round up news [glyphosate]. Can this article be trusted?

    Man!! what a thread!!

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