Skip to comments.2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies
Posted on 03/29/2012 6:37:51 PM PDT by neverdem
Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results.
In Thursdays issue of the journal Science, two teams of researchers published studies suggesting that low levels of a common pesticide can have significant effects on bee colonies. One experiment, conducted by French researchers, indicates that the chemicals fog honeybee brains, making it harder for them to find their way home. The other study, by scientists in Britain, suggests that they keep bumblebees from supplying their hives with enough food to produce new queens.
The authors of both studies contend that their results raise serious questions about the use of the pesticides, known as neonicotinoids.
I personally would like to see them not being used until more research has been done, said David Goulson, an author of the bumblebee paper who teaches at the University of Stirling, in Scotland. If it confirms what weve found, then they certainly shouldnt be used when theyre going to be fed on by bees.
But pesticides are only one of several likely factors that scientists have linked to declining bee populations. There are simply fewer flowers, for example, thanks to land development. Bees are increasingly succumbing to mites, viruses, fungi and other pathogens.
Outside experts were divided about the...
Dr. Goulsons study on bumblebees might warrant a closer look, Dr. Fischer said, but he argued that the weight of evidence still points to mites and viruses as the most likely candidates for...
Although bumblebees have been on the decline in the United States and elsewhere, they have not succumbed to a specific phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, which affects only honeybees...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
This is why we put NO pesticides, or grass enhancers, or any other chemical on our yard. The bees (sort of owned a few streets over) loved our hyssop last year. Bought some honey from the neighbor and could actually taste the hyssop. Nothing like local honey! Hope they get this problem solved.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
The Hummingbird Bee is actually the Hummingbird Moth. Saw my first one the other day while it was feeding on our wild Indian Paintbrushes.
Looks like all you need do is google "Swarm List -my-town-city-county-state"
Years ago I bought an ant bait (little blocks) that had some pretty intense warnings on it.
After that, it became unavailable, afaik.
It contained one of nicotinic poisons called “fipronil” and said one ant could carry enough of the stuff to kill like 500 honeybees.
***Then use a different bee, that is as good, or better, for pollination. Hopefully one that does not interact much with honey bees.***
I’m looking into these guys for my fruit production:
They are much more effective pollinators than honeybees apparently.
How about just not using bee-killing insecticides?
The amounts of pesticides used are way above anything found in the nectar of the plants involved. They are fed at different concentrations using sugar syrup since they cannot get the greater concentrations any other way.
When bees are in fields, such as canola, which is treated with the pesticides involved, they show no problems. So your observations, that you have not seen the problem described, is accurate.
There is a concerted attack against these pesticides and bees are being used as the tool to get them banned.
Not as easy as you might think. Insects can be devastating to crops, and even with pesticides losses are still high, in many cases as much as 1/3rd. To make matters worse, insects take a relative “horse dose” of insecticide to kill them, and distribution on plants is never even, so some plants get a lot, as some plants very little if any.
One of the pesticides used for a long time are the organophosphates, which are essentially akin to military nerve agents, but weaker. Parathion, one of these popular with crops, has a Lethal Dose for 50% (LD/50, a standard measure) of a group of *humans* of only 6,000 ppm. The military chemical weapon phosgene has an LD/50 of about 9,000 ppm, so it is actually weaker than this pesticide. Crop duster pilots who use Parathion have to wear whole body space suits with a filtered air supply.
The pesticide sprayed on the public in California, to combat the Medfly was a weaker type of organophosphate called Malathion, which still has an LD/50 of about 30,000 ppm.
Insect resistance to pesticide also increases over time, so between that and the relentless federal effort to stop the use of any effective pesticides, farmers are fighting a losing battle.
There is now growing reliance on trying to combat insects in different ways, such as breeding and releasing radiation sterilized insects that will mate with wild insects but not produce offspring, and also to create and cultivate insect diseases that will wipe out vast numbers of insects in epidemics.
Yet so far these have only worked on a limited basis and for single species of insects. Thus we have no choice but to continue to use pesticides, some of which kills bees.
We’ve done fine without bee-killing insecticides for decades. Going in to change the bees because we’re poisoning them now is a pxxx-poor solution IMO.
I usually ignore the leftist greenies rants abot pesticides, especially when they are killing some particularly useless creature. But this bears investigating, and remedy if found to be true.
I have five large hives in my backyard. Louisiana is nearly the bug capital of the world, challenged only by the number of weeds.
We do apply pesticides, but only in the evening after the bees have gone to the hive. I use fire ant crystals on beds that are within 2-3 feet of the hives because ants are prone to invading hives. I also keep the grass and weeds around the hives at bay using RoundUp.
As long as the pesticides are 'contact killers' and don't have residual action, it is safe to use them with care.
...the chemicals fog honeybee brains... pesticides, known as neonicotinoids.
Put some swarm traps out and capture ‘em back.
“Weve done fine without bee-killing insecticides for decades. Going in to change the bees because were poisoning them now is a pxxx-poor solution IMO”
Actually, pesticides by their nature kill bees. Sevin, a home garden pesticide is exceptionally lethal. Plus, the organophosphates, which the Neonicotinoids replace, are exceptionally harmful to both the environment and humans along with bees. They were in flea and tick collars.
2” and I would have fallen off the roof! No, this was a tiny, tiny bee. Sometimes I see little flies that are luminescent and around 3/8 of an inch max and it was that size.
No, this is a lie. Pesticides are only GOOD and only kill the things we want it to kill. It doesn’t kill birds or lizards or fish or make our pets sick... or have any effect on people. The bird people and some people in this forum say so! So stop spreding lies. /S
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.