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Harvard Study Links Neonicotinoid Pesticide To Colony Collapse Disorder

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-bees? dept.

Earth 217

walterbyrd (182728) writes in with news about a new study from Harvard School of Public Health that links two widely used neonicotinoids to Colony Collapse Disorder. "Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), or the widespread population loss of honeybees, may have been caused by the use of neonicotinoids, according to a new study out of Harvard University. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides, chemically similar to nicotine. They were first developed for agricultural use in the 1980's by petroleum giant Shell. The pesticides were refined by Bayer the following decade. Two of these chemicals are now believed to be the cause of CCD, according to the new study from the School of Public Health at the university. This study replicated their own research performed in 2012."

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It must be bad! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976439)

Neonicotinoid sounds like nicotine, which is in CIGARETTES, which means SMOKING, which is bad Bad BAD!

Re:It must be bad! (3, Funny)

dimko (1166489) | about 6 months ago | (#46976901)

Not sure if we on same boat with captain Obvious or we are rolling with captain Trolling.

Re:It must be bad! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976903)

hehehehe niggers. yeah. i said it. black folk respect me for it too.

Who would have guessed? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976443)

Insect poison found to be harmful to insects. Imagine that!

Re:Who would have guessed? (5, Informative)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46976651)

The neonicotinoids have been seen as a great advancement in insecticides because they are toxic to insects, but much less so to mammals. Compare them with chemicals like DDT, which are effective against insects, but kill the higher orders in the food chain that eat them.

The problem with them is that they are extremely effective at disrupting bees - about 1/150 of the dose needed to kill other insects is enough to confuse bees. And the products are advertised as rose and garden insecticides, which are naturally attractive to bees. It only takes a few bees worth of nectar gathering to bring down a colony.

Re:Who would have guessed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976929)

Of course none of this shit is needed with organic farming.

Re:Who would have guessed? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977039)

Yes, because organic farming is strictly limited to older pesticides, many of which are even more deadly, especially to humans.

I prefer progress in my food.

Re: Who would have guessed? (5, Insightful)

burne (686114) | about 6 months ago | (#46977439)

Enough neonicotionoid progress and you might have nothing left to eat. Or take turns pollinating the plants that will become your food with a brush.

Re:Who would have guessed? (3, Informative)

Freultwah (739055) | about 6 months ago | (#46977663)

Organic farming uses natural pesticides, such as specific plants and plant infusions that insects are averse to, and those are not used to spray the crops, they are strategically planted or placed in the field. And they are completely harmless to humans. Where did you get that ‘older pesticides’ nonsense?

Re:Who would have guessed? (2, Informative)

delt0r (999393) | about 6 months ago | (#46977725)

You should go visit an organic farm. It is clearly not what you think it is.

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

squizzar (1031726) | about 6 months ago | (#46977791)

There's an awful lot of stuff you could make from plants that isn't exactly 'friendly' if used in high enough quantity or concentration. Reduction ad absurdum: Crude oil is simply the remains of zooplankton and algae after heat and pressure has been applied for some time... would you spray a field with it? Just because it's from a 'natural' source doesn't mean it's harmless.

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

Poingggg (103097) | about 6 months ago | (#46977695)

Yes, because organic farming is strictly limited to older pesticides, many of which are even more deadly, especially to humans.

I prefer progress in my food.

The point of organic farming is NOT to use any pesticides. What you say here is total nonsense. (I could have mentioned manure produced by male bovines too).

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

delt0r (999393) | about 6 months ago | (#46977735)

Where does this come from. Organic farming has never been about that. Organic farms use pesticide and fungicides, how else do you think that crops doing get naturally eaten before harvest otherwise?

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

Poingggg (103097) | about 6 months ago | (#46977765)

Where does this come from. Organic farming has never been about that. Organic farms use pesticide and fungicides, how else do you think that crops doing get naturally eaten before harvest otherwise?

A poster before me in this thread has already answered that one. See http://news.slashdot.org/comme... [slashdot.org]

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

conureman (748753) | about 6 months ago | (#46977779)

Organic farms use pesticide and fungicides

No, they don't.

Re: Who would have guessed? (2, Informative)

Entrope (68843) | about 6 months ago | (#46977805)

Science (or at least Scientific American) disagrees with you: http://blogs.scientificamerica... [scientificamerican.com]

Re: Who would have guessed? (3, Insightful)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | about 6 months ago | (#46977857)

"copper and sulfur" if that's the worst examples he can come up with of pesticides used in organic farming I'll take it.

