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The real cause of pollinator decline

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  • pollinator2001
    We have a good illustration of the main cause of our bees dying off, in this event that happened recently:
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 21, 2013
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      We have a good illustration of the main cause of our bees dying off, in this event that happened recently:
      http://www.xerces.org/2013/06/18/mystery-bee-kill-causes-being-sought/

      Turns out that a landscape company sprayed the blooming trees with an insecticide called Safari.

      The label on this pesticide says: "This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are visiting the treatment area."

      I hope they throw the book at the applicators for this violation. They need to be required to take steps to restore the pollinator populations that have been lost.

      This is what is happening to our bees - the only thing here is that this one was obvious and caught media attention.

      You hear a lot about Colony Collapse Disorder. But "experts" can scarcely agree on a definition for this supposed malady. It's true that there are bee viruses, that their habitat is changing, and many other factors are hurting bees.

      But billions of bees die each year in cotton fields and fruit orchards with clover in the understory; these are pretty much unnoticed because the dead bodies are scattered.

      I wish a grad student would take on the project of counting and identifying the dead in a specific area of a blooming cotton field after a mid-to-late-morning spray. It would bring some specific data to help in this battle. I know they are there, but no one is willing to do the work.

      Some gardeners are likewise to blame; plastering Sevin dust over gardens while in bloom. This too is a violation of the label directions, and it kills the bees that come to visit the flowers.

      Yard fogging, and area wide mosquito, gypsy moth, and grasshopper spraying have done their part as well.

      We have never had so many reports from gardeners of having to hand pollinate their squash, cucumbers, and even tomatoes (which can be accomplished by a single bee visit) - all because bee populations have become so thin in many areas.

      Most pesticide kill reports reference mainly honey bees; remember that the honey bees are the ONLY bees that have any protection at all. No one is doing anything to defend and protect the wild bees, hundreds of species that are also important pollinators. These certainly suffer more than the honey bees.

      Yet many of those who work with wild bees are unfamiliar with the label directions, and the continuous violations that occur. There are several sites on the Internet that provide actual labels for any named pesticide. Simply Google the pesticide name and formulation + "label", and you can find it - under "Environmental Hazards"

      These directions for bees are routinely ignored, or an official way is provided to evade the label, by notifying beekeepers. These kind of programs are a "recommendation of pesticide misuse" which is also illegal.

      We need those who are involved with wild bees to step up and speak out. Get familiar with the labels ("The label is the law.") for pesticides that kill bees. We are simply not going to get enforcement, until everyone involved with bees (whether wild or domestic) gets united to demand it.

      The directions for bee protection for applicators is codified into a flow chart at: http://pollinator.com/pesticides/flowchart.htm

      This is designed for cotton, but works for any application.
    • Miriam Richards
      Some more headlines and updates about this incident.
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 25, 2013
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        Some more headlines and updates about this incident.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346864/More-50-000-bees-killed-Oregon-insecticide-blamed-largest-bee-die-recorded-history.html

        http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/pesticide_confirmed_in_bee_dea.html#/0

        --
        Miriam Richards
        Professor, Graduate Program Director
        Dept. Biological Sciences
        Secretary, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution
        Associate Editor, Insectes Sociaux

        Address:
        Dept. Biological Sciences
        Brock University
        St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada

        Phone: +1 905 688 5550 x4406
        Fax: +1 905 688 1855
        Email: mrichards@...
      • Anita M. Collins
        Did anyone notice that the bee in the photo with the first article wasn t a honey bee, but a native bee? If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn t be called
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 26, 2013
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          Did anyone notice that the bee in the photo with the first article wasn't a honey bee, but a native bee? 
           
           
           
          If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
          Albert Einstein
           
          On 06/25/13, Miriam Richards<mrichards@...> wrote:
           
           

          Some more headlines and updates about this incident.

          http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346864/More-50-000-bees-killed-Oregon-insecticide-blamed-largest-bee-die-recorded-history.html

          http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/pesticide_confirmed_in_bee_dea.html#/0

          --
          Miriam Richards
          Professor, Graduate Program Director
          Dept. Biological Sciences
          Secretary, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution
          Associate Editor, Insectes Sociaux

          Address:
          Dept. Biological Sciences
          Brock University
          St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada

          Phone: +1 905 688 5550 x4406
          Fax: +1 905 688 1855
          Email: mrichards@...

        • Messinger, Wes NWP
          Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE ... http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/state_agency_temporarily_bans.html I propose new EPA
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 28, 2013
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            Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
            Caveats: NONE

            ...

            http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/state_agency_temporarily_bans.html

            I propose new EPA label language:

            "...must not be applied in or near any habitat that could support angiosperms"

            --
            Wes Messinger
            Botanist

            >-----Original Message-----
            >From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            >[mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Anita M. Collins
            >Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 5:17 PM
            >To: mrichards@...; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            >Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: The real cause of pollinator decline
            >
            >
            >
            >Did anyone notice that the bee in the photo with the first article
            >wasn't a honey bee, but a native bee?
            >
            >
            >
            >If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
            >Albert Einstein
            >
            >On 06/25/13, Miriam Richards<mrichards@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            >
            >Some more headlines and updates about this incident.
            >
            >http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346864/More-50-000-bees-killed-
            >Oregon-insecticide-blamed-largest-bee-die-recorded-history.html
            >
            >http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/pesticide_confir
            >med_in_bee_dea.html#/0
            >
            >--
            >Miriam Richards
            >Professor, Graduate Program Director
            >Dept. Biological Sciences
            >Secretary, Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution
            >Associate Editor, Insectes Sociaux
            >
            >Address:
            >Dept. Biological Sciences
            >Brock University
            >St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, Canada
            >
            >Phone: +1 905 688 5550 x4406
            >Fax: +1 905 688 1855
            >Email: mrichards@... <mailto:mrichards%40brocku.ca>
            >
            >
            >



            Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
            Caveats: NONE
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