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Demise of the honey bee?

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  • pollinator2001
    There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I ve been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers,
    Message 1 of 21 , Aug 2 5:34 AM
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      There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

      My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

      This is confirmed by this article: http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

      What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

      I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

      Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

      Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

      Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

      I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

      Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

      What are we doing to change this?

      Dave Green
      Retired pollination contractor
    • Joe Franke
      ... . Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 2 9:45 AM
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        Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?
        Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation in New Mexico and further west is demonstrably worse than what you describe for your neck of the woods, sorry), I got some bad news for you:

        The short answer is that we’re going to have to get out of bee suits, hang up our nets and get away from the dissecting scopes for a while and engage in the unpleasant but entirely necessary business of public advocacy and politics. Something has gone seriously wrong in the USA, (a supposed representative democracy) the result of which being that in that despite the gravity of the problems facing us we have become the most politically timid people in the “developed” world. This year in the EU, neonicotinoids  were banned through the hard work of beekeepers, scientists and other concerned citizens. In the US, we have undue influence on EPA policy being exerted by industry, and the Pollinator Partnership taking sponsorships (not sure how much money is involved) for their “Pollinator Week” campaign from Bayer, Valent and other companies that are producers of the chemicals that are largely responsible for the crisis. So it comes down to how much do you want to work, and how willing are you to challenge your elected officials to get big corporate money out of politics, and to get out and help educate the masses who at this point don’t much give a damn.

        I doubt that this forum will prove to be the place for this discussion, but there are plenty of other venues.

        Joe



        There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

        My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

        This is confirmed by this article:  http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

        What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

        I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

        Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

        Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

        Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

        I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

        Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

        What are we doing to change this?

        Dave Green
        Retired pollination contractor

         
           

              
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      • Joe Franke
        ... . Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? I didnt receive a copy of this, so not sure if it and the subsequent message got posted, so a retry.
        Message 3 of 21 , Aug 2 12:07 PM
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          Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?
          I didn’t receive a copy of this, so not sure if it and the subsequent message got posted, so a retry. Apologies to anybody who got it twice.

          Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation in New Mexico and further west is demonstrably worse than what you describe for your neck of the woods, sorry), I got some bad news for you:

          The short answer is that we’re going to have to get out of bee suits, hang up our nets and get away from the dissecting scopes for a while and engage in the unpleasant but entirely necessary business of public advocacy and politics. Something has gone seriously wrong in the USA, (a supposed representative democracy) the result of which being that in that despite the gravity of the problems facing us we have become the most politically timid people in the “developed” world. This year in the EU, neonicotinoids  were banned through the hard work of beekeepers, scientists and other concerned citizens. In the US, we have undue influence on EPA policy being exerted by industry, and the Pollinator Partnership taking sponsorships (not sure how much money is involved) for their “Pollinator Week” campaign from Bayer, Valent and other companies that are producers of the chemicals that are largely responsible for the crisis. So it comes down to how much do you want to work, and how willing are you to challenge your elected officials to get big corporate money out of politics, and to get out and help educate the masses who at this point don’t much give a damn.

          I doubt that this forum will prove to be the place for this discussion, but there are plenty of other venues.

          Joe



          There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

          My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

          This is confirmed by this article:  http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

          What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

          I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

          Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

          Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

          Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

          I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

          Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

          What are we doing to change this?

          Dave Green
          Retired pollination contractor

           
             

                
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        • MICHAEL RIISAGER
          Being an immigrant from the UK (1965) and of Danish parentage (1935), I have strong European roots, and follow the bee news over there with a certain degree
          Message 4 of 21 , Aug 2 4:01 PM
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            Being an immigrant from the UK (1965) and of Danish parentage (1935), I have strong  European roots, and follow the bee news over there with a certain degree of satisfaction...
             
            I agree with your views entirely, but would tweak your action recommendation to stress EDUCATION. Two hundred yards from my bee yard resides a most capable gardener: trees, perennials, annual plantings are in superb condition. He has about one fifth of his 1/2 acre lot in patches of lawn. My bees were in his fruit trees in force, but about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of 'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications' locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
             
            Here is an otherwise knowledgeable and intelligent individual (who BOTHERED to ask the sprayer). How can we expect our politicos to respond to scientific data?! Are they EDUCABLE?
             
            Ok, now I will sign off and duck!
             