Organic farms do use pesticides (5, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about 6 months ago | (#46977899)

The point of organic farming is NOT to use any pesticides

Organic farms frequently DO use pesticides [wikipedia.org] and in fact eliminating the use of pesticides completely is extremely challenging.

Nothing wrong with organic farming methods but what people think is involved with organic farming and how it really is conducted can differ greatly. Organic means very specific things but what it doesn't mean is just as important. There are enormous loopholes in what organic means and other terms like "natural" essentially mean nothing at all.

Re:Who would have guessed? (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46977835)

The neonicotinoids have been seen as a great advancement in insecticides because they are toxic to insects, but much less so to mammals. Compare them with chemicals like DDT, which are effective against insects, but kill the higher orders in the food chain that eat them.

The problem with them is that they are extremely effective at disrupting bees - about 1/150 of the dose needed to kill other insects is enough to confuse bees. And the products are advertised as rose and garden insecticides, which are naturally attractive to bees. It only takes a few bees worth of nectar gathering to bring down a colony.

Which makes it interesting. CCD has been shown to be far less prevalent in Urban areas where these very plants are often found.

Re:Who would have guessed? (4, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#46976659)

Indeed. Unfortunately, from what I've been able to gather, they merely identified that neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and cause CCD symptoms, without drawing any sort of correlation between the rise of the CCD pandemic and the rise of neonicotinoids in the market, let alone demonstrating that as neonicotinoids spread to various regions, CCD spread with it.

It's one thing to say "hemlock is poisonous to humans". It's quite another to say "Socrates died from drinking hemlock". Kudos to them for identifying something that's harmful to bees and seems to cause CCD, but finding a cause for CCD is quite different from finding the cause for the CCD pandemic. I hope they can provide evidence of the latter.

Re:Who would have guessed? (0, Flamebait)

plover (150551) | about 6 months ago | (#46976723)

While actual evidence would be good, it will likely never be "proven" in the same way that for fifty years, smoking was never "proven" to cause lung cancer.

Imidaclopirid is a really useful insecticide, and I am not at all thrilled that it might be completely banned. It works perfectly in greenhouses and indoors. Perhaps instead of banning it, they could increase the number of beehives by a factor of ten? Or maybe they could breed imidaclopirid-resistant bees?

Or maybe I just have to buy a 50-year supply of the stuff.

Re:Who would have guessed? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 6 months ago | (#46976883)

Heaven forbid we ever wean ourselves of a harmful product.

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977045)

> increase the number of beehives by a factor of ten

Who will pay for this ? The consumer of course. The question - if you throw away ecological concerns - then is: is that worth it economically, or is dropping these neonicotinoids better?

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

conureman (748753) | about 6 months ago | (#46977803)

increase the number of beehives by a factor of ten

What new arable lands have you discovered?

Re:Who would have guessed? (5, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | about 6 months ago | (#46977509)

Imidaclopirid is a really useful insecticide, and I am not at all thrilled that it might be completely banned. It works perfectly in greenhouses and indoors. Perhaps instead of banning it, they could increase the number of beehives by a factor of ten? Or maybe they could breed imidaclopirid-resistant bees?

Banning the substance might be an incentive for them to develop something better, which has been better tested? Historically, that is the way things have always progressed - some new substance is hailed the new panacea, it is then discovered to be too dangerous in certain respects; then follows the usual struggle with those whose greed far outweighs their concern for the harm they cause. Just look at the history of things like opium, then heroin, cocaine, strychnine, arsenic etc.

Personally, I think there are many more factors involved in CCD, and all have to do with people who cut corners to increase profit. There is little doubt that these poisons play an important role, and it would be a good idea to ban them. But we also need to address the other factors:

- Farmers that spray over open flowers and far too often, thereby loading the environment with poisons.
- Beekeepers who lug hundreds or thousands of colonies around the country on lorries, spreading diseases and parasites, as well as stressing the bees.
- Monocultures of both bees and crops.

These are all difficult problems to solve, but they are not impossible. Farmers can be educated - the modern farmer is already highly educated, so of course they can learn better practices. There are many ways to encourage local beekeeping in favour of these huge, industrial scale setups; an outright ban might be worth considering. Yes, those huge beekeepers might go out of business, but is that any worse than, say, closing a factory in Detroit? And it will open the market for the small, local beekeepers.

