Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies
NY Times ^ | March 29, 2012 | CARL ZIMMER

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 Thursday’s 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 we’ve found, then they certainly shouldn’t be used when they’re 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...

--snip--

Dr. Goulson’s 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...

--snip--

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: beecolonycollapse; bees; france; honeybees; killerbeekillers; neonicotinoids; pesticide; science; unitedkingdom
Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production

A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees

1 posted on 03/29/2012 6:38:02 PM PDT by neverdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Other studies point to radio signals from cell phone towers.


2 posted on 03/29/2012 6:43:38 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Whatever the problem is, I hope they get a fix for it soon. Bees are marvelous, fascinating creatures and we depend on them a lot, yet most people have no idea.


3 posted on 03/29/2012 6:43:38 PM PDT by Past Your Eyes (Suffering fools is hard work and there's no end to it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde; neverdem

This might bee of interest to you.


4 posted on 03/29/2012 6:45:45 PM PDT by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: <1/1,000,000th%
Other studies point to radio signals from cell phone towers.

I've heard this before and I've always wondered (briefly that is) how radio waves can affect something that depends on chemical markers to communicate and direct themselves.
Of course I've never wondered about it enough to research the work on it though.
5 posted on 03/29/2012 6:51:26 PM PDT by brent13a (Glenn Beck is an a$$hat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Neonicotinoid Insecticides used with seed treatment (systemic)

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2004/5-3-2004/neonic.html

Trade names:

Poncho (clothianidin)

Gaucho (imidacloprid)

Cruiser (thiamethozam)

I am sure there are other simliar insecticides. These are relatively new insecticides.


6 posted on 03/29/2012 6:55:21 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

i lost my one backyard hive last year when it got robbed by other bees. pretty amazing to watch, couldn’t stop it. i think i have a really strong wild hive nearby that has learned how to rob. second year in a row.


7 posted on 03/29/2012 7:00:39 PM PDT by beebuster2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

There are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven to nine recognized families, and probably many more not yet identified.

European honey bees, the type we are most familiar with, are not the only kind that makes honey and certainly just one of many that could be used for pollination of crops. It is also rather prone to disease and deadly mites.

And effort to breed a hardier bee resulted in the “killer bee”, that despite its reputation *is* more resistant *and* produces delicious honey. If its aggression can just be turned down, it could fill much of the gap of the honey bee.

But even more important, one of the reasons that bee diseases and mite infections are so bad is because honey bees are not used just for honey, but are transported around to pollinate, which exposes them to these problems.

Thus a good solution is to limit honey bees to just producing honey, hopefully a crossbred variety that is more resistant. Then use a different bee, that is as good, or better, for pollination. Hopefully one that does not interact much with honey bees.


8 posted on 03/29/2012 7:02:51 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Could have sworn that they difinitively determined hive disorders were being caused by parasites.


9 posted on 03/29/2012 7:05:28 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: beebuster2000

Clearly, they have their ethnic issues as well.


10 posted on 03/29/2012 7:08:33 PM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: beebuster2000

About 18 years ago my son threw one of his toys on the roof of our garage. I climbed up to get it and as I reached toward it, the most wonderfully bright solid yellow mini-bee (perfectly proportioned) hovered 4 inches from my hand. I had never seen one before and haven’t seen one since. Looked all over about it to no avail. Ever seen one?


11 posted on 03/29/2012 7:09:56 PM PDT by huldah1776
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: beebuster2000

Hubby pushed over a dead tree recently & it was full of bees and honey....made us sad but the tree is still on the ground in our field & the bees are still with it. We also have a dead tree at the golf course that is full of bees etc. Today our holly bush is in bloom & the bees are thick on it.


12 posted on 03/29/2012 7:10:21 PM PDT by GrannyK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

Another possibility is that genetically modified crops can produce their own pesticides.

Would they tell us if they determine this is true?


13 posted on 03/29/2012 7:19:54 PM PDT by politicianslie (Obama: America's first Muslim POTUS, doing all he can to destroy America. HELLO, can anyone th)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: huldah1776
hovered 4 inches from my hand...

Hovered as in like a hummingbird? If yes, indeed there *is* a honeybee that hovers similar to a hummingbird... called the "hummingbird bee". It's rather large at 2", but I've seen here in the northeast a regular-sized honeybee that hovers like a hummingbird.

14 posted on 03/29/2012 7:21:34 PM PDT by C210N (Mitt "Severe Etch-a-Sketch" Romney is the front-runner? Seriously??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: GrannyK
pushed over a dead tree recently & it was full of bees and honey...

Is it still there? True around here, and I'd think in most places - ask and google around, and find your local or county bee club. They'd be likely to have a list of members that, no charge, come and "rescue" the colony - they get a new bee colony out of the deal - you are looking at about $100 worth of honeybees, and a chance to save them...

