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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
News flash :eek: Brand new study and I mean a peer reviewed study not from some bogus science internet web site article.

This is part of a posting done by Dr. Jerry Bromschenk a researcher from Montana on BEEL. (go there to read his whole post)

_http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchArticle.action?utm_medium=feed&utm_camp
aign=Feed%3A+plosone%2FPLoSONE+%28PLoS+ONE+Alerts%3A+New+Articles%29&utm_sou
rce=feedburner&articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009754_


"The imidacloprid results show that only 1% of the wax samples, 2.9% of the pollen samples, and 0% or none of the bees had detectable levels. That makes it hard to argue that this chemical constitutes a major problem to bees in the U.S. My reading of the authors conclusions and discussions seems to be - the neonics are reported to cause problems, but this data doesn't support widespread or high level exposure, with the exception of ONE out of 350 pollen samples."

"Note, the 49 detections were from 558 samples of pollen and wax, or 698
samples including bees, so only 8.78% of all of the wax and pollen samples
and 7.02% of all samples (wax, pollen, bees) had any detectable levels, and
most of these were low levels.

"More importantly, no residues of any of these chemicals were found in any
of the analyzed bees - which either says it was so toxic, that any exposed
bees died (outside the hive) and as such weren't available for sampling, or
we have to conclude that not much, if any of these chemicals accumulated
in the bees themselves. I have to conclude: These chemicals are in some of the wax and pollen samples (representing a potential dose) but none ended up at detectable levels in the bees (the ultimate fate) sampled."

The Authors of the cited paper are:

Christopher A. Mullin1*, Maryann Frazier1, James L. Frazier1, Sara Ashcraft1, Roger Simonds2, Dennis vanEngelsdorp3, Jeffery S. Pettis4
1 Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 2 National Science Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Marketing Service, Gastonia, North Carolina, United States of America, 3 Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States of America, 4 Bee Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville, Maryland, United States of America

A continual surprise to some, but the most common chems in bees and beeswax are beekeeper applied chems. This study is just a more expanded and detailed study of what the authors did initially on CCD affected brood combs. This is not new data but now more deeply confirmed data with lots of samples.

I doubt that this will stop or even slow down the continual onslaught of bogus articles on the internet claiming Bayer is the bogey man of bees or change some minds here whom are bent on conspiracy theories etc.
 

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"bogus articles on the internet claiming Bayer is the bogey man of bees"

Doesn't Bayer make some of the mite treatments we use? I remember distinctively the word "Bayer" on some mite strips at one time?
 

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- which either says it was so toxic, that any exposed
bees died (outside the hive) and as such weren't available for sampling, ...
Which could explain why large numbers of bees disappear quickly and are never able to bring contaminated pollen back to the colony.

Could you re-post the correct link, I would love to read the rest of the report. I read this portion a couple of times and I get the impression that Jerry is not completely ruling the chems out, but stating the fact that it is not found in notable percentages in the wax, pollen or remaining bees. His conclusions are based on what's left in the colony.
 

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More importantly, no residues of any of these chemicals were found in any of the analyzed bees - which either says it was so toxic, that any exposed bees died (outside the hive)
Given the known history of this particular pesticide... this would be my guess. I find it rather funny though that the researcher comes to the opposite conclusion based on... ? But that's Bee-L for ya... ought to be renamed Bee-S.
 

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I think the conclusion makes a fair amount of sense.

Neonicotinoids are applied as seed treatments (March, April, May) or as foliar treatments (usually July or August).

The losses (CCD) that some claim may be caused by neonicotinoids appear weeks or months later.

The explanation has been that the bees store the pollen or nectar containing the neonicotinoids, and only when they get around to using those stores are they poisoned by the chemicals.

If neonicotinoids are so lethal in trace amounts that the bees couldn't make it back to their hives, seems to me that the losses would occur either right after application of the chemicals (spring to mid summer) or at bloom of the flowers (summer). CCD strikes much later. If neonicotinoids are being stored and still have an effect on bees, the chemicals should show up in analyses of pollen, nectar and wax in the hives, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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I recall a lecture from Mary Ann Frazier at a State Beekeepers Meeting in NJ on the findings thus far ( 2008 ) at the time that Neonics were not even an issue, the amount found in all the subjects ( pollen, wax, honey, bees collected ) were very low or non-existent, however the chemical found with the highest concentrations in all of their studies was Coumaphos, but that alone does not explain the cause of CCD she says. :eek:
 

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"that any exposed
bees died (outside the hive) and as such weren't available for sampling,"

So they did not sample the very subset of bees in the hive that first show the symptoms of poisoning? If I was a smart bee, and I had picked up a load of poison, I would not come home to poison my sisters. but rather die in the field.

