I am going to outright disagree.. I live in the heart of neonic country. EVERY one of my 40 plus hives is surrounded by neonic corn and beans. So long as I continue to rotate my comb in three to five years I have no issues.. tbh.. I have not tried NOT rotating in new foundation... It could be that I would still see no issues.. I do know that when I was a kid, aiding an older gent take care of his bees, that we would occasionally find a hive, or even an entire YARD DEAD INSTANTLY from spraying nearby.. With Neonics, I have never had an instant death of one, or multiple hives.. About the only things that get sprayed now are Round up and 24-D. I don't want either in my hives, but they get sprayed no matter what I want.. so.. I make sure to rotate in new foundation for the bees to draw. In my area, Complacency takes more hives than insecticides. Beekeepers prepare their hives for normal winter, and then do not check on them until spring.. When the winter has sustained temps of -50 with wind chill the bees NEED to be checked on!!! 70% loss last winter int he state, and I lost one hive, and it was a dink I decided to give a chance.. I do not claim such success every year, but believe that one loss in a winter worse than any since the 1970's is a good indicator that its not the neonics that are to blame. It could be anything.. genetics.. were 70% of the hives new hives from packages that spring? Or did beekeepers not prepare for the WORST case scenario and get caught flat footed? I think it was both, a combination of non northern genetics AND bad prep for an extra ordinarily bad winter. Only TIME will tell, but I honestly believe that neonics are a GIANT step forward. Take a step back in time, and have the farmer near your bees spray chlordimeform, DDT, TEPP, parathion ethyl, leptophos, dieldrin, aldrin, heptachlor, beta-HCH, Etc, Etc... ALL banned insecticides, and see how well your bees do. No, I do not like any insecticide, especially the ones that leave residuals in the soil, but given the choice, I will pick Neonics over going back any day. I think we need to keep fighting for a better solution rather than banning something that is better than what we had. You ban the neonics now, Farmers will grasp at ANYTHING they can get to control the pests in their crops, and the makers of those pesticeds, Monsanto, Bayer, etc, etc, will toss them whatever they can get approved in order to collect those millions of dollars.. We all know the EPA is worthless at protecting us or the bees... So why not work for better solutions instead of railing and screaming until we end up with something worse than what we have?
Edit.. Have any of you considered that the treatments you use are part of the problem? I dont treat my bees with ANYTHING... But I do bleach my frames with OAV in spring and fall.. It seems, that bees with bleached frames dont have exceptional mite problems.. Must be something to do with cleanliness...
Don't know what you're disagreeing with. The article points out that neonics are not the problem. Your analysis is spot on IMO. I remember 40 - 50 dead hives from spray when I was a kid and the pilot hit the wrong field.
OK,, sorry about the long winded speach then. I saw Mr. Lu's picture and know he is a champion of blaming neonics, so I did not read.. I have read so many DOOM articles that I cant stomach many more.. I will go back and read it now that I know its not about the gloomy DOOM of neonics...
One of the opposite things I disagree with is the use of colony numbers to prove as fact that neonicv are not harming the bees..
In the state of Iowa last winter we experienced a 70% loss, and yet, our hive numbers have not fallen.. How is that possible? Because we split. Some bought nucs, some bought packages, etc, etc... The issue with hives and Neonics COULD be the same.. "PERHAPS' Neonics are causing added winter loss and we, the beekeepers are making up for that loss. The FACT that we have more hives now has NOTHING to do with proving neonics are not impacting our bees. I see this offered up as proof nearly everywhere, and it is VERY misleading.
I believe Neonics DO affect our colonies, but I also believe they are only part of the picture. I also believe they are, as stated above, better than any other pesticide we have pumped into the environment. Pesticides will NOT go away. The world WILL be fed, and MONEY will be made.. I KNOW for a fact, if the choice between making money and honey bee extinction was to be a choice, MONEY would win hands down..
Lu thinks there is some conspiracy against him, via the big ag companies, and to be honest, that would not surprise me in the least bit. Money is king.. THose making it will stop at nothing to KEEP making it.. However, even as backwoods as I am, I can see the issues that bring Mr. Lu's deductions into question. He may turn out to be absolutely correct, but at this point, I have not seen it, and MUST continue to support neonics as a less nasty alternative.
Since the area I am in can't be irrigated for crops and there is no rain, there isn't a whole lot of planting going on, so no neonics except in home depot's nursery, and yup my bees work it, I've seen them over there, lol