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Re: petition being circulated to protect bees by banning neonicotinoid pesticides

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  • pollinator2001
    ... In deciding whether or not to sign the petition, I am a bit conflicted, as I think the approval process was deeply flawed. However, there is also the other
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 20, 2011
      --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Carla Essenberg <cesse001@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello Everyone,
      >
      > I recently got an email from an organization of activists called Avaaz
      > urging me to sign a petition to ask the EPA to ban neonicotinoid
      > pesticides so as to protect bees. The message suggested that recent
      > research had supported a connection between these pesticides and
      > declines in bee populations, although it doesn't cite specific papers.
      > I'm not overly familiar with the topic, but I thought people on this
      > list might be interested, and I would also be curious to know what
      > people think about this - would banning these pesticides likely make a
      > big difference?
      >
      > Anyway, the link to the petition is:
      >
      > https://secure.avaaz.org/en/save_the_bees_usa/?cl=895629409&v=8117


      In deciding whether or not to sign the petition, I am a bit conflicted, as I think the approval process was deeply flawed. However, there is also the other side, which would consider whether substitutes for neonics would pose the greater hazard.

      But this petition is hyped and misleading. As far as I'm concerned, the facts are still not firmly established; my present decline to sign the petition does not let these products off the hook - yet.

      And whatever the result, the effects on wild bees will likely be closely related to the effects on domestic honeybees, so we need to pay attention to this. Damaged wild bee populations are impossible to salvage, and harder to replace than damaged honeybees.

      The best concise statment about the petition that I've seen is by California beekeeper Randy Oliver on the Bee List:

      >In the Big Picture, I feel that the petitions are largely counterproductive at this time, as most of those that I've seen simply pick and choose a few studies, and extrapolate alarmist predictions that are not generally supported by the extensive scientific research seen by the agencies. So to sign such a petition risks being discounted by the agencies, and gives the
      impression of environmentalists being uniformed and crying wolf.

      >I am a dyed in the wool environmentalist, and am afraid that petitions such as these give fully informed environmentalists a black eye.

      BTW, Randy's excellent bee site is at:
      http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/

      Dave
      Retired beekeeper
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