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This article has the same old problem that we have been talking about here, circuitously, for years.

I cannot see the whole study without paying money. But what I can access from the links provided say that bumblebees contaminated with pesticides being neonicitinoids, and synthetic pyrethroids, perform worse at pollen gathering. If too much pesticide is applied to them the nest can die completely.

Pyrethroids have been in use a long time they are an effective insecticide. Neonicitinoids also pretty effective. What I could read did not say how the poisons were administered to the bees but I would speculate it was either fed to the bees directly, or the nest drenched with it.

They found that death of the nest could result so it sounds like they have administered doses up to and including amounts needed for a total kill.

Under these circumstances it is not at all surprising the bees ability to collect pollen is affected, in fact, I do not see how it could be otherwise for these sick, poisoned bees.

Why do they do such simplistic research, then publish it like they have made some ground breaking discovery, who pays for this? Must have too much money to waste.
 

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You should look at the abstract link. The methodology was quite well spelled out in the Word document under the Supporting Information tab:

Pesticide treatment
For the sucrose treatment, we dissolved 100mg of imidacloprid (C9H10CIN5O2 powder; grade: PESTANAL®, analytical standard; brand: Fluka) in 100ml of acetone to produce a primary stock solution (1mg/ml). An aliquot of the primary stock solution was added to a 40/60% sucrose/water (volume/volume) solution to produce a 10μg/L (10ppb) imidacloprid solution. A control solution was made by repeating this process but using an acetone stock solution (without imidacloprid). For the spray treatment, we dissolved 100mg of λ-cyhalothrin (C23H19CIF3NO3 powder; grade: PESTANAL®, analytical standard; brand: Fluka) in 100ml of acetone to produce a primary stock solution (1mg/ml). An aliquot of this stock solution was diluted with distilled water to produce a 37.5mg/L (37.5ppm) solution. A control solution was made by repeating this process but using an acetone stock solution (without λ-cyhalothrin).
Using a 10PPB solution for the consumption group and a 37.5 PPB solution for the spray group is very light exposure rate. Using an acetone stock solution for the control group indicated the acetone used in the base solutions was not the cause of any different results between the test group and the control group. This is a solid mehtodology and demonstrated that a very light non-lethal dosage can have significant effects on these animals.
 

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Oldtimer, the taxpayer payed for that study. I just love it when the government pisses my money away. My bees are surrounded by neonics with no ill effects. What more can I say?
 

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Good comments.

And thanks for that Walt, I did look for that but somehow missed it. However it appears my assumption was correct, the bees were both fed the poison, and sprayed with it.

When you say the poison dosage was very light, light compared to what? PPB in the solution matters little, what is more important is the total AI fed and sprayed to each bee. Bear in mind they admit it lead to the actual death of some of the nests. Not a scientist myself but it would appear self evident that feeding bees a poison, and spraying them with it, is going to have an effect.

You say their methodology was good, ie, using a control group and a sample group. To me that is not particularly clever, it is standard. They have proved that if you poison bees you can at first impair them, and eventually kill them. But most of us knew that.
 

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You should really read the Word document, Oldtimer. They were given a single treatment and were observed for several weeks after. There were two replicate studies, not one study.

And to be clear, this was a study of bumblebees, not honeybees. Those involved in the study made it clear it appears bumblebees are more susceptible to effects of sublethal doses of neonicitinoids than are honeybees.

And as is the case with all studies of this nature, it needs to be independently verified using the same methodology.
 

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I'm glad they are widely using RFID tags to track bees. These studies have already been carried out on honeybees, not sure why anyone is surprised the same backlash happens to the bumblebee.

Hopefully public opinion will soon sway in the favor of not using these pesticides.
 

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Nlk, I have a question for you. My bees are surrounded by neonics and have been for years. Why is it that I don't have a single negative impact from neonics?
 

