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I read the article. I missed the part where the farmer was concocting their own ****tail. Please explain that part to me. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You ask therefore you shall receive, and I quote:

"Mussen says that almond growers are combining them along with substances called adjuvants—which are used to enhance the performance of pesticides—and then spraying the resulting ****tail on crops. "It now seems that when you roll these three things together, it has very negative consequences on the bees," Mussen told me. "

from the above article.
 

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Generally speaking when a farmer buys a box of chemical, the box will come with one or more jugs of chemical and one or more jugs of adjuvant. You mix up the chemical in water first then you add the adjuvant. Then you keep mixing them in the sprayer tank. The farmer is not coming up with his "own" ****tail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess there is a part of all this I am not understanding. So even if the farmer incorrectly mixes the chemical ****tail its still Ok?
 

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As a farmer I can tell you that I pay a lot of money for these chemicals to work. I am mixing them exactly as the label says to ensure my best chance of the chemicals doing their job. And if they don't work I can get the chemical rep out to look. If you don't do it by the label then you have no recourse. Farmers are not making up their own mixes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand your point. However stating that all farmers bide by the rules, is sort of like saying all beekeepers don't use Tactik to treat their colonies but rather use the new strips.
 

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Generally speaking when a farmer buys a box of chemical, the box will come with one or more jugs of chemical and one or more jugs of adjuvant. You mix up the chemical in water first then you add the adjuvant. Then you keep mixing them in the sprayer tank. The farmer is not coming up with his "own" ****tail.
You just described in detail exactly how he would likely have done so. and then conclude that in fact he did not? Notice he did not say this grower concocted his own ****tail He said growers have done so. I would agree.

Let's see, let's take something that we know perfectly well is an environmental hazard and make it more potent.
 

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On some fruit applications, growers will mix multiple compounds in the same tank. My understanding is that it is perfectly legal to do so as long as the label is followed for each individual application. For example, a fungicide can be put in the same tank with an insecticide and applied together in one pass of the sprayer, provided the label for each allows application at that given time. Individually, the compounds may not be the best for bees, but together they may be far worse.
 

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And I understand your concerns. The article makes it sound like the farmer is making up his own concoction. Did I read that right? I can only assume that when they tested these products for bee damage that they would have tested with the adjuvant mixed in also. The adjuvant comes in the same box as the chemical usually. Generally the more water per acre that is applied, the more adjuvant is used.
 

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Hay, I have an Idea. Why not stop providing pollinators to these nasty old environment destroying farmers who feed the nation. That will teach them, and save them from paying all that dirty money acquired at the expense of mother earth to the wholesome beekeepers.
 

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On some fruit applications, growers will mix multiple compounds in the same tank. My understanding is that it is perfectly legal to do so as long as the label is followed for each individual application. For example, a fungicide can be put in the same tank with an insecticide and applied together in one pass of the sprayer, provided the label for each allows application at that given time. Individually, the compounds may not be the best for bees, but together they may be far worse.
I think that is a possibility and it should be easy to prove. All they need to do is test the registered tank mixes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did read it as farmers making their own concoction. I do not completely understand the chemical part of row cropping, however it is alarming as Almonds have been known to be a good pollination crop which looks like it might be headed in the same direction as cranberries or worse our veggies.

I have sent bees to the almonds in the past and did a bit this year too, but now I am wondering if I should risk sending an entire semi out to be decimated by the farmers and what they are spraying on the almonds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hay, I have an Idea. Why not stop providing pollinators to these nasty old environment destroying farmers who feed the nation. That will teach them, and save them from paying all that dirty money acquired at the expense of mother earth to the wholesome beekeepers.
That's a pretty comical spin on the entire topic. However you wouldn't be laughing if you sent 10 semi loads out and had 9 semi loads come back dead.
 

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My bees always come back looking way better than I send them. This year they gained a nice amount of honey and loads of pollen. Way better than the bees that got to stay in east Texas. This year was so cold in east Texas and then the jasmine came on strong as ever. Plus all the hives that stayed in Texas had to be fed and I should have fed them more. So for us we gained on every level by sending the bees out.
 

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Like Haraga has been mentioning, tank mixes are just as such. Be it detrimental to the bees or not, these "****tails" are refereed to farmers as tank mixes. Some chemicals can be tank mixed, some can't. Its all based on manufacturer recommendations. Some chemicals cant be mixed as it neutralizes their effectiveness.

Adjuvants are the farmers best friend, not so much for beekeepers...

It amazes me how it "seems" from this side of the issue, how Almond farmers tend to spray without any consideration to the health of the bees they need to pollinate their crop. Or perhaps its the wrong impression.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ian I think you are right on with that. I work closely with a farmer in Ga pollinating his berries. I know he has a ****tail (fungicide, pesticide) that he sprays on the berries. When it comes time for the ****tail spraying he does it carefully as possible to avoid killing my bees. It almost sounds as if the the almond growers are not taking the care needed to help protect our bees.

The big concern for all is adequate pollination. Adequate pollination is going to build our colonies and provide the grower with the best fruit set. If they kill off our hives everyone loses and possible future pollination contracts could be jeopardized.

babybee:
I certainly don't send out the number of colonies that most beekeepers send out, but yes I agree in the past when my bees went out of Oklahoma and returned to east Texas they looked great coming back and so did the commercial operation's bees, I was worked with at the time.
 

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From Dr. Mussen's news letter.

Experiments conducted on the fungicides alone and in many cases the IGRs alone do not appear to elicit the damage that is seen when they are combined, perhaps including a newer adjuvant. This season the losses were of such magnitude (an unof-ficially estimated 80,000 colonies) that representatives of EPA visited to observe the damage. Below are images from Dr. Gordon Wardell of Para-mount Farming, of layers of dead bees on the ground, newly emerged, wingless bees pulled from the combs by other bees, and bees that failed in their attempts to emerge as adults.
It seems that a combination of exposures of colonies to truly bee-toxic insecticides, followed by delayed effects of exposure to fungicide/IGR mixes during bloom, really set the bees way behind. The problem proved so severe that a number of beekeepers stated that they were never returning to California for almond pollin-ation. That is not a good thing, since we really don’t have too many colonies coming to almonds as it is
 
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