As for monocultures - there is probably a good middle ground between the gigantic monocultures we see, especially in the US, and the complete mixing of crops in the same field. In many countries you will find that farms have a variety of crops - relatively small fields of monocultures, but differents crops in each field, a model which still allows for mechanical harvesting and high yields, and which is better for the environment in general.

As for bees - there are 20000 known species of bees, all of which play a role in pollination, but we only keep one species. And in fact, we only keep a small subset of that one species - the subset that has been optimised for honey yield, ease of management etc.

What really gets me up in arms is this attitude of giving up without even trying - "It sounds like it migh be inconvenient, so I don't want that". We have progressed this far by solving problems and changing our habits, by being willing to face reality and overcome challenges.

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977867)

You left out the factor that most beekeepers take all the honey from the hive, and give them sugar water or corn syrup to replace it.

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46977487)

Well, yeah, he swore he would kill her, he was holding the gun that shot her to death and was standing over her dead body, and OK, the gun was still warm from firing and sure, there was nobody else around within a 20 mile radius, but I swear, he's totally innocent!

They showed the stuff causes CCD, nobody disputes that it is used on crops. We already know that CCD is a bad thing, so we have enough reason to stop using it. They're saying hemlock is poisonous to humans, here is Socrates dead and this half empty cup contains hemlock. The correct conclusion is not that he died of old age.

Re:Who would have guessed? (2)

jabuzz (182671) | about 6 months ago | (#46977549)

Really because I watched a documentary about this on the BBC a while back. In the USA in CCD all the bees just disappear from the hives. In the U.K. they all end up dead literally just outside the hive. So clearly CCD is different between the USA and the UK, yet neonicotinoids are being blamed both sides of the Atlantic.

I would also note that there is no CCD in Australia last I heard, and although I have no direct evidence it seems unlikely that they are not using neonicotinoid based insecticides.

It is highly unlikely that CCD is down to one single cause, and while neonicotinoid based insecticides might play a part it is far from proven.

Re:Who would have guessed? (2)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46977721)

That was well explained in TFA. The insecticide leaves them much more vulnerable to parasites (if any) that might attack them.

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976719)

....and it takes a Harvard Study of the obvious before it occurs to the general public that it may be true. Thank goodness for Harvard's timely assertion of the obvious, after the fact. Where would we be without them...

Re:Who would have guessed? (0)

Urquhardt (3529035) | about 6 months ago | (#46977421)

And how many times do the Religious Right and others have to be hit over the head before they believe the science? Joe Public is probably not even aware of how fragile ecosystems are and the damage being done.

Re:Who would have guessed? (1)

bennyp (809286) | about 6 months ago | (#46977497)

Insect poison found to be harmful to insects. Imagine that!

Poppycock!

The 111th explanation... (2, Funny)

pigiron (104729) | about 6 months ago | (#46976445)

for colony collapse. Stay tuned next week for the 112th.

Re:The 111th explanation... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976525)

Slavery causes colony death. It was the first star trek moral lesson.

Re:The 111th explanation... (0, Flamebait)

pigiron (104729) | about 6 months ago | (#46976577)

Then how did we end up with 45 million African-Americans?

Re:The 111th explanation... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976667)

Then how did we end up with 45 million African-Americans?

the better question is - how do we get rid of them?

Re:The 111th explanation... (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 6 months ago | (#46976863)

for colony collapse. Stay tuned next week for the 112th.

This was one of the original explanations before you "how could insecticides be bad for nice, friendly bees" types got started with the propaganda.

Re:The 111th explanation... (0)

pigiron (104729) | about 6 months ago | (#46977079)

When did I ever say insecticides were good for bees? The myriad previous explanations for colony collapse have always prominently included various insecticides as part of the reason. Which is what you should learn to do: reason (and learn to read what is actually written while you are at it.)

Re:The 111th explanation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977533)

This was always the explanation, it's just not the explanation Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer wanted. So they talked about nonsense like cell towers, mites and other junk theories rather then admit that this all started right after this new generation of insecticides being introduced. It does raise the interesting question about how these companies can introduce new insecticides without seeing what they do to "good" insects like bees? The preferred corporate solution is to counter this poison with antidotes, and strengthen up the commercial worker bees by feeding them chemicals. These companies cannot be trusted to do due diligence, and the only effective government involvement has been the EU doing a total ban. hopefully less toxic pest fighting products like this will come to market soon: http://www.ted.com/talks/nathan_myhrvold_could_this_laser_zap_malaria .