            Mike
             

            To: Pollinator@...; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            From: sapogordoeco@...
            Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 10:45:32 -0600
            Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

             
            Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation in New Mexico and further west is demonstrably worse than what you describe for your neck of the woods, sorry), I got some bad news for you:

            The short answer is that we’re going to have to get out of bee suits, hang up our nets and get away from the dissecting scopes for a while and engage in the unpleasant but entirely necessary business of public advocacy and politics. Something has gone seriously wrong in the USA, (a supposed representative democracy) the result of which being that in that despite the gravity of the problems facing us we have become the most politically timid people in the “developed” world. This year in the EU, neonicotinoids  were banned through the hard work of beekeepers, scientists and other concerned citizens. In the US, we have undue influence on EPA policy being exerted by industry, and the Pollinator Partnership taking sponsorships (not sure how much money is involved) for their “Pollinator Week” campaign from Bayer, Valent and other companies that are producers of the chemicals that are largely responsible for the crisis. So it comes down to how much do you want to work, and how willing are you to challenge your elected officials to get big corporate money out of politics, and to get out and help educate the masses who at this point don’t much give a damn.

            I doubt that this forum will prove to be the place for this discussion, but there are plenty of other venues.

            Joe



            There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

            My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

            This is confirmed by this article:  http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

            What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

            I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

            Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

            Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

            Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

            I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

            Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

            What are we doing to change this?

            Dave Green
            Retired pollination contractor

             
               

                  
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          • KA
            Have you taken a look Joe at the Bee Friendly Farming Program? Cheers! Kathy Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone ... From: Joe Franke
            Message 5 of 21 , Aug 2 4:20 PM
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              Have you taken a look Joe at the Bee Friendly Farming Program?
              Cheers!
              Kathy


              Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone



              -------- Original message --------
              From: Joe Franke <sapogordoeco@...>
              Date: 08/02/2013 10:45 AM (GMT-07:00)
              To: pollinator2001 <Pollinator@...>,beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?


               

              Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation in New Mexico and further west is demonstrably worse than what you describe for your neck of the woods, sorry), I got some bad news for you:

              The short answer is that we’re going to have to get out of bee suits, hang up our nets and get away from the dissecting scopes for a while and engage in the unpleasant but entirely necessary business of public advocacy and politics. Something has gone seriously wrong in the USA, (a supposed representative democracy) the result of which being that in that despite the gravity of the problems facing us we have become the most politically timid people in the “developed” world. This year in the EU, neonicotinoids  were banned through the hard work of beekeepers, scientists and other concerned citizens. In the US, we have undue influence on EPA policy being exerted by industry, and the Pollinator Partnership taking sponsorships (not sure how much money is involved) for their “Pollinator Week” campaign from Bayer, Valent and other companies that are producers of the chemicals that are largely responsible for the crisis. So it comes down to how much do you want to work, and how willing are you to challenge your elected officials to get big corporate money out of politics, and to get out and help educate the masses who at this point don’t much give a damn.

              I doubt that this forum will prove to be the place for this discussion, but there are plenty of other venues.

              Joe



              There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

              My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

              This is confirmed by this article:  http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

              What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

              I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

              Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

              Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

              Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

              I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

              Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

              What are we doing to change this?

              Dave Green
              Retired pollination contractor

               
                 

                    
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            • Joe Franke
              Mike, No need to duck...get ready to parry and weave a bit though...I will take the body blow for you. I think that at this point we can and should cast a
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 2 4:47 PM
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                Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? Mike,

                No need to duck...get ready to parry and weave a bit though...I will take the body blow for you.

                I think that at this point we can and should cast a critical eye on our education efforts relating to pollinators and bee declines. Illustrative of your question is the recent incident in Oregon, A short drive down I-5 from the country’s best known pollinator NGO in Portland. Workers for the city of Wilsonville were told by their bosses, who were in turn acting on complaints about sticky aphid exudates sprinkled on cars in a shopping center parking lot, sprayed a number of linden trees in full bloom with Dinotefuran, a neonicotinoid pesticide with the weirdly inappropriate trade name “Safari” (made by Valent, one of the sponsors of Pollinator Partnership’s 2012 “Pollinator Week”). It is worth asking how any municipality could think about spraying this poison in a public place, on trees in full bloom, that the chemical used was a known bee toxin, etc., and why they could even countenance this as a pest management option. There was a similar kill not long before this incident, that received less press attention, in Hillsboro, OR. I’m picking on Xerces here perhaps unfairly, but if they can’t get Oregon municipalities to “bee-have”, with the resources at their disposal, then we’ve all got tough job ahead of us.

