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An interesting article here:

https://www.salon.com/2020/08/18/th...ee-colonies-to-collapse-is-killing-birds-now/

>>"The new study about neonicotinoids' impact on birds forms the crux of a larger body of concern over the ways in which pesticides affect vital insect populations, particularly bees. In 2017 European scientists revealed that neonicotinoids can have a negative impact on pollinator health during normal agricultural conditions. They tested the effects of crops treated with neonicotinoids for three different bee species across three separate countries (Germany, Hungary and the United Kingdom). The scientists found that there was a negative correlation between neonicotinoid residues and reproductivity among two species of wild bees, indicating that neonicotinoids may lead to "a reduced capacity of bee species to establish new populations in the year following exposure."

Another study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution in 2017, examined the impact of the pesticide on bumblebee queens and found that "exposure to neonicotinoid insecticides could have dramatic impacts on bumblebee queens, leading to fewer bumblebee colonies, less pollination, and ultimately population extinctions."<<

Among others.


EB
 

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Earthboy, thanks for the article. While its true that studies can be spun, facts will win out. Mother nature doesn't care what you want to believe. Some will only see what they want to see. J
 

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The jury is still out on this. I talked to a soil consultant friend who plans out pesticide/fertilization/herbicide use for farmers. He made the conjecture that the evidence is building against neonicitoids and expects them to be banned in the future.

There needs to be careful studies done to verify the impact. I'm sure a lot of folks will scream about a ban but if the evidence is fairly clear it will be a no brainer.
 

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Earthboy, thanks for the article. While its true that studies can be spun, facts will win out. Mother nature doesn't care what you want to believe. Some will only see what they want to see. J
Thank you for your open mind. The other comments reminded me so much of our current political landscape. re Russian Hoax, even when the bipartisan committee concluded it is so.

Another thing is some seems to attack the messenger not being able argue the findings, another echo of our dear leader. If you have any other contending argument, please post here. America is not Russia last time I checked, you know.

No, I did not write the article. Chill.

Sad.

EB
 

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There would be no bald eagles in this country if people as readily dismissed the studies that were done on DDT.
 

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DDT, noenicitinoids, and whatever other insecticides, are all poisons. We can expect them to kill things and we don't really need a study to prove that.

But here's the thing. If noenicitinoids are banned, what do we use instead? DDT?

My point being, we could have a study that proves everything available will kill things. We just have to use the least bad.
 

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Just to add to that, some years ago there was massive public outcry in Europe against neonicitinoids, and the cries of "ban it" from the public became so loud that the politicians acted and in large areas neonicitinoids have been banned.

The Green movement cited the "decline of the bees" as a reason for the ban, bees were the kind of poster child of the ban neonicitinoids movement. We were told bees would go extinct and we would follow. Stuff like that.

So now some years later and after neonicitinoids have been banned, had any of this been true, we would expect to see a resurgence in bee numbers. But did we? No. It was all hysteria and misinformation.
 

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The concern is that neonicitinoids build up in the soil over time and are drawn up in other plants getting passed onto non-target insects. So ignoring the potential outcome is like saying we don't need honeybees. The DDT experience showed a very negative outcome so it was banned.

I don't belong to any "Green Movement", I just don't like pollution. So a common sense approach is to continue to monitor what the stuff does and react accordingly.

The fact is we don't know if these poisons negatively effect our health. It just seems probable and common sense that they might. Ironic that a canary was used in mines to detect poisonous gasses. Maybe we should be aware if there is indeed a negative effect on birds regardless of the cause.
 

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if you really wanted to ban neonic's, forget using the bees, go with using the bats. The largest and most important insect in their diet, from what I have read, is a large moth that feeds on corn, can't remember it's name, coincidence that the bats started going into winter with low weights shortly after the neonics became wide spread?
 

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I attended a lecture at the San Diego Beekeeping Society 3 or 4 years ago. A doctoral student from Italy was studying the effects of at least 2 of the neonic' pesticides on bees.

He made a "honeybee treadmill" with a bee glued to a human hair attached to a light beam on a pivot point bearing, so that the bee flew in circles inside a cylindrical cardboard "stadium". The inside surface of the cylinder was printed with vertical bars so that the bee knew that it was making forward progress.

