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Thread: What will brexit mean for British Pollinators

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Default What will brexit mean for British Pollinators

    As usual these press reports only seem to talk about Honey bees I suppose it grabs peoples attention. I wouldn't hold my breath as the EU Parliament blocked an EU Commission proposal which would have exempted some chemicals in pesticides from being identified as endocrine disruptors, on Wednesday.MEPs say that the Commission exceeded its mandate by proposing to exempt substances which are actually designed to attack an organismís endocrine system, e.g. in pests, from the identification criteria.
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/e...ome-pesticides

    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/will-...-britains-bees

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    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    I suspect that the current ban will remain and over time neonics will have more and more restrictions placed upon their use. The UK will on occasions resist the ban but eventually come into line with the EU if the science is clear. However beekeepers have not reported problems with their bees with neonic treated OSR so do we need to worry apart from the alternative treatments that might be used?

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    Actually the question is "What will Brexit mean?" And the blunt answer is if anyone says they know they are lying.

    PH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    However beekeepers have not reported problems with their bees with neonic treated OSR so do we need to worry apart from the alternative treatments that might be used?
    We should worry about the alternatives and more particularly about their method of application.....spraying. I think of spraying as instant kill of any insect it touches.
    We should also worry that the current ban on using Neonics on flowering crops like OSR has not seen (to my limited knowledge) any increase in numbers in the pollinator species it was supposed to protect.
    Discuss at leisure.
    A good starting point might be why are we surprised that an insecticide has an affect on bees (insects).

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    At my last apiary, some crops were sprayed 17 times in total. The rotation was wheat, OSR, field beans then maize and sometimes a break crop which was usually something useful for the bees. Most of the sprays were actually fertilisers and the bulk of the rest weedkillers. If they were spraying for insects they told me and did it responsibly. Not all sprays are lethal by a very long chalk.

    PH

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    We live in a world where we need to be partners with our farmers, not their enemies. Strident voices get the farmers backs up and we get a lot of difficult conversations headed our way. They would prefer no bees at all on their land rather than get hassle.
    We are always conciliatory in our tone and generally get a good relationship from it and consideration from our farmers. Once we become a problem to them...with militant attitudes on spraying for example, which, as polyhive states, is more or less harmless in most cases, there is only going to be one outcome........take your **** bees somewhere else!

    As for Brexit? Will make little practical difference at an amateur beekeeping level. At the professional level it is likely to make for a shortage of staff although it appears we may be able to get Asian labour in to fill the jobs the locals don't want, and the prices of bee feeds will become very unstable. Without CAP we might end up with more 'safe option' crops, which are rarely good news for bees. Fruit may largely disappear due to shortage of labour, already local farms are reporting only about 40% of their staffing needs are being met due to Brexit fears and an increase in 'its now ok to be racist' abuse, albeit more so in England than in Scotland. They try hiring locals. One farm near here hired a crew of locals to fill a gap left due to the shortage and had ONE left from 10 after only 4 hours (4 no shows and 5 jacked it in first morning), and that one left at the end of the first week. Planting strawberries not to their liking. Its got the potential to be very messy, and folk manipulated by the propaganda (both ways) are going to be left rather deflated by what they get.

    If it is about bee related stuff? Well markets and sources are possibly going to become more widespread. The EU was quite protectionist (from which we gained) and what comes next is still unknown, but those wanting import bans are likely to be left empty handed as they will not risk lucrative trade deals over something as minor as the bee trade. FWIW...despite the noise from some circles, imports appear to be rising in popularity, not declining.

    Honey prices could come under pressure as the EU had significant and variable import tariffs. If these come off then a lot of honey will become considerably cheaper, which it might not have a huge effect in our niche, will certainly make higher prices more difficult to achieve. Duty might come off bee appliances which might put some pressure on domestic manufacturers, although I suspect that's not a big issue as duty is not high.

    So much uncertainty, so many risks, so many little potential autocrats out there looking to gain power from it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poly Hive View Post
    Not all sprays are lethal by a very long chalk.

    PH
    Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. I was referring to spraying with insecticides, not fertilizers and anti-fungicides etc. As someone who regularly moves bees to rape fields and the like. I'm well aware of the many different sprays used by farmers. And I'm also used to their consideration when using insecticides, as they are having to currently do due to neonic ban.
    My comments refer to after Neonics when (currently) the only option is to spray with insecticides, such as pyrethroids, organophosphates etc; which are pretty lethal to most insects they come in contact with.
    I'm sure the same considerations by farmers towards beekeepers will still apply, in most cases.
    Last edited by Thymallus; 09-03-2018 at 07:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calluna4u View Post
    The EU was quite protectionist (from which we gained) and what comes next is still unknown, but those wanting import bans are likely to be left empty handed as they will not risk lucrative trade deals over something as minor as the bee trade. FWIW...despite the noise from some circles, imports appear to be rising in popularity, not declining.

    .
    Not sure I can agree with EU protectionism when I see 1lb jars of honey in supermarkets at sale for 1£ (or 99p).....All produce of non EU countries.
    Perhaps I've misunderstood what you mean by EU protectionism.
    From what I've seen in the states they have a very protectionist policy to protect their local honey prices against cheap imports. Anti-dumping tax?
    Last edited by Thymallus; 09-03-2018 at 07:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thymallus View Post
    Not sure I can agree with EU protectionism when I see 1lb jars of honey in supermarkets at sale for 1£ (or 99p).....All produce of non EU countries.
    Perhaps I've misunderstood what you mean by EU protectionism.
    From what I've seen in the states they have a very protectionist policy to protect their local honey prices against cheap imports. Anti-dumping tax?
    There is significant duty on honey entering the EU unless it is from countries that meet certain criteria.............including getting onto the list of approved countries in the first place. The duty on Chinese for example is stiff.

    However, when you see really cheap honey on the shelves (ditto cheaper than bulk price sugar) what you are often seeing is the retailer doing loss leading. That's not a lot to do with EU import policies. If the duties come off post Brexit you might well see loss leader generic 'honey' at 70p instead. The '..' is not by accident......

    US anti dumping taxes are on specific products and apply only to certain origins. The rocketing availability in honey from some previously minor provenances, and the absence of a Chinese honey mountain, when the EU bans and US dumping duties were both in place just tells you it was getting to its market anyway, just round about the houses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calluna4u View Post
    The rocketing availability in honey from some previously minor provenances, and the absence of a Chinese honey mountain, when the EU bans and US dumping duties were both in place just tells you it was getting to its market anyway, just round about the houses.
    Exactly, hence my doubts about protectionism. I've seen the USA data where certain non honey producing countries (South Vietnam?/South Korea?) suddenly become major exporters for "Chinese Honey".
    Hell of a loss leader if UK retailers are knocking out foreign honey at 99p for a 1lb jar. The Uk supermarkets are obviously not playing protect the UK bees.
    Although I recently saw Tesco had some (advertised as) genuine English creamed honey (came from Wales) at £7.50 for 12oz along side all the foreign stuff.

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