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I don't claim to be an expert, so if I phrase something wrong, bear with me.
One could argue over such a time, years in this case that your bees could have built up an immunity to the Neonics. Such as Superbugs building up immunity to pesticides in much the same conditions.
Another very obvious case is you may have very sound management practices and the effects are not blatantly obvious. This could also be paired with that you have a lot of native forage and the bees have a prolific supply of nectar and honey from different sources to acquire all of their needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients.

I think of this similarly to someone eating fast food. You may not see the problems associated with eating fat laden, high sugar, sodium rich food immediately, but as we are seeing in our youth and from very recent studies about public health, these things lead to horrible health conditions down the line; diabetes, obesity, heart disease to name a few.

The point I'm getting at is although you may not see the effects directly, there are definitely indirect causes associated with Neonics and chemicals like it. They are a hit to the bees immune system, and it slowly weakens them to be more susceptible to other diseases or pests.
The straw that breaks the camels back, or so you could say.
 

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You nailed it with these words.

"This could also be paired with that you have a lot of native forage and the bees have a prolific supply of nectar and honey from different sources to acquire all of their needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients."

Some people think that bees can be ran anywhere but the fact is that they can't in today's world.
Imagine how many hive deaths would occur in California if the pollinators left their hives there year round. Now imagine how many reasons they would come up with on how all these California died when in reality poor nutrition was the cause.
 

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You nailed it with these words.

"This could also be paired with that you have a lot of native forage and the bees have a prolific supply of nectar and honey from different sources to acquire all of their needed vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients."

Some people think that bees can be ran anywhere but the fact is that they can't in today's world.
Imagine how many hive deaths would occur in California if the pollinators left their hives there year round. Now imagine how many reasons they would come up with on how all these California died when in reality poor nutrition was the cause.
You're spot on, they wouldn't make it out there.
Disease from overpopulation would run rampant in a short time as well.
The pollen from the California almond trees have almost no nutrients left, the soil has become devoid of minerals.
 

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You should look at the abstract link. The methodology was quite well spelled out in the Word document under the Supporting Information tab:

Using a 10PPB solution for the consumption group and a 37.5 PPB solution for the spray group is very light exposure rate. Using an acetone stock solution for the control group indicated the acetone used in the base solutions was not the cause of any different results between the test group and the control group. This is a solid mehtodology and demonstrated that a very light non-lethal dosage can have significant effects on these animals.

You are correct. The methodology is solid, but the result of the experiment is yet another example of don’t spray your bees with pesticide. Oldtimer is correct in saying that this is simplistic research. You can have flawless experiment design and methodology, but apply it to simple experiments; experiments where the outcome is known a priori (i.e., we already know that spraying bees with pesticides harms bees). How many more times do we need to spray/feed bees pesticides to know that it is harmful?

As far as lethal versus sub-lethal dosage, this is implicit as well. Obviously if a pesticide is lethal at some dosage, it is going to be harmful at lower dosages. Your use of the term “very light non-lethal dosage” is meaningless from a toxicological standpoint for a couple of reasons. You do not use adjectives such as very light to describe lethality. Non-lethal is also meaningless; the correct term is sub-lethal. I am not being pedantic here. A lot of people throw around the term LD50 without knowing that this is just an arbitrary number in a range that describes toxicity. It is simply an agreed upon standard used to compare the lethality of different compounds. LD5 is the exposure where 5 percent of the bees die and LD95 is where 95 percent of the bees die. You can get results of LD100 (all bees die), but LD0 (non-lethal) does not exist. Note that although sub-lethal is the correct term to use, it is meaningless as well. All dosages less than LD100 are sub-lethal to some of the bees. I wish people would keep this in mind when they talk about pesticides and their effects on bees.

As far as exposure, how did you determine that the concentrations described in the abstract were “light exposure rates”? You simply cannot tell from the concentration of the solution what the exposure rate is. Time is intrinsic to rate. All we know is what the concentration of the solution was. We can not know how much was applied without knowing how long the bees were sprayed or how frequently the sprayings occurred.
 
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