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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees. But during much of the past decade we have seen higher-than-average overwinter bee-colony losses in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as cases of bees abruptly abandoning their hives, a phenomenon known as "colony collapse disorder." (WSJ)

http://online.wsj.com/articles/henr...ut-a-bee-pocalypse-is-a-honey-trap-1406071612
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Why the Buzz About a Bee-Pocalypse Is a Honey Trap
by Henry I. Miller
Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On June 20 the White House issued a presidential memorandum creating a Pollinator Health Task Force and ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to "assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and take action, as appropriate."

Why the fuss over bees? Is the U.S. in the midst of a bee-pocalypse? The science says no. Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees. But during much of the past decade we have seen higher-than-average overwinter bee-colony losses in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as cases of bees abruptly abandoning their hives, a phenomenon known as "colony collapse disorder."

Citing this disorder, antipesticide activists and some voluble beekeepers want to ban the most widely used pesticides in modern agriculture—neonicotinoids ("neonics" for short)—that account for 20% of pesticide sales world-wide. This would have disastrous effects on modern farming and food prices.

What are neonics? Crafted to target pests that destroy crops, while minimizing toxicity to other species, neonics are much safer for humans and other vertebrates than previous pesticides. But citing supposed threats to honeybee populations, the European Union imposed a two-year ban in December 2013, and activists are trying to convince regulators in Canada and the U.S. to follow suit.

Yet there is only circumstantial or flawed experimental evidence of harm to bees by neonics. Often-cited experiments include one conducted by Chensheng Lu of the Harvard School of Public Health that exposed the insects to 30-100 times their usual exposure in the field. That does poison bees, but it doesn't replicate real-world colony collapse disorder, which in any case seems now to be declining. According to University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, no cases have been reported from the field in three years.

The reality is that honeybee populations are not declining. According to U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, the world's honeybee population rose to 80 million colonies in 2011 from 50 million in 1960. In the U.S. and Europe, honeybee populations have been stable—or slightly rising in the last couple of years—during the two decades since neonics were introduced, U.N. and USDA data show. Statistics Canada reports an increase to 672,000 honeybee colonies in Canada, up from 501,000, over the same two decades.

In February, the Australian government issued a report on bee health from the only continent unaffected by the Varroa destructor mite, a pathogen of bees. It found that, "Australian honeybee populations are not in decline, despite the increased use of [neonicotinoids] in agriculture and horticulture since the mid-1990s."

In April the EU released the first Continent-wide epidemiological study of bee health in Europe, covering 2012-13 (before the EU's neonic ban went into effect). Seventy-five percent of the EU's bee population (located in 11 of the countries surveyed) experienced overwinter losses of 15% a year or less—levels considered normal in the U.S. Only 5% of the EU's bee population (located in six northern countries) experienced losses over 20%, after a long, severe winter.

A ban on neonics would not benefit bees, because they are not the chief source of bee health problems today. Varroa mites are, along with the lethal viruses they vector into bee colonies. If neonics were dangerous, how to explain that in Canada, Saskatchewan's $19 billion canola industry depends on neonics to prevent predation by the ravenous flea beetle—and those neonic-treated canola fields support such thriving honeybee populations that they've been dubbed the "pastures for pollinators."

A neonic ban would, however, devastate North American agriculture and the communities that depend on it. Neonics are the last line of defense for Florida's citrus industry against the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that spreads a devastating disease of citrus trees called huanglongbing, or HLB. They're also the first line of defense in Texas and California, where HLB is beginning. Without neonic protection, tomatoes in Florida and vegetable crops in Arizona, California and the Pacific Northwest would be imperiled. If whitefly infestations weren't kept in check with neonics, much of the U.S. winter vegetable production would be lost.

Grape-growing in California and the Pacific Northwest could be devastated by the viral scourges of leaf-roll and red blotch without neonic pesticides to control the leafhoppers that spread them. Without neonic protection against thrips in cotton, water weevil in rice and grape colaspis in soybeans, yields in the mid-South could be so damaged that farmers would either go out of business or turn to already abundant crops like corn.

The knock-on effect wouldn't stop there. The production of citrus and tomatoes in Florida and rice and cotton in the mid-South and elsewhere is tied to processing plants, refrigerated warehouses, packing houses, cotton gins, rice mills, and a transportation and shipping infrastructure that supports agriculture. If the crops processed by these support industries were to become economically nonviable without crop protection, rural counties across the southeastern U.S. would be decimated.

All this would be painful for consumers, who would see their food costs rise significantly. And by making farm exports more expensive and less competitive, it would damage the U.S. economy. All reasons to worry about unleashing the EPA in a fight in which activists who have the ear of regulators constantly misrepresent the science.