                I can relate my own experience a bit here on the education front. We’ve been trying to fund a number of initiatives, for almost 5 years now, to do pollinator education, establish native pollinator reserves on private and public land, do school outreach, develop curricula, etc. and have been largely unsuccessful despite many, many days spent talking to legislators, writing grants and otherwise running into brick walls.  It comes down to money, as in there is none. Most of it goes to politically timid organizations that absolutely will not touch the pesticide issue in any meaningful way. Some organizations actually jump into bed with the very people who are the problem. “Environmental education” is in a corrupted state, totally politicized and existing ghettoized and starving on the fringes. This is what we are faced with having to change here in the US.

                Parenthetically, I’ve been doing most of my bee work in Belize and in South America, and what work gets done is funded by organizations in the UK. This despite the fact that I’m a US citizen.

                If anybody would like to collaborate on some of these education projects, I’m all in...but everybody has careers to protect, bees to identify, fieldwork to be done, etc. etc. ad infinutum. We leave the dirty work to somebody else and wonder why the masses don’t respond to reason, empirical findings, etc. If there is a crisis, we’re not acting like it.

                Joe




                On 8/2/13 5:01 PM, "MICHAEL RIISAGER" <pmichaelriisager@...> wrote:

                Being an immigrant from the UK (1965) and of Danish parentage (1935), I have strong  European roots, and follow the bee news over there with a certain degree of satisfaction...
                 
                I agree with your views entirely, but would tweak your action recommendation to stress EDUCATION. Two hundred yards from my bee yard resides a most capable gardener: trees, perennials, annual plantings are in superb condition. He has about one fifth of his 1/2 acre lot in patches of lawn. My bees were in his fruit trees in force, but about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of 'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications' locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                 
                Here is an otherwise knowledgeable and intelligent individual (who BOTHERED to ask the sprayer). How can we expect our politicos to respond to scientific data?! Are they EDUCABLE?
                 
                Ok, now I will sign off and duck!
                 
                Mike
                 

                To: Pollinator@...; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                From: sapogordoeco@...
                Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 10:45:32 -0600
                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                 
                 
                 
                   
                Without getting into the particulars of honeybee decline, on which we are not going to agree (The situation in New Mexico and further west is demonstrably worse than what you describe for your neck of the woods, sorry), I got some bad news for you:

                The short answer is that we’re going to have to get out of bee suits, hang up our nets and get away from the dissecting scopes for a while and engage in the unpleasant but entirely necessary business of public advocacy and politics. Something has gone seriously wrong in the USA, (a supposed representative democracy) the result of which being that in that despite the gravity of the problems facing us we have become the most politically timid people in the “developed” world. This year in the EU, neonicotinoids  were banned through the hard work of beekeepers, scientists and other concerned citizens. In the US, we have undue influence on EPA policy being exerted by industry, and the Pollinator Partnership taking sponsorships (not sure how much money is involved) for their “Pollinator Week” campaign from Bayer, Valent and other companies that are producers of the chemicals that are largely responsible for the crisis. So it comes down to how much do you want to work, and how willing are you to challenge your elected officials to get big corporate money out of politics, and to get out and help educate the masses who at this point don’t much give a damn.

                I doubt that this forum will prove to be the place for this discussion, but there are plenty of other venues.

                Joe



                There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

                My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

                This is confirmed by this article:  http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

                What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

                I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

                Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

                Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

                Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

                I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

                Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

                What are we doing to change this?

                Dave Green
                Retired pollination contractor

                 
                   

                      
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                Joe Franke
                Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services
                Chile Dog Designs, Inc.
                1228 Lafayette Dr. NE
                Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA
                ph: 505-515-8736
                Visit us on Facebook:
                https://www.facebook.com/joe.frank.75685?ref=tn_tnmn
                Sapogordoeco@...

              • Doug Yanega
                ... The masses don t respond to reason and empirical findings because they ve been told that scientists are all in the pockets of the corporations. I got into
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 6 9:32 AM
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                  On 8/2/13 4:47 PM, Joe Franke wrote:
                   

                  We leave the dirty work to somebody else and wonder why the masses don’t respond to reason, empirical findings, etc. If there is a crisis, we’re not acting like it.