I'm supporting organics, because it's less likely that I'd be eating small amounts of poison, as well as the corporate ag is really bad science and a scam to take profit from farmers (starting from plowing, fertilizer, seeds, pesticides, etc.). See the science improving: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-till_farming

Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977907)

EMF radiation was always the explanation, it's just not the explanation Verizon, Sprint and AT&T wanted. So they talked about nonsense like pesticides, mites and other junk theories.

The answer is in marketing (4, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | about 6 months ago | (#46976453)

Pesticides need to come with graphic images of deformed bee larvae covering at least 50% of the packaging. And we need to ban pesticide company sponsorship from gardening events (except lawnmower races, they can go a few more years before we ban it from there).

Re:The answer is in marketing (1, Interesting)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#46976617)

Pesticides need to come with graphic images of deformed bee larvae covering at least 50% of the packaging.

As a non-apiarist, I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'd be wondering why the slimy white things were on the package. I don't even know what healthy bee larvae look like, so how am I supposed to recognize deformed one?

If "the answer is in marketing", I'd strongly suggest they hire someone else to come up with a message that better communicates the point.

Re:The answer is in marketing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976753)

If you were going for a joke, you failed miserably and should be ashamed.

If you weren't joking... just fucking kill yourself.

Re:The answer is in marketing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976865)

If you were going for a joke, you failed miserably and should be ashamed.

If you weren't joking... just fucking kill yourself.

so let's suppose you say that to some random internet stranger one day. just like you did a thousand times before. only this time, the person actually does kill themselves. right after reading your post. and you find out about it. how are you supposed to feel?

sure, if they do it so easily they were on the edge anyway. but who is to say they would not have found help and hope if they never read your "recommendation"? how could you ever rule that out? in what way would you bear no guilt at all?

be careful what you wish for.

Re:The answer is in marketing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977165)

Different AC here, but I'll put it this way: if you and your ilk killed yourselves, we wouldn't have to read harping posts like the one you just posted.

The air would be fresher, the grass would smell sweeter, ice cream would taste better than it ever had before... well, you get the picture: life would be guilt-free bliss for the rest of us.

Have a nice day!

Re:The answer is in marketing (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46976977)

As a non-apiarist, I don't think I'm alone when I say that I'd be wondering why the slimy white things were on the package. I don't even know what healthy bee larvae look like, so how am I supposed to recognize deformed one?

If "the answer is in marketing", I'd strongly suggest they hire someone else to come up with a message that better communicates the point.

How about a picture of a dead bee with a cigarette hanging out of its tiny little mouth?

Re:The answer is in marketing (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 6 months ago | (#46977465)

Just keep ignoring that loud wooshing sound over your head.

Re:The answer is in marketing (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46977501)

How about they show happy shiny white families dying of starvation?

this is news??? (1, Insightful)

rewindustry (3401253) | about 6 months ago | (#46976457)

has been all over the papers the past two years, almost, outside northa merkin land..

Re:this is news??? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | about 6 months ago | (#46976469)

It has been all over the web here too... Of course the news is owned, so it only covers what it is paid to. That is one reason why no one bothers with it anymore.

Re:this is news??? (4, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 6 months ago | (#46976615)

The study published last week has been in the news for 2 years? I remember seeing this, and 1000 other theories over the last 2 years, but not too much about studies supporting one over another.

Re:this is news??? (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#46977133)

Considering this is a second study of the same thing they published in 2012, yea, its been out for 2 years.

Re:this is news??? (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 6 months ago | (#46976671)

outside northa merkin land..

I wasn't aware Harvard was in Europe.

Anyway, this is a recent followup to a 2012 study conducted by the same researchers over the same topic, so, no, this has not been all over the papers for the last two years. This is a new development that helps to further demonstrate their hypothesis.

Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (5, Insightful)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | about 6 months ago | (#46976487)

I wonder how Bayer is going to keep this new study out of their court case where they're suing the EU for banning neonicotinoid pesticides.

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976623)

Lawyers.

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 6 months ago | (#46977415)

I wonder how Bayer is going to keep this new study out of their court case where they're suing the EU for banning neonicotinoid pesticides.