The research on the in-hive samples may be sound, but it sure seems like they did not do a complete job. I know of a study where the researcher took the studied hive to an area with limited forage except for a field a moderate distance away. He then sampled the dead bees in that field. His results where dramatically different from the samples taken from inside the hive.

I'd say it's time for a "do over", no short cuts.

There is only one thing worse than no information - bad information.

Roland
 

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I'd say it's time for a "do over", no short cuts.

There is only one thing worse than no information - bad information.

Roland

Are suggesting that these people cut corners and produced BAD information? Have you read the paper and studied their methodology?

I have known about this paper for months and was keenly awaiting it.

It is not an easy read so here are some of the highlights, with my comments



> We have found unprecedented levels of miticides and agricultural pesticides in honey bee colonies from across the US and one Canadian province. The data contained here is the largest sampling of pesticide residues in N. American bee colonies or worldwide to date, and represents a cost of nearly $175,000 for the analyses alone. 



(me: this kind of comprehensive testing is very expensive)



> Most noteworthy were the very high levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil in pollen and wax as well as ppm levels of the insecticides aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid, fungicides boscalid, captan and myclobutanil, and herbicide pendimethalin. With an average of 7 pesticides in a pollen sample, the potential for multiple pesticide interactions affecting bee health seems likely.

(me: fungicides are a real problem for bees, may be causing unforeseen effects)



> Almost all wax and pollen samples (98.4%) contained two or more pesticide residues, of which greater than 83% were fluvalinate and coumaphos. Clearly, substantial residues of these bee-toxic pyrethroid and organophosphate compounds prevailed together in most beehives sampled. Chronic exposures to high levels of these persistent neurotoxicants elicits both acute and sublethal reductions in honey bee fitness, especially queens, and they can interact synergistically on bee mortality. 



(me: the most widespread pesticide contamination comes from miticides added by beekeepers, which can harm bees in the long run)



> The affects of chronic exposure to pyrethroids, organophosphates, neonicotinoids, fungicides and other pesticides can range from lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in brood and workers to reproductive effects on the queen. Attempts to correlate global bee declines or CCD with increased pesticide exposures alone have not been successful to date. It seems to us that it is far too early to attempt to link or to dismiss pesticide impacts with CCD.



(me: all of these things together can have a negative effect on bees, brood, and the queen. However, pesticides can't be directly linked to CCD)




* * *

If neonics were the main culprit in mass bee die-off, these people would have discovered it. Why? First, because they are not biased and did not set out to prove anything. Second, the credentials of these people are impeccable. Their thinking has not been twisted by Bayer, and they have no hidden agenda to promote. They are trying to find out the truth behind bee losses.

Finally, the way it was funded is instructive:



> Funding was received from the Florida State Beekeepers, National Honey Board, Penn State College of Agriculture Sciences, Project Apis mellifera (PAm), Tampa Bay Beekeepers, The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and the United States Department of Agriculture Critical Issues program. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. 

 

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> "...Most noteworthy were the very high levels of the fungicide chlorothalonil in pollen and wax as well as ppm levels of the insecticides aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos and imidacloprid, fungicides boscalid, captan and myclobutanil, and herbicide pendimethalin. With an average of 7 pesticides in a pollen sample, the potential for multiple pesticide interactions affecting bee health seems likely.

(me: fungicides are a real problem for bees, may be causing unforeseen effects)"

I am curious, what do I do?
I have a blueberry grower who wants me to pollinate. I asked him last week what he will spray during the bloom. He said " Pristine (Boscalid + Pyraclostrobin), Ziram, Captan and Elevate (Fenhexamide). He also told me that he checked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, or maybe it was with Cornell directliy and all of these fungicides pose little risk to honey bees. I wrote the names down and decided to check for myself. When I looked up Captan on the net one of the articles I read said that Captan at field doses has caused brood damage. When I read your post Peter I got worried. I would rather not pollinate his blueberries then harm my bees.

So, is it reasonable to recommend to the grower that he not spray any pesticides or fungicides during the bloom, or is this impractable? How necessary is it for blueberry growers to spray fungicides during the bloom?
 