15 posted on 03/29/2012 7:25:53 PM PDT by C210N (Mitt "Severe Etch-a-Sketch" Romney is the front-runner? Seriously??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: beebuster2000

Could you have or did you install an entrance reducer to give your hive a better chance of defending itself? Do you think it would have done any good to put some sugar water away from your hive that would have drawn the feral bees away from your hive?


16 posted on 03/29/2012 7:31:02 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red_Devil 232

Thank you, Red. It is interesting, but I suspect that these studies may be targeting pesticides with an agenda. We use some of the brand names listed on our crops, as do many other farmers, and there has been colony collapses anywhere in NE Louisiana. I can’t speak for other areas, but I think we would have heard about it if keepers were losing hives. I read several bee fora, and stay in touch with the state beekeepers’ organizations.


17 posted on 03/29/2012 7:35:41 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: brent13a
Here's a short but sweet article, but there are others if you decide to search.

However, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that pesticides are bad for bees as well.

18 posted on 03/29/2012 7:39:02 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

You are right on the “shipping around for pollination”, which is done because the honey does not make the keepers enough money.


19 posted on 03/29/2012 7:58:16 PM PDT by Big Horn (Rebuild the GOP to a conservative party)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: C210N

I’m pretty sure it is still full of bees, hubby is allergic to bee/wasp stings so he has kept his distance from them. I can investigate and see if someone wants to come get them.


20 posted on 03/29/2012 8:02:31 PM PDT by GrannyK
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

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.


21 posted on 03/29/2012 8:30:22 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Scientists Manipulate Electrons Into Material Never Seen on Earth

Really? Ulcers Increase the Risk of Diabetes

ScienceShot: Crystal Clear Nano-Gold

New Test May Predict the Possibility of a Heart Attack

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

22 posted on 03/29/2012 10:24:52 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: C210N

The Hummingbird Bee is actually the Hummingbird Moth. Saw my first one the other day while it was feeding on our wild Indian Paintbrushes.


23 posted on 03/29/2012 10:28:27 PM PDT by X-spurt (Its time for ON YOUR FEET or on your knees)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: GrannyK
Here is a bit o' help to show you how ubiquitous honeybee swarm catchers (and thus, bee tree catchers as well):

Sonoma County

Los Angeles

Seattle

Everywhere!

Looks like all you need do is google "Swarm List -my-town-city-county-state"

24 posted on 03/29/2012 10:37:39 PM PDT by C210N (Mitt "Severe Etch-a-Sketch" Romney is the front-runner? Seriously??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: X-spurt
Based on notes here and elsewhere, there appear to be MANY bee and bee-like insects that hover like hummingbirds. Another one is the Hoverfly.


25 posted on 03/29/2012 10:55:26 PM PDT by C210N (Mitt "Severe Etch-a-Sketch" Romney is the front-runner? Seriously??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

sfl


26 posted on 03/29/2012 11:29:04 PM PDT by know-the-law
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

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.


27 posted on 03/30/2012 3:31:11 AM PDT by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

***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:

http://www.orchardbees.com/

They are much more effective pollinators than honeybees apparently.


28 posted on 03/30/2012 3:52:01 AM PDT by Claud
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

How about just not using bee-killing insecticides?


29 posted on 03/30/2012 4:04:03 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: JustaDumbBlonde
Agendas are involved. I am a beekeeper.

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.

30 posted on 03/30/2012 4:51:21 AM PDT by KeyWest (Help stamp out taglines! They are obamanations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

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.


31 posted on 03/30/2012 6:47:27 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Be Brave! Fear is just the opposite of Nar!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

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.


32 posted on 03/30/2012 7:17:43 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

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.


33 posted on 03/30/2012 9:27:32 AM PDT by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madison10
"This is why we put NO pesticides, or grass enhancers, or any other chemical on our yard."

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.

34 posted on 03/30/2012 9:30:20 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies ... plan it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks neverdem.
...the chemicals fog honeybee brains... pesticides, known as neonicotinoids.

35 posted on 03/30/2012 8:13:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: beebuster2000

Put some swarm traps out and capture ‘em back.


36 posted on 03/30/2012 8:22:16 PM PDT by Delta 21 (Oh Crap !! Did I say that out loud ??!??)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: 9YearLurker

“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”

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.


37 posted on 03/31/2012 4:23:01 AM PDT by KeyWest (Help stamp out taglines! They are obamanations.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: C210N

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.


38 posted on 03/31/2012 8:20:10 AM PDT by huldah1776
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: neverdem

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


39 posted on 04/01/2012 1:32:23 PM PDT by Fawn (Boy,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

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.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson