• SBAi Extra!!

    Help us Map Varroa - a new survey by and for members
    Pesticide background - learn about the existing science
    Bee Breeding Workshop - presentations and resources from Nov 2010
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. Neils's Avatar
      Neils -
      Interesting and useful stuff Gavin, hope there's more to come.
    1. gavin's Avatar
      gavin -
      These three are all things that add to articles in the Scottish Beekeeper and the link is given in the magazine. Two of them are in the issue that dropped through my letter box today.

      We have talked about linking focussed SBAi debates and the magazine, but we haven't done anything about that yet.
    1. Neils's Avatar
      Neils -
      I have to guiltily admit to not having this months newsletter so hadn't spottedthst bit.
    1. Stromnessbees's Avatar
      Stromnessbees -
      Gavin's version of the pesticide background - that's just Gavin doing what Gavin does best: cherrypicking those morsels of science that suit his view of the world.

      For a slightly different and more realistic collection of studies about pesticides visit http://www.panna.org/sites/default/f...AL_May2012.pdf
    1. Jon's Avatar
      Jon -
      Panna (pesticide Action Network) is an organization which campaigns for the reduction or elimination of pesticide use.
      Fair enough, laudable aims, but hardly going to give an impartial view.
      I read this report 10 days ago, a week before borderbeeman posted it all over the internet a couple of days ago, and made some criticism of it on Bee-L , specifically with regard to the Mullin et al paper on chemicals found in bee colonies and the gratuitous slurs against scientists working in the field of pesticide research.
      I have read most of the papers referenced in this study.
      They have been selected to back up the case against pesticide use and do not represent an overview of the current literature. There are many studies which have shown that honeybees are not affected by neonicotinoid pesticides at field realistic levels and not one of them has been included in this report.
      I wonder why.

      Gavin's review is a year old. I suggested to him a while back that it could be updated to add some of the more recent papers which look at the relationship between bees and pesticides.
    1. Stromnessbees's Avatar
      Stromnessbees -
      This documentary shows a neonicotinoid pesticide, Imidacloprid, killing bees in the field as they gather nectar on flowers:
      (from 7:00) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9boue...feature=relmfu

      When this pesticide is applied at high levels, it acts as a nerve poison that paralyses the bee. Those who are not killed outright become disorientated and cannot find their way back to the hive.

      At lower concentrations, so called sublethal doses, the pesticide is carried into the hive with nectar and pollen, where it affects the colony on many levels:

      It affects communication within the colony, suppresses grooming and cleaning behaviour and interferes with the normal development of worker and queen larvae.

      The colony as a whole will become a lot more susceptible to other challenges like varroa and nosema, affected queens will be superceded more often and affected winter bees will die early, leaving behind an empty hive a classic symptom of CCD.

      For anybody who doubts the delayed effects of this neonicotinoid on the colony I recommend to look at adverts for Premise 75, which is the same chemical aimed at killing termites, a group of insects related to bees which also live in colonies:

      The intent is not to kill the individual termite on contact, but to cause the collapse of the whole colony due to secondary infections as the pesticide is distributed by the workers.
      Please also notice the deliberate long lasting effectiveness in the soil, as these chemicals are very persistent and will affect insect live for a long time wherever they have been applied, or they get moved into ground water and streams, thus contaminating drinking water and killing invertebrates that are at the basis of a whole ecosystem.

      Anybody who is concerned about bees, nature conservation and human health should closely examine the action of these chemicals and the motivations of anybody who defends their use in the face of all the evidence against them.
    1. The Drone Ranger's Avatar
      The Drone Ranger -
      Lost again
      I thought this would be comments on the varroa map

      So here's one anyway --It doesn't change much and its not very visually attractive
      (everyone's a critic these days)

      Nurse can I have my pills now?