View Full Version : Uh oh. This isn't good.

05-16-2014, 12:03 AM

This came out today. This is kind of a serious thing.

05-16-2014, 12:09 AM
Christ! Emergency?! Please ban the nicotinoid pesticides NOW!

05-16-2014, 12:46 AM
Amazing how they don't give a shit. At least Monsanto is getting pissed. Nothing like one bully pitted against another!

05-16-2014, 05:46 AM
There's the temporary EU ban for a few more years........

Maybe that'll give them enough data to bash big agri-chem over the head.......

05-16-2014, 09:24 AM
What I don't get is how "head in the sand" and shortsighted they are about their own future. Killing bees will very quickly cause their own products to be affected. Unless a worldwide food shortage and the rising prices is what they want. Look out! The black helicopters are coming! Better get my tin foil hat on. :)

Sometimes I wish it was really a super-smart evil genius instead of a bunch of greedy morons.

05-16-2014, 12:17 PM
There's a lot of misinformation in that article. Monsanto is the enemy posing as a friend. Trust them not and you'll be better for it.

Neonicotinoids have not been proven to be all that involved in the problem. As much as I'd like to point to them as a smoking gun, the data just doesn't add up. There was a recent "study" that came out that tried very hard to point in that direction, and the media has been jumping all over it, alarmist enough to make a good story I suppose. Bad science though; the guy running the study (Dr. Lu I believe) knows nothing about bees, his methodology was terrible, his sample size (18 hives) way too small to mean anything, and most importantly, the pesticide loads to which he exposed his bees was vastly higher than what might be expected in the field. As a result the hives died off, leaving dead bees everywhere. With cases of CCD there are typically very few if any dead bees in the hive. Essentially, this a-hole killed a bunch of bees, called it science, and started issuing press releases. Ugh.

I'm a huge fan of bees, obviously, and I want what's best for them, as I believe it is also best for us humans. What I don't want, is a bunch of bad science leading us in the wrong direction.

05-16-2014, 12:55 PM
Who, if anyone, published this Dr. Lu? Or is he a Monsanto grantee? That would make any of his results suspect.

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

05-16-2014, 01:12 PM
Icedmetal hit the nail on the head. One of the sessions at the UC Davis Meadmaker Short Course covered bees and CCD the lecturer was Eric Mussen and he had a lot of very interesting information regarding bees and their current situation.

Here's a small snippet:

Current analytical methods can identify residues of 171 parent compounds and major
breakdown products in parts per billion (ppb)
Researchers have found 122 of the 171 in adult bees, beeswax and stored pollens
Honey, being a water solution (hydrophilic), is not contaminated with these hydrophobic (lipophilic) chemicals

He covered toxicants in the environment from synthesized toxicants to naturally occuring toxicants, and many other subjects.

There will be another course this year, if you're serious about meadmaking, you won't want to miss it.


05-16-2014, 01:25 PM
Who, if anyone, published this Dr. Lu? Or is he a Monsanto grantee? That would make any of his results suspect.

Oh, he managed to get published, only barely. I'll dig up the info today if I get a chance, I have a link stashed around here somewhere...

05-17-2014, 10:59 AM
Here's one of the press releases. A couple internet searches should turn up the rash of real scientists getting upset over the study.


05-21-2014, 06:06 AM
The problem may be in the interaction between several compounds, although in subtoxic levels for each one, some of them used by beekeeper.

Itīs known that fluvalinate and cumafos lead the drones to oligospermia.

And the major problem is that the residues are acumulating in wax, raising every year itīs levels, as the processing of wax doesnīt remove them.
For instance, bromopropilate has been discharged in Germany at about nine years ago but its residues, today, are still found in wax...

The safety data sheet of Apistan (fluvalinate) says :

" 9.12 Solubility in water: insoluble at 20°C "

But its soluble in fats, so its in wax . When these levels are high, passes to polen and even to honey, where it may be found (see S. Bogdavov, V. Kilchenmann, A. Imdorf; Acaricide Residues in Beewax and Honey, 1997, Apiacta 3)
Sorry itīs in pdf and I canīt send the link but here is a summary :

We studied the contamination level of the acaricides Folbex VA (bromopropylate, BP), Perizin (coumaphos, CM) Apistan (fluvalinate, FV) and Bayvarol (flumethrine, FM) in brood combs, sugar feed, honey and in new beeswax. All samples were analysed by gas chromatography with ECD detection.
After one normal acaricide treatment, in autumn, the brood comb wax was contaminated by all these acaraicides with residues ranging from 0.03 to 48 mg/kg. The degree of contamination decreases in the following order: BP > FV ≈ CM >> FM.
The amount of these residues increases with the increase in the number or the duration of the treatments. The residues in the sugar feed were much smaller than in the corresponding brood comb wax and varied from 0.004 to 0.04 mg/kg. The residues in honey were all beyond the tolerance levels and varied from 0.003 to 0.015 mg/kg. The degree of contamination decreases in the following order: BP ≈ CM > FV. In a model study, we examined the behaviour of acaricide-contaminated old comb wax when melted into new beeswax.
The acaricide concentration in the new recycled was wax on average 1.7 times higher than in the old combs, regardless of the processing conditions (longer boiling times and higher temperatures). In 1995, the commercial samples in Switzerland contained 1 mg/kg CM, 2.5 mg/kg FV, 3.8 mg/kg BP and ≤ 0.25 mg/kg FM.
Keywords: residue, acaricide, beeswax, comb, feed, honey, fluvalinate, bromproplylate, coumaphos, flumethrine.

