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Thread: Is this the worst science yet on neonics?

  1. #1
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Default Is this the worst science yet on neonics?

    And it comes under the banner of Harvard.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/environ...hows-1-3405681

    'Man poisons bee hives with high doses of insecticides - continues to do so after being pilloried for his bad science previously'

    That would be my headline.

    From the Scotsman:

    'Prof Lus latest findings, published in the Bulletin of Insectology, have shown low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect on bees. He said: We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honey bee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter. '

    Appalling stuff. The amounts used approached the known LD50 levels, the levels at which half the insects exposed in short-term trials died. Amount about a hundred-fold higher than they may be getting from OSR, which my bees are guzzling enthusiastically at the moment when the sun comes out. But these days at Harvard you can poison bees with known toxic levels of insecticide and claim that you are revealing CCD.

    Randy Oliver on his earlier work:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/the-...noids-and-ccd/

    Jim Fischer on Bee-L today:

    Medhat pointed out a NEW paper by our man at Harvard, Dr. Chensheng Lu.

    http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org...-125-130lu.pdf
    http://tinyurl.com/lgvec22

    we administered 258 g of imidacloprid or clothianidin in 1.9
    liter (0.5 gallon) of sucrose water and HFCS to the treated
    colonies each week, respectively, for thirteen consecutive weeks
    ending on September 17th 2012.

    Back of the envelope time:

    258 g in 1.9 liters of feed = 258/1.9 = 135.78 g/L.

    1 g/L = 1 ppb, so 135 g/L = 135 ppb

    Bayers own FAQ says that the acute oral LD50 for Imidacloprid is 0.005
    g/bee, which equals 192 ppb
    http://bee-quick.com/reprints/imd/BayerFAQ.pdf‎
    http://tinyurl.com/kjrrsoh

    Is the difference between 192 ppb and 135 ppb worth pondering? Or even
    discussing? This looks like a fatal dose level for almost, but not quite
    half the bees who are fed the dose.

    For clothiandin, the EPA says that the LD50 > 0.0439 g/bee, roughly 10x the
    LD50 for Imidacloprid.

    http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/chem_sea...on/fs_PC-04430
    9_30-May-03.pdf
    http://tinyurl.com/kq2j8qt

    So, my rough calculations say that the study should show very bad news for
    Imidacloprid-treated hives and perhaps some brood impact on the
    Clothiandin-treated hives, but certainly less mortality. While they did NOT
    kill the Imidacloprid-treated hives anywhere near as quickly as I would have
    expected, they did see worse results for Imidacloprid.

    Note that the LD50 is the dose where half the bees die quickly, so if you
    get anywhere near the LD50 dose, you should still see significant acute
    mortality.

    "The Return of Dr. Lu"... too bad Vincent Price has died, as he would be the
    best person to play the lead role in the film version of something with that
    sort of a name.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    It is probably the second worst study. The first one he did is the worst.

    The usual suspects are quick to jump on the bandwagon without any real understanding of the junk science.

    Damian in the Guardian

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Jon is right … not the worst, and not the last.

    Bulletin of Insectology … Impact Factor ~0.375. My loo roll is read - and cited - by more scientists than that. Impact Factors are not a great indication of scientific worth of individual manuscripts - you can get worthless papers in journals with high impact factors, but you generally do not get stellar papers in impact factors that are close to zero.

    Note also the figure legend in the Guardian article … "Colony Collapse Disorder, reported in the US, has now spread to the UK."

    er, no.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Damian is the guy who frequently confuses bumblebee studies with honeybee studies.
    His name appears beside almost all the Guardian neonic scare stories.
    He hasn't got a clue.

    The unfortunate thing is that this pointless study is already all over Facebook, linked to petitions, on the tree hugger websites etc.
    Loads of beekeepers will take it seriously.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Doesn't hold back, does he?!

    Sent from my BlackBerry 8520 using Tapatalk

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    Cracking stuff! He's the main reason I have a subscription to the ABJ.

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Also worth reading is Alan Dove …

    On the original paper and the most recent one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    "The problem lies in that Lus research isnt about trying to learn something about CCD; rather, it is to support a preconceived agenda ..."

    Which is exactly the allegations now being levelled at researchers (and the BBC for their biased reporting) for omitting data which would favour 'the opposition'. Seems that some scientists have forgotten about impartiality and the search for truth, and have become activists instead. http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/scienc...cle4091344.ece

    Worrying times - who do we now believe ?

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Tks for the links facinating reading.

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