Lets me say, first at foremost, that I am not a neonicotinoid bandwagon cheerleader. From day one of CCD, some have focused on very specific chemicals or pesticides. And although they may play a part, let me expand that thought beyond focusing on the chemical as the sole culprit.
Good advice, even before CCD, was that you should choose apiary location with pesticides as a concern. Pesticide kill was a problem even before the latest class of neonicotinoids came on the market. Of course, back before that, beekeepers could bring in and remove bee hives based on spray schedules, etc. And with the new pesticides, that is not possible. The pesticides are forever present and pose real problems. Since these chemicals will not be banned anytime soon, choosing a chemical free location may be the best thing you can do.
I spoke to two seed reps last year. Both indicated that more than 90% of the corn and soybean seeds on the market are pretreated with systemic type chemicals. So if at all possible, stay away from corn and soybeans.
Second thing to consider is BT corn/products. Many studies have shown no real danger to BT corn. And I happen to believe it. But here is something that you should consider....
BT works on very specific insects. Why does it kill one insect but not another? The answer is in the fact that BT works within the insects/larvae and is very specific to ph levels. Insects have very specific ph levels, and so BT is formulated to work within a very specific ph level of the intended insect to be killed.
Now if you have read some of the other stuff I recently posted, you will see a possible connection between ph levels and AFB, and other ideas.
Lets suggest this.....If BT does not normally harm healthy bees with proper internal ph levels, due to that level being outside a certain "range", then could it also be possible to change that internal ph level within the bees that would allow BT laced pollen to kill bees/larvae?
Would acid treatments, or anything else we put in the hive, change the internal ph levels of bees? What about a certain level of chemicals or a combination of chemicals, all playing off each other, and changing the internal ph level bees, now putting them in range of the lethal effects of BT.
My advice to keeping healthy and natural bees....keep them away from field corn, soybean, and BT crops. I think there is much information we do not have yet, and many more "dots" will be connected.
Just food for thought.