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I was reading an interesting US EPA report on fluvalinate, as I wanted to know more about possible dangers to humans. I felt like I was learning a lot and it all seemed very scientific and, presumably, accurate. Then I got to the only paragraph I already knew anything at all about:

5. Non-Target Insects Available information suggests that terrestrial insects will likely be adversely affected by tau-fluvalinate use. The Agency currently does not estimate risk quotients for terrestrial non-target insects. However, an appropriate label statement is required to protect foraging honeybees when the LD50 is less than 11 Fg/bee. For tau-fluvalinate, the acute contact toxicity study to honeybees indicates that the LD50 is 0.2 Fg/bee. This classifies tau-fluvalinate as highly toxic to honeybees. The impregnated strip formulation is used in beehives to treat Varroa mites when bees are not present. (page 27, emphasis mine)

:s

Am I missing something or is this just flatly wrong? My understanding is that Apistan is the "impregnated strip formulation" of fluvalinate and the instructions do not at all ask you to remove the bees from the hive before treatment. I can't imagine how that could be practical. It really calls into question everything I thought I was learning. Please let me know if there's a more charitable way to read that sentence.

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

– Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

:ws:
 

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Just to be safe, perhaps cross reference it with the EPA's approval for fluvalinate's use in hives? It also could just be a mistake, authors are fallible after all.

Also, my understanding was that almost no one uses fluvalinate anymore due to extremely high mite resistance and its ability to contaminate everything it touches for long periods of time (hence the resistance), you certainly would never use it with supers on. There are many better products out there for varroa control it seems.
 
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