Lawyers.

Do these neonicotinoid pesticides work on them too?

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977495)

Nope, generally, lawyers come from outer space and are insensitive to insect poisons.

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 6 months ago | (#46976857)

No problem... the research was done after they already had banned it, so the lawyers will argue they can't use it as evidence :)

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (1)

Sique (173459) | about 6 months ago | (#46977263)

It doesn't work that way in most of the E.U.. If new evidence pops up that bolster your case, you are free to use it.

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 6 months ago | (#46976981)

I wonder what will happen to their CCD rates. I doubt there is any one cause to CCD, but this could be a contributing factor, so it will be something to watch.

Re:Doesn't that put the cat among the pigeons, (1)

Skinkie (815924) | about 6 months ago | (#46977503)

I am a strong believer in the "not one cause" theory. Maybe you find the attached article also enlightening. http://www.plosone.org/article... [plosone.org]

Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (5, Informative)

teslabox (2790587) | about 6 months ago | (#46976495)

Rob the Vegetable Farmer [tonopahrob.com] 's vegetable farm is in Tonopah, Arizona, and is relatively close to the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating station. He uses companion planting and a communion with his plants and animals to farm without chemical inputs. Specific flowers around the edge of a bed will attract the insects that might otherwise be drawn to eat the plants he plants for humans. Varieties of plants are intersperced with for mutal support and defense. Netting is used to keep birds out of the lettuce. Rob's approach is the implementation of Carrots Love Tomatoes (book about companion planting).

Real Farmers don't need chemicals. Mono-croppers can't do without them. Few people could share Rob's passion for gardening, but we can all learn from his blog.

(there is an obvious retort to this comment, and I wonder how it will manifest. ;)

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#46976501)

Sounds efficient.

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (1)

Imrik (148191) | about 6 months ago | (#46976795)

It is efficient, depending on how you define efficiency. The yield is higher for the same area, passive defenses remove the need for pesticides and other overhead. The main downside is the difficulty in harvesting the results.

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (3, Insightful)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | about 6 months ago | (#46976953)

Real Farmers don't need chemicals.

You're saying the people who produce the most food aren't real farmers? Nice. But yeah, polyculture is great and all in your garden, and intercropping systems are something worthy of more research, sure, but economically scaling it up might be a problem, and even then, it is highly unlikely to be the end of pest problems. The thing with simple solutions is that if they were really that simple everyone already be doing them.

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977109)

"Real Farmers don't need chemicals."

I don't think he's doing enough volume to compare him to farmers. At most I suppose you could call him a Real Gardener

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977367)

Clear example of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 6 months ago | (#46977739)

Now try and feed the world with them rather than half a dozen villages. Its all fine and dandy for people with so much disposable income that they can throw money at feel good food. Even worst is that there is really not data to even back up the feel good claims.

Re:Tonopah Rob is a Real Farmer (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46977889)

Now try and feed the world with them rather than half a dozen villages. Its all fine and dandy for people with so much disposable income that they can throw money at feel good food. Even worst is that there is really not data to even back up the feel good claims.

Right, I do the same stuff this guy does but for fun. I currently have 3ft Tomato plants in Zone 5 and it's may! (bragging) But I have no delusions about my techniques working well enough to feed the entire population. It would drive the cost of food up several orders of magnitude. I'm able to grow enough for my family and to give to food banks, but total collapse of the system is entirely possible. If the wrong pest takes hold, I'm screwed for the summer. Last year we had a crazy overpopulation of rabbits, which I'm already protecting my crops from with some clever fencing. But the rabbits got flees and were so abundant my animals got the flees... then I got the flees. It was terrible. Once you have flees in your bed, pesticides don't seem so bad. But more importantly I just started shooting all the rabbits. The hippie lady next door was pissed, but whatever. You can never make a hippie happy. Long story short, I ate a lot of rabbit over the winter. The cycle of life and all that.

STOP TAINTING HONEY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976595)

I eat real honey...

Real honey doesn't mess with my stomach or head, doesn't make my teeth hurt like sugar and other sweeteners do (artificial AND natural).

In the last year in Colorado the honey has been tainted... it has an off-honey sweet that most people cannot taste and after 3 - 4 days of using it, my bad teeth just go nuts with pain and issues. Both Western Slope brand and Beeyond the Hive honey have caused this reaction and I've since switched to crappy commercial honey's that have proven to be clean so far.