                  The masses don't respond to reason and empirical findings because they've been told that scientists are all in the pockets of the corporations. I got into an argument with a woman in a very heavily-populated entomology forum on FaceBook, who - when I pointed out that "Colony Collapse Disorder" is a decades-old ailment that was renamed in 2006 (not *discovered* in 2006) - defended her stance (that all the world's pollinator troubles are the direct result of neonicotinoids) by citing a science writer's book, and accusing me of being a paid pesticide industry apologist. Oblivious, of course, to the irony that she paid money for that guy's book, so she is getting her (mis)information from someone who is making a profit at her expense.

                  It seems like she is a representative case of what much of the modern environmental movement is about: conspiracy theories and paranoia. People who are intelligent enough to be easily manipulated, but not intelligent enough to be able to interpret the primary literature themselves, and not wise enough to be able to tell unbiased analysis from propaganda. They selectively adhere to one set of interpretive propaganda, insisting that anything that disagrees with that interpretation MUST be propaganda put into play by their enemies. I get the feeling that they're like the quintessential pitchfork-wielding mob, just needing a plausible-sounding excuse to go stabbing and burning, never stopping to turn their scrutiny on the people who are commanding them to go forth and destroy. All you have to do is holler "MONSANTO IS EVIL" and you'll have thousands of angry people ready to listen to ANYTHING ELSE YOU SAY, even if it's complete nonsense.

                  I'm not sure there is any way to educate people who are convinced that you and your attempts at education are evil.

                  Sincerely,
                  -- 
                  Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
                  Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
                  phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
                    "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
                • Peter Bernhardt
                  Dear Douglas: I m sure we understand and empathize with you but it s really not fair to dismiss the general public based on one person inhabiting a forum on
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 6 2:27 PM
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                    Dear Douglas:

                    I'm sure we understand and empathize with you but it's really not fair to dismiss the general public based on one person inhabiting a forum on FaceBook.  That's like basing the behavior of American women on interviews with Hollywood actresses.  We all know plenty of people with pre-conceived biases because all of us have our own pre-conceived biases at some time.  The reading habits of such people ultimately favor authors whose prejudices converge with their own.  How else can anyone explain the enduring popularity of writers like... Michael Pollan?

                    Does this mean, though, that the generalist (meaning people without some tertiary training in Biology) supporter of environmental issues always, always, always behave like Transylvanian peasants in old black and white movies?  I don't think so at all based on my last 35 years of trying to make our research comprehensible to people in seven countries.  The infrequent communications I've received indicate that some (many?) environmentalists are willing to read, measure the possibilities and then make rational decisions just like us.  

                    Don't judge the general public based on the noisiest and the most negative.  You know, they're the sort whose real avocation or hobby is writing blistering letters to the editor.  Our e-age gives them the 24/7 platform they've always believed they deserved and you, Doug, are catering to one of them.  Yes, showing them up as jerks is a lot of fun but remember, they are as tireless as they are neurotic.  It's better to give the facts or references to the public and know you've done the right thing than try to humiliate or convert a fanatic.  I've been giving interviews to an Australian radio journalist for over 20 years because he insists that his audience likes me and trusts me.  Well, you can't please 100% of an audience (especially Australians).  When I talked about rare orchids in Oregon, and how a lady-slipper came up in massive populations in those regions with road cuts favoring selective timbering, some nut-burger in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales sent poor Robyn an email insisting I was paid off by the timber industry.  Robyn complained that this bloke had been pestering him for years making similar accusations about other scientists.  Does this all sound a bit familiar, Doug? 

                    Peter Bernhardt


                    On Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM, Doug Yanega <dyanega@...> wrote:
                     

                    On 8/2/13 4:47 PM, Joe Franke wrote:
                     

                    We leave the dirty work to somebody else and wonder why the masses don’t respond to reason, empirical findings, etc. If there is a crisis, we’re not acting like it.

                    The masses don't respond to reason and empirical findings because they've been told that scientists are all in the pockets of the corporations. I got into an argument with a woman in a very heavily-populated entomology forum on FaceBook, who - when I pointed out that "Colony Collapse Disorder" is a decades-old ailment that was renamed in 2006 (not *discovered* in 2006) - defended her stance (that all the world's pollinator troubles are the direct result of neonicotinoids) by citing a science writer's book, and accusing me of being a paid pesticide industry apologist. Oblivious, of course, to the irony that she paid money for that guy's book, so she is getting her (mis)information from someone who is making a profit at her expense.