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Hi Jeff

I think the solution to the problem of chemicals killing bees has to be worked out between beekeepers and growers. Trying to pass laws to tie growers hands is pointless, and counterproductive.

That said, what do we do? I think the burden of proof is on the grower, to show that the chemicals are necessary and that they won't harm the bees.

You don't say if you are charging a fee. I would adjust the fee according to his willingness to adjust his spray schedule. Many of the fungicides are applied while the plants are blooming because they are "non toxic" to bees.

However, there is ample evidence that the fungicides are being stored in the hives will long term consequences. If the bees tank 6 months later, you will have a hard time proving the blueberry pollination was the bullet.

Pollination is something I haven't gotten into, but I think that growers should be much more careful about what they do to your bees, because they need bees to pollinate.

This is going to have to be a give and take between grower and pollinator. Try to keep an open dialogue.
 

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Jeff has homed in on one of the key findings in the new report. I would worry less about neonics and more about chlorothalonil. This is sprayed on blooming almonds, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, etc. Growers are told that it is safe for bees because it doesn't kill them outright. But what it does when stored in hives is the question.

Here we describe a new phenomenon, entombed pollen, which is highly associated with increased colony mortality. Entombed pollen is sunken, capped cells amidst ‘‘normal”, uncapped cells of stored pollen, and some of the pollen contained within these cells is brick red in color. … the increased incidence of entombed pollen in reused wax comb suggests that there is a transmittable factor common to the phenomenon and colony mortality. In addition, there were elevated pesticide levels, notably of the fungicide chlorothalonil, in entombed pollen. The fungicide chlorothalonil. Chlorothalonil was found in 100% of the samples of entombed pollen, but only in 45.5% of samples of normal pollen

from: "Entombed Pollen": A new condition in honey bee colonies associated with increased risk of colony mortality. By Dennis vanEngelsdorp , et al
 

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More info on fungicides

Fungicides usually are not a cause of concern for honey bee poisoning. At labeled field application rates, captan sometimes is associated with larval and pupal mortality. Honey bee broods are lost at a time when the colony population should be expanding. Studies by staff at the USDA Bee Lab in Weslaco, TX, show that honey bee impacts due to captan are related to formulation. These results suggest that it is not the captan itself, but other ingredients in some formulations, that cause developmental problems. These findings are under review for publication.

Iprodione (Rovral) is another fungicide of concern. During studies at University of California–Davis, some honey bee larvae died when exposed to iprodione. Others develop into large, robust pupae that do not develop into adult forms. Other dicarboximide fungicides might affect bees similarly, but such effects have not been determined experimentally.

Fungicides containing captan or iprodione should not be applied to blooming crops during the pollination period.

Certain combinations of demethylation-inhibiting (DMI) fungicides, such as propiconazole (Alamo, Propimax, Quilt), with synthetic pyrethroids, such as lambda-cyhalothrin (Taiga Z, Warrior) have been shown in the laboratory to be more toxic to bees than the insecticide alone (Pilling and Jepson, 1993) because these fungicides reduce the ability of the bee to detoxify the insecticide (Pilling et al., 1995). It is essential that growers read the pesticide label to determine whether specific tank mixes might prove toxic to bees. These problems might also arise if neighboring crops have been treated separately with two materials that can prove hazardous when they are combined.

2010 Pest Management Guide FOR TREE FRUITS IN THE MID-COLUMBIA AREA
Hood River • The Dalles • White Salmon EM 8203-E • Revised January 2010
 

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I think the conclusion makes a fair amount of sense.

Neonicotinoids are applied as seed treatments (March, April, May) or as foliar treatments (usually July or August).

The losses (CCD) that some claim may be caused by neonicotinoids appear weeks or months later.

The explanation has been that the bees store the pollen or nectar containing the neonicotinoids, and only when they get around to using those stores are they poisoned by the chemicals.

If neonicotinoids are so lethal in trace amounts that the bees couldn't make it back to their hives, seems to me that the losses would occur either right after application of the chemicals (spring to mid summer) or at bloom of the flowers (summer). CCD strikes much later. If neonicotinoids are being stored and still have an effect on bees, the chemicals should show up in analyses of pollen, nectar and wax in the hives, right?