I'm seriously hoping they find the issue and fix it... honey is my primary sweetener and paying $100/mo intstead of $50/mo for 'sweet' is criminal.

Thanks!

Re:STOP TAINTING HONEY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976735)

If your teeth are bad, my god man stop eating honey!

Ban Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976647)

If the pesticides are causing CCD, and Bees contribute to about 40% of the food crop, then ban the insecticides yesterday. FULL STOP! Shell petroleum, and Bayer pharmaceuticals combined do not contribute the equivalent of 40% of the North American food crop, let alone the world food crop. They made this crap, fine. We won't revoke licenses for these businesses to operate, but ban the pesticides. Oh but pushback on the ban and we might consider banning these companies operating in North America (gas/medicine/whatever).

I had a bee swarm in my backyard (-1, Flamebait)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#46976685)

So I had a massive bee swarm in my backyard show up one day. I called a few places to get a quote on the removal. Between $400 to $500! One bee keeper gave me quote for $100. I asked if bees were in demand and asked them how much they wanted for them instead. Obviously I didn't get a response. A few days later, the swarm moved on.

Until someone makes me an offer for the bees, I'm not worried about a colony collapse.

Re:I had a bee swarm in my backyard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976761)

sigh. Capturing a splinter colony is not an easy task. $350 to capture it.

Re:I had a bee swarm in my backyard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977057)

You obviously have no knowledge of bee swarms and their behavior. They are easier to handle than any hived bees.
Trying to charge someone to remove bees makes you a joke!! Our club removes them for free & takes the bees away...

Re:I had a bee swarm in my backyard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977035)

My mum had a bee swarm move into her backyard and make a nest in one of the trees. She got rid of it by calling up a apiarist who advertised in the local paper about free bee hive removal. He came along, smoked the hive then bagged the whole lot up to take back to his property. This guy is one of many that had advertisements for this service. The only time it would actually cost to get the hive removed is if they had to dismantle part of a building to get at the hive and that cost is to cover the cost of a carpenter/builder to destruct and reconstruct the dismantled part of the building.

This is in Australia though.

To be honest though, I really don't see anyone wanting to pay you to attempt to capture a swarm of bees that may not even be there when they come to pick it up. And given that people have always paid to have hives removed from their property, it is going to be a while before someone pays you to have the opportunity to recover a hive from your property...

Re:I had a bee swarm in my backyard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977047)

Call a local beekeeping club. ALL Members in our club remove them for free and take the bees away. You should never pay to have bees removed. PLUS
if you try to sell them to be removed - Good Luck!

Re:I had a bee swarm in my backyard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977099)

It snowed at my house last week, therefore, Global Warming is a hoax. . .

Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are used (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about 6 months ago | (#46976707)

Australia uses neonicotinoids and they have no bee collapse problems.

Yes, I know the source is a chemical company [sumitomo-chem.com.au] , but they have a point. Bee collapse is not a problem in Australia.

There is also this: [forbes.com]
On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder. ...
Despite the fact that neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect canola from pests, Canadian bee populations have been largely unaffected and produce around 50 million pounds of canola honey. ...
For example, in upland areas of Switzerland where the pesticide is not used, bee colony populations are under significant pressure from the mites; and in France, declines in the bee population in mountainous areas (where neonics are uncommon) are similar to those in agricultural areas (where neonics are widely used).

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976759)

Just stop it. I don't care how much you are being paid to post this shit. Just stop.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977341)

Clearly it's a complex problem and all aspects need to looked at throughly and discussed freely.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976777)

Different bees, no winter to contend with, different ecosystem around the bees, different other pesticides/threats used in the US that aren't allowed in Australia, US beekeepers give their bees HFCS instead of their own honey to survive the winter ... there are about a million factors that could be unique to the US that make the bees susceptible to the neonicotinoids.

Perhaps US agriculture would do well to copy, line for line, the rules and regulations surrounding farming of a country that isn't having a problem with colony collapse.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (3, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | about 6 months ago | (#46976893)

Different bees, no winter to contend with, different ecosystem around the bees
Did you not read the part about Canada? I believe they have a winter on occasion.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977185)

Your retort makes no sense.

By the way, is your last name "Midland"?

