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Thread: Are neonicotinoid pesticides responsible for the demise of bees and other wildlife?

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    Default Are neonicotinoid pesticides responsible for the demise of bees and other wildlife?

    A link to the above article has appeared on the Orkney Beekeepers website although it wasn't posted by Doris I'm sure she will be along shortly.

    http://markavery.info/2012/07/09/gue...rss&utm_medium

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    Banned Stromnessbees's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Great Artilce

    Thanks for posting this, Lindsay, yes, it's a very good article.

    Here a short taster:

    In 1991, Bayer CropScience introduced a new type of insecticide into the US; imidacloprid, the first member of a group now known as the neonicotinoids. Bayer Scientist Abbink certified that: “imidacloprid is the first highly effective insecticide whose mode of action has been found to derive from almost complete and virtually irreversible blockage of post synaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in the central nervous system (CNS) of insects.” Imidacloprid differed from conventional spray pesticides in that it could be used as seed dressings or soil treatments. When used as a seed dressing the insecticide will migrate from the stem to the leaf tips, and eventually into the flowers and pollen. Bees, bumblebees, hoverflies and butterflies that collect contaminated pollen or nectar from the crop will ingest a small dose of the toxin, but any insect that feeds on the crop will eventually die. ...

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Hi Lindsay.
    That will be the demise some of us call as a 3 - 4 fold increase in colony numbers in the Uk in the past few years!!!
    But I guess that is just another inconvenient fact.

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    This is the usual hand-wringing, emotional, unsubstantiated, campaigning stuff.

    Shall we try another quote?

    Quote Originally Posted by That campaigning blog thing

    What is the truth about the Varroa mite?


    Pesticide companies and their supporters blame Varroa mite, or one of the many viruses that have been found in dead and dying bees, for Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). However, infection with Varroa, or any of these pathogens, is a symptom, not a cause.
    OK then, nice to see that sorted. Varroa and viruses aren't a problem, just a symptom. If it wasn't for neonics then Varroa wouldn't be a problem, it is just the canary in the coalmine or something and we'd all be living in harmony. Utter bollocks, and typical of the wooly thinking going round (and round and round) some circles. Were these poor naive folk actually fed this garbage during their trip to Orkney or did they pick it up elsewhere?

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    So our bees attract varroa because they've been in contact with pesticides? Strange conclusion.

    I have read the whole article, by the way.

    If the situation is as bad as they suggest then I don't understand why we, here, aren't noticing the decline in bumble bees and other insects, and why plenty of beekeepers I know are more than happy to drive several miles to take their bees to fields of oil seed rape and other forage crops grown by arable farmers.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stromnessbees View Post
    Thanks for posting this, Lindsay, yes, it's a very good article.
    I never said I agreed with the above article. I just posted the link to keep the neonicotinoid pot boiling.

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    My bees were last exposed to neonics about 4 years ago. When can I look forward to all the mites dying?

    Steve

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    That strange, My colonies were checked eg brood, wax and bees by Keele University for pesticides and any other chemicals that may be in the hives and the results came back. There were no pesticides detected. But I am certain those wee red things I keep seeing are varroa.

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    Oh No! That means that Keele's been bought off as well. We're all doomed.

    Steve

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Shhh, guys! You'll upset Doris who, by now, will be convinced that you don't need to keep Varroa out of Orkney after all, just the neonics.

    On Radio Scotland yesterday the journalist said that bumble bees had halved in number and it was all down to a virus. Actually, come to think of it, maybe she was mixing up long-term established honeybee declines and recent work on DWV, but you do get the impression that with bees truth just doesn't matter any more. Make up stuff and push it out there, no-one will mind.

    Lindsay, umm, thanks for posting! Maybe you could now do the people of Orkney a favour and link on the Orkney Yahoo site to the assessment here of the Mason/Thomas fantasy? You can even continue to sit on the fence if you like!

    Here's some more of that quality blog that Doris loves so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mason and Thomas fantasy bloggers

    Immune suppression associated with the neonicotinoids


    Three papers between 2009 and 2012 from Bee Researchers in France and the US show that the administration of tiny amounts of various systemic neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, thiacloprid) and fipronil, to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) bees was associated with a weakening of bee immunity, such that they became more susceptible to bee diseases. In fact, although Varroa mite had been identified earlier, it wasn’t until 1995 that it started killing bee colonies in the US. In 2006, full CCD was confirmed in the US, the same time as massive declines in bats were reported as a result of infection with a fungal pathogen, which causes White Nose Syndrome. This pathogen has wiped out whole bat colonies in many parts of the US.
    I presume that they are trying to say that the neonics caused the virulence of both Varroa and the bat pathogen? Or was it that CCD stopped bats navigating home because they all got dizzy? Maybe that the bat fungus jumped to bees (neonic-aided, of course) and that was the real cause of CCD? I'm confused, but I suspect that our blogging duo are too. All goes to show what a difficult multifactorial world we live in, when amounts of toxin that just can't be detected have amazingly potent effects not when the bees are really exposed but 4-5 bee generations later.

    Why not the Black Death too? OK, it started in Europe back in 1348 but I'm sure some enterprising environmentalist can make a link to modern pesticides somehow. Bayer's predecessors must have been around then, surely?

    The blog makes much of the reputed splat-o-meter data. If there is real data of that type. They also laud the biodiversity remaining on Orkney. I do too. The reason should be blindingly obvious. We've wrecked much of the habitat that once existed in farming areas. The plough, the bulldozer, the herbicides, the drainage works, the fertilisers. Drive through parts of eastern England and there is little left for wildlife. Even parts of the Carse of Gowrie. But here and there there are oases of habitat like there used to be. My favourited orchard (in a sustainably managed estate but with conventional agriculture and neonic-laced OSR nearby) has butterflies, rare lichens, orchids, other flowers, flies (damn those clegs - it has more than its fair share!), woodpeckers, even a nightjar recently. It is just big enough to sustain populations of these things. We need a much more level-headed approach to conserving and expanding these remaining treasures, and not the fantasy world inhabited by some of those who get their words all over the beekeeping press, the mainstream press, the blogosphere, the media.

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