Dr. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the FDA's Office of Biotechnology.
 

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I tend to shy away from anything that comes out of the white house (they never lie:lol:), the FDA is owned by big business, the red flags went up on this article after the 1st 2 sections on bees turned into propaganda on pesticides rest of it, "insects to 30-100 times their usual exposure in the field. That does poison bees, but it doesn't replicate real-world" now we know chemicals build up on the comb in hives so you dont have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a hive can be exposed to 30+ times just by what they bring in and how many fields they get moved to, I get to talk to alot of beekeepers from all over the place because I live in a top vacation destination, like the 2 I talked to this past weekend and they both said the same thing bad winter deaths and empty hives, 1 from PA and the other I think was NY, I know the spams coming post away its my 2 cents and dont get me wrong most of what Garry posts here is very good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They tested bees at UF in the lab at levels found in the hive. Either neonicotinoids are not killing bees or you need to stop using water because both were as non-lethal. Entomologists are scientists not politicians.
I do not post because I support an article. I post every bee article and research unbiased.
 

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And I haven't said it in a while but thanks Gary The research you post is valuable in understanding the pests and disease that are plaguing our industry.
 

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Zoo you are correct that climate change has also effected the bees and their survival. Call it poor beekeeping but we only do the minimum that normally works to get the bees through the winter. When the weather is worse than normal the bees are in trouble and high losses are a result. winter loss starts with the late summer and fall nectar flows as this is what stimulated the production and health of the winter bees. The next critical period is when the hive has to start building up in the spring. They need to replace the old and dieing bee population before the hive population dwindles to a point that the colony collapses or starves and freezes due to a lack of bee population. The weather hasn't been normal for the last 10 years so our new normal in winter hive preparation needs to change to reflect the changing environment we are keeping bees in.
 

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Gary I was not taking any shots at you, all your work here is very good and important for the rest of us, I was pointing out flaws in the article like "Bee populations in the U.S. and Europe remain at healthy levels for reproduction and the critical pollination of food crops and trees" now I am betting they are not taking into account that hive and queen breeders are working at a booming pace the past few years and the fact that honey production is down, a few months ago I got a swarm call and picked up a deep and med of bees, they were 18 feet up, now the odd thing is when I got them home I opened them up and the 1st thing I noticed was you could pick up a frame and shake it over the hive and all but 1 or 2 could not fly, they fell right back down to the hive, during a big flow I had to feed these bees and move frames of pollen into it, the queen went right to work cause I used 20 deep and med wet frames, now Im not new to doing studies, after a week or so still very few bees were foraging and I could still shake frames and bees could not fly but there was tons of brood, now after a month and a half the traffic was building strong, so the bees did not have a virus because the new bees would have it just like the old 1s, they flew 18 feet up a tree, so at some point they could all fly, so what ever they were exposed to happened in the tree, now I have talked with a few very large beeks, 1 with 500 hives another with 3400 hives and they have seen the same thing at there yards, bees perfectly healthy wings and all in large numbers out walking around, the article is too leading in the fact you read it and get the idea that everything is fine and good in the bee world and it is not.
 

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In a way, I welcome the news reports about bees and beekeeping. The media gives prominence to bad news ---- bee disease, winter losses. When there is a counter report, it still keeps beekeeping in the public awareness.

Joe Public appears to have more sympathy for bees and beekeeping. Joe Public regularly asks me "Did your bees survive the winter ?" or "How are you coping with XYZ bee disease ?". I can re-assure them or educate about the work a beekeeper does. I hope that they appreciate the knowledge and skill that goes into beekeeping.

Goodwill towards bees is growing. Swarm and similar calls often have the comment ... "I don't want the bees to die or be killed".
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We get that all the time at work. Most Floridians think it is illegal to kill bees. Pest Control Operators perpetuate the idea because they do not want to deal with bugs that fight back.
 

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thats just dumb, I have killed a hive in the past, it was africanized and I sealed the hive up and left it in the sun, I feel bad about it but would never let drones from that hive mix with my own hives, I would never take the chance, there are times when you have to kill hives.
 

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neonicotinoids are made for SAP SUCKING INSECTS <<< WHAT DO YOU THINK A BEE DOES THEY SUCK SAP FROM PLANTS
and as far as the human goes YOU EAT THE PLANT,, or the seed ,,, if a insect die from sucking the sap , the
insecticides must be in evey part of the plant ,,, HOW GOOD IS ANY PART OF THE PLANT FOR YOU ,,,, is that not just like drinking the insecticides
 
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