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976915)

I don't know where you're getting your information but CCD is definitely a problem in Canada, at least in Ontario. My brother keeps bees there and I was just talking to him about it the other day.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977485)

There is also this:
On the other hand, in Canada and Australia, there is no sign of Colony Collapse Disorder. ...
Despite the fact that neonicotinoids are widely used in Canada to protect canola from pests, Canadian bee populations have been largely unaffected and produce around 50 million pounds of canola honey. ...

How do you then explain this [honeybeezen.com] mere months later?

Thereâ(TM)s been another rash of bee deaths in Ontario, where commercial beekeepers are on the ropes with losses of upwards of 85 per cent.

The presence of neonicotinoid pesticides in dead bees collected from last yearâ(TM)s die-off triggered both a review by Canadaâ(TM)s Pest Management Regulatory Agency and a more recent bee deaths investigation committee struck by the province of Ontario.

As far as I can tell the 'no CCD in Canada' things is from a declaration of beeskeepers' association in 2007. Please stop using out of date information.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (4, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46977535)

The studies showed that the mechanism of action seems to be that the neonicotinoids render the hives more susceptible to common parasites. So if those parasites are less common somewhere, CCD will also be less common even in the presence of neonicotinoids.

That still suggests that wherever the parasites are common, the neonicotinoids should not be used.

Re:Nice, but not everywhere neonicotinoids are use (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977719)

"Australia uses neonicotinoids and they have no bee collapse problems."

There are some differences in Australia:
1. The low pressure air seeders vent directly into the furrow. Airborne contaminated dust is negligible.
2. Neonics are not an approved foliar spray in Australia (ie: less use when it can be most damaging) (An alternate but related insecticide is available but has clear warnings about toxicity to bees and has clear instructions on when to avoid spraying and how to minimise chance of contact.)
3. Australia does not have Varroa mite, removing a major stress for bees.
4. Supplemental feeding is much less common, and feeding with HFCS extremely rare.
5. Hives are generally less mobile, largely because of the next point
6. Australian bee keepers make the majority of their money from honey production, pollination services are a side business (Pretty much the opposite of the US)
7. Australia has a significant population of wild European bees, Asian bees and other native pollinators.
8. While Australia has milder winters, it is still significant events for the bees in the areas where they are normally kept. However drought can also be a significant stress.

Mod this up (1)

MyNicknameSucks (1952390) | about 6 months ago | (#46977853)

As above.

Re: We found no evidence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46977821)

Yes, I know the source is a chemical company [sumitomo-chem.com.au] , but they have a point.

"We found no evidence" does not mean there is no evidence, it means no evidence was found. The question is, do you trust them to be looking in the right place?

Bayer says everything is OK (5, Insightful)

Swampash (1131503) | about 6 months ago | (#46976767)

The company behind Zyklon B wouldn't lie!

Re:Bayer says everything is OK (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 6 months ago | (#46977861)

Zyclon B was originally used as a pesticide as well, specifically to fumigate houses if I remember correctly. Only later did certain people discover its "other" use.

Organic bees (2)

Uncle Robert (1667285) | about 6 months ago | (#46976797)

In the late 90's I heard a interview with a organic bee keeper on NPR who said that organic bees do not have this problem. A few day later I was listening the the Art Bell Show when he was interviewing USDA representative. Art had a field on his website for sending comments to be read on the air so I posted a comment about the NPR interview and suggested that maybe there was a change in the pesticide/fungicide/herbicides that are being used now and perhaps that should be looked into. He actually read it to her and she became outraged and said that organic bee keepers have no control over their bees. She did not however refute the claim that organic bees do not have this problem though. So I think the solution is known they just don't want to accept it.

Re:Organic bees (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976897)

Bah, organic bees... Give me good quality non-organic bees any day of the week. Stainless steel bodies, carbon fiber wings, titanium stingers, and packed to the thorax with military grade drone electronics. Yeah, now THOSE are bees!!!

Re:Organic bees (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46976985)

I believe you've just described a Tracker Jacker.

Re:Organic bees (1)

Uncle Robert (1667285) | about 6 months ago | (#46977097)

You make a good point, perhaps DARPA is developing cyber bees which are immune to pesticide/fungicide/herbicides.

fuckEr (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46976849)

Actual nicotine is also used as a pesticide (2)

XNormal (8617) | about 6 months ago | (#46977397)

Actual nicotine is also used as a pesticide - in "organic" agriculture. I wouldn't be surprised if it has exactly the same effect if used at large scale.

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