Bees fed sugar syrup laced with a dose well below the LD-50 tended to fly 70% farther in the treadmill than the bees that were feed clean syrup of the same sugar density. So, the result was not what many of us thought, but the bees were "getting high" on the nicotine - like substance and substantially overshooting the runway and thus unable to find their way home.

It was being noted about that time that stressed colonies with traces of certain neonic's were not making it over the Winter. Trace neonic's and, say nosema or chalkbrood or EFB proved to be a lethal combination for such colonies.

Overall, neonicotinoid pesticides REDUCE the total amount of poisons used and are far less lethal to individual bees than older pesticides such as pyrethrins and carbaryls. They could be a step in the right direction if only applied AFTER the pollination for the area was finished. No proof of this yet - just what appears to be happening in 3 or 4 years hindsight.

This also rings hopeful considering that some of the neonic' pesticides decompose into benign substances more or less promptly with exposure to the elements.

Nonetheless, Oldtimer has it dead right - poisons kill things. Don't expose your bees to them if you can avoid it.
 

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One of the best ways to reduce bees exposure to neonics is to ban flower beds within 10 feet of structures treated for termites. I read where termite prevention is actually the greatest us in tons applied. And from my own observations, it's the application that results in the highest percentage of off target movement.
 

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The issue with engineered farm chemicals is that we don't always know the long term effects. Much of governmental testing is for specific things and can overlook some risks. I know a little about this as my best friend runs our state testing lab. There are budgetary concerns and limitations. They test for certain things but don't have the resources to do comprehensive testing. So if for instance neonic's combine with other soil components and from something else, that is likely not going to show up because it is not looked for.

So we experience a problem like sudden colony collapse and begin to look around for what is to blame. It is a disservice to point blame too early. I expect it could be a series of related factors rather than one.

Environments have "keystone species" So when you see die offs, it is alarming.

With the above mentioned study of the bees flying 70% farther, That could actually be an alarming factor. Are they being burnt out faster, shortening their lifespan? What are the influences on their fat body stores? etc , etc.

A lot of questions to be answered.

Some neonicitinoids do build up in the soil and being systemic insecticides they are drawn up by flowering plants at the fields edges. (from my friend who is a soil consultant for farmers)

I have also heard from some commercial BK's who had their bees exposed to them in apple orchards and saw a lot of sick hives. Many have quit the service. (Orchard owners spraying before the bees were removed was mentioned)
 

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I have also heard from some commercial BK's who had their bees exposed to them in apple orchards and saw a lot of sick hives. Many have quit the service. (Orchard owners spraying before the bees were removed was mentioned)
Those same commercial beeks, start in Calif, and on the east coast, have there bees pollinating all the way back up the east coast, how many different chemicals are they exposed to, how many times do they pick up the hives in the middle of the day and move them, leaving there work force at the last location, they had the same complaints with all the previous chemicals that were sprayed. chemicals designed to kill insect, kill bees, there isn't any getting around it. Now with all the apple orchards in NY, and all the NY commercial beeks complaining about neonics, the state paid cornell to do a 2 year study, putting bees into orchards and analyzing the pollen in the hives. They found little or no neonics in the pollen, of course they said they would have to do further testing because the beeks weren't happy with the findings, but the apple growers were, I'll see if I can go find the study and post it.
 

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The commercial BK's I am referring to were local and moving their bees less than 100 miles from their apiaries. One of them mentioned that he had asked the orchard owner to refrain from spraying until he had removed his bees. When this was ignored it was the last time he pollinated the guy's orchard. Bees were moved at night.
 

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We do put clauses of repayment for colony losses during pollination in our contracts. Some farmers will agree to a percentage of a crop for colony losses, but there are many ways to write that up, and you need a signed agreement.

I once lost 7 colonies when the owner had enthusiastically agreed to not spray, but the laborers did not understand English and he spoke very limited Spanish. The laborer drove the tractor right in front of the hives with the spray rig oscillating and blasted the hives thoroughly, right in the entrances.

Malathion is a very effective bee killer as well.
 
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