There are strange contradictions in the indications of laboratorys. For instance, Apivar (amitraz) in Europe, has no restricted entry interval for suppers in honey gathering (as for Canada, I think) but seven days (or ten, Iīm not sure but I read something about that) in US.

05-23-2014, 09:40 AM
One other thought I've had for a couple of years that I haven't seen much on (maybe that means it's not valid) is, I wonder how much of the colony collapse issue is due to cloning queens and having the same genetics over and over. I've had some experience cloning plants and after a number of generations of taking cuttings, the plant just finally fails (or perhaps collapse is a better word). When I get a new Queen, Package or Nuke, I always wonder both what beneficial genetic traits, and what potential detrimental genetics have I just introduced to my locale.

There are many examples of how monocultures are to the benefit of only the human selling the end product, could this be another example of where diversity is important to survival of the species?

05-23-2014, 11:11 AM
I don't think queens are not typically cloned; they're bred. I considered getting into queen breeding at one point, and did a bit of research on how it's done. While I'm sure there are researches out there cloning them for some reason or another, the queen you get with your package of bees, or even without the package, is not likely to have been cloned.

The breeding process can be somewhat selective, in that you would probably not want to breed queens in a weak hive. Once hatched, the queens have to mate, which is where they're getting the other half of the genetic material for all the workers. Drones don't have fathers though, weirdos that they are.

06-22-2014, 11:14 AM
Don't know if it'll do any good, but for better or worse...




06-22-2014, 11:26 AM
One thing beekeepers need to know is that removing honey and replacing it with corn sugar isn't something to be ignored. Although its been done for many years (not sure how long) this possibly isn't sustainable. One study came out showed that honey bees given corn sugar solution instead of honey were much more vulnerable to fungus and disease, due to a loss of enzymes that are stored in honey.

Secondly so it may not be a straight arrow that CCD is caused by neonicotinides, but they certainly aren't helping the bees, and if anything are going to damage them more. It is highly likely that the sheer diversity of pesticides and herbicides being used are what is causing CCD.

What we should really be concerned with here is that neonicotinides are definitely detrimental to bees. We don't know how much, due to the lower quality of the research done.

I highly doubt, though, that there is one single source of CCD. I am under the impression that it is from a great deal of stress, inbred-genetics, pesticides and herbicides, and lack of endogenous enzymes.

06-23-2014, 11:29 AM
One large factor you missed in the laundry list are the pests plaguing honeybees. Kinda like us humans run into problems with things like mosquitos, bees have their own blood suckers. One of the key perpetrators is the varroa mite, which seems to be very resilient through the various treatment methods folks have tried. My hives this year are just about infested with the damned things :( What's more, most of the treatments aren't safe to apply while there are honey supers on the hives, so beekeepers are incentivized, in the short term at least, not to treat at all. In the long term, varroa and whatever other of the cacophony of factors out there come together and take down the hive.

06-24-2014, 10:45 PM
The best work I have seen on this seems to be pointing at neonics as the straw that broke the camel's back. Apis mellifera has been relying heavily on its immune system to get it through tracheal and varroa mites, a host of viruses, Nosema ceranae and various other biological threats. For years we had clean, very healthy bees, and over the last few decades, they have been dealing with an increasing number of threats, and rebounding just enough to stay viable. Neonics appear to be just debilitating enough to their overtaxed immune systems that they are no longer able to fight off the other threats.



06-24-2014, 11:01 PM
So what are we to do? Is there one fix that may not cure the problem completely but shift the balance back? Or are we looking at a tipping point situation?

Sent from my galafreyan transdimensional communicator 100 years from now. G

06-24-2014, 11:22 PM
Think of humans as yeast. Yeast evolved to use sugar and produce ethanol which acts as a toxin to other organisms, giving them the ability to survive where most other things can't. The problem is, eventually this advantage turns against them and is poisonous to they're own lives. In completely uninterrupted nature, yeast will only grow to a certain colony size that is maintainable, and once ethanol reaches harmful levels, the yeast will actually metabolize the ethanol and use it as a food source. However, when a yeast colony is too successful, it produces too much ethanol, too quickly, and self destructs. It's natures way of fighting against total annihilation: if one species becomes too successful, it has to be tempered back or else all life would be taken over by it and what happens when it dies? Nature thrives on variation, without it, evolution would not progress.
Right now, humans seem to be making a lot of ethanol, to continue the metaphor, and only time will tell if we can start cutting back, or if we continue to self destruction. Note that this destruction does not necessarily mean the end of the road, without dinosaurs we would not have birds, maybe humans will learn to live properly, or we'll turn into something else that can.

P.S. That sounds really deusch-like, or profound; it's amazing how thin that line is. ;)

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Chevette Girl
07-07-2014, 09:06 PM
Just found this (http://globalnews.ca/news/1436337/garden-centre-flowers-test-positive-for-bee-killing-pesticide-study-says/)article... at least it looks like Ontario's going in the right direction, every little bit helps.