Yeah but this paper isn't just discussing CCD... neonics as a cause for CCD has already been debunked by the fact that several countries that have banned neonics prior to the discovery of CCD have still had heavy CCD losses; but to say that pesticides can't cause pesticide losses, as this paper seems to conclude is going way beyond that and seems to be based on nothing, and seems pretty ridiculous anyway. Then again, maybe I read a little too much into it and maybe the researcher only meant that they are not a factor in CCD... but that in no way means that they are safe for the bees. In fact, a couple of european countries banned them specifically because they were killing off the bees.

On the other hand, even if the paper only meant to address neonics as a cause in CCD, even though as I said above that is already debunked, the paper couldn't even hope to address the main critics who charge that neonics cause the workers to not be able to find their way back to the hive, thus depleting the worker population which would cause the nurse bees to transition to workers sooner thus depriving the hive of enough nurse bees to raise enough brood to keep the hive from crashing for more than a few months. Since the research excluded dead field bees, it can't hope to address that criticism of neonics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A poster said: "but to say that pesticides can't cause pesticide losses, as this paper seems to conclude is going way beyond that and seems to be based on nothing, and seems pretty ridiculous anyway"

Did you actually read the paper?

The paper is a survey of pesticides found in bees, wax, and pollen and appears to draw few if any conclusions as to what the pesticide levels mean. Its a survey......
 

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The report says plainly

The high frequency of multiple pesticides in bee collected pollen
and wax indicates that pesticide interactions need thorough
investigation before their roles in decreasing bee health can be
either supported or refuted.
Several people have mentioned that the study was a complete waste of time and money because they didn't sample dead bees in the field. Trouble is, nobody has found these dead bees. In the good old days of the 70s and 80s, the bees died in a big pile in front of the hive.

Some parasites cause their hosts to disperse widely in order to spread. This could be what's happening. Or, they are simply all getting lost (from neurological disorder caused by virus and/or pesticides).
 

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I met and spoke with Mary Anne Frazier at the New Hampshire Beekeepers Association meeting yesterday in Northwoods, NH. She presented the results of this paper at our meeting and spoke about the synergistic effect of fluvalinate, coumaphos and chlorothalinate. Her data was well presented and the talk was extremely interesting.

Regardless of whether you believe it's the synergistic effect of combined pesticides/fungicides or follow the French studies of imidacloprid and the neonics, I believe CCD has yet to be found in hives that follow a non-treat regimen. Does anyone have any additional information about no-treat hives?
I believe she stated she had not looked at them.

Mary Anne did speak of an apple orchard study she had participated in where pollen was collected from returning foraging bees prior to them re-entering the hive. If I understood her correctly, and I believe I did, the collected pollen (that had never been in a hive) showed levels of fluvalinate and coumaphos, showing the bee had transferred those levels to the pollen during collection. Furthermore, the researchers then collected pollen from mason bees in the same orchard that had never been in a hive and found detectable levels of both chemicals in that pollen. Her thought was the honey bees had left a chemical residue during their visits to the same bud.

Makes you really want to reach for the Apistan and Mite Check doesn't it?

John
 

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I believe CCD has yet to be found in hives that follow a non-treat regimen.
First of all, nobody is clear on what CCD is, so it's hard to say who has it and who doesn't. But Jerry Bromenshenk is probably the one who knows the most about who has suffered from CCD-like symptoms. He has been collecting samples from all over for several years.

He states very plainly that CCD is NOT correlated with treatments, or migratory beekeepers, or a particular type of bee type or anything. In other words, so-called organic beekeepers, small timers as well as conventional beekeepers with thousands of hives, -- all of these have suffered from large unexplained losses. Nobody is immune.

At this point the jury is out on what the cause of these large losses is. It is certainly plausible that miticides have caused bee health to decline. Without miticides, however, the losses might have been much worse. In the beginning of the varroa era, some beekeepers lost everything and quit beekeeping. It is also plausible that neonics and fungicides in combination are causing colony collapse.

There is no proof of any of this. If there were a direct correlation between a particular factor and CCD, I believe researchers and beekeepers would have seen it, proved it, and we would be talking about that and what to do about it. However, instead, we are still scratching our heads. And no, I don't think it is a case of people not wanting to find the answer because then they lose their funding. That's nonsense

I think it is very likely that a distinct pathogen (virus) will be isolated in the very near future. The symptoms have always seemed to suggest something like this, at least to me. Unfortunately, a new or mutated virus will be a very hard nut to crack.
 
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