                    It seems like she is a representative case of what much of the modern environmental movement is about: conspiracy theories and paranoia. People who are intelligent enough to be easily manipulated, but not intelligent enough to be able to interpret the primary literature themselves, and not wise enough to be able to tell unbiased analysis from propaganda. They selectively adhere to one set of interpretive propaganda, insisting that anything that disagrees with that interpretation MUST be propaganda put into play by their enemies. I get the feeling that they're like the quintessential pitchfork-wielding mob, just needing a plausible-sounding excuse to go stabbing and burning, never stopping to turn their scrutiny on the people who are commanding them to go forth and destroy. All you have to do is holler "MONSANTO IS EVIL" and you'll have thousands of angry people ready to listen to ANYTHING ELSE YOU SAY, even if it's complete nonsense.

                    I'm not sure there is any way to educate people who are convinced that you and your attempts at education are evil.

                    Sincerely,
                    -- 
                    Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
                    Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
                    phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                                 http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
                      "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                            is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


                  • Liz Day
                    ... My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability to operate the
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 6 5:48 PM
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                      >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                      >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                      >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                      >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                      >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                      >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                      >

                      My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                      are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                      to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                      horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                      neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                      summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                      are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                      training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                      replace it all with sod at great expense.

                      Liz
                      Indianapolis IN USA
                    • Liz Day
                      ... one person inhabiting a forum on FaceBook. .... Don t judge the general public based on the noisiest and the most negative.... the sort whose hobby is
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 6 6:01 PM
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                        > ..... it's really not fair to dismiss the general public based on
                        one person inhabiting a forum on FaceBook. .... Don't judge the
                        general public based on the noisiest and the most negative.... the
                        sort whose hobby is writing blistering letters to the editor.

                        If one omits these people from the picture, there remains a huge
                        number of people who have no clue about the most basic facts about
                        plants and insects. I have met people who don't recognize
                        dandelions... [add your own encounters here] I think they are miles
                        from having the background to evaluate what they read or hear on
                        these topics. :-(

                        Liz
                        Indianapolis USA
                      • Dave Hunter
                        To weigh in from a different perspective, I believe Dave Green s (first email in this series) is a good one. Shawn Regan s article, though probably accurate,
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 6 6:18 PM
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                          To weigh in from a different perspective,

                           

                          I believe Dave Green’s (first email in this series) is a good one.  Shawn Regan’s article, though probably accurate, is misguided in my opinion.  The public responds well to hype and negative news. If they understand that there are few problems, then things get ignored and we plod along losing ground in the battle to increase bees across the landscape.  I don’t know the author Shawn Regan, nor his background or research capabilities.  However, his article seems to ring true.  I feel that people who say “the honey bees are doing fine” seem to ignore the ongoing efforts made by researchers and innovative companies that constantly plug holes in a damaged ship.

                           

                          The innate human spirit has us adapting and figuring things out.  I view Shawn’s article and the honey bee industry like a sinking rowboat with just enough people to bail it out while one or two keep plugging up holes that appear.  “The boat is afloat and we have few problems skipper!”

                           

                          We do have constant and new issues with honey bees. 

                           

                          To ignore the tedious efforts and vast expense in research to get there just to stay afloat would be a shame.  The results of a mature pollination industry to change its practices doesn’t happen overnight.  Rather, it rises to each new challenge and looks to solve it while still patching holes from previous issues.

                           

                          I believe our public-facing stance should be two pronged, and slightly parallel to Dave Green’s email:

                          1.    The honey bee industry is under attack on multiple fronts.  We should all repeat this mantra. Through laborious and creative efforts, the honey bee industry is able to keep pace with each malady being thrown at it.  Responsive contractors and companies continue to battle hard to create new solutions, be they adding/adjusted chemicals, creating “nuc-rearing” companies, and the like.  We hope the researchers and honey bee industry figure out each new issue and gains ground steadily.

                          2.    The remaining North American bees, all 4,000 native species, without representation continue to decline.  This needs to be a steady beating drum. Through ignorance that there is only the honey bee, and “we have it figured out with the honey bees” has us ignoring the native bees… Which would be tragic.  We should continue to raise awareness that there are unbelievably huge problems impacting native and wild bees.  …and we should continue to research, educate the public, and look to help the farmers with alternative solutions. Rufus Isaac’s recent USDA/SCRI grant is one such program.

                           

                          As a team of individuals who care… we should not steer away from the statement that our future food supply is in jeopardy.  Crown Bees has recently partnered with the National Garden Club, Inc, and will be teaching all 175,000 members about native bees, mason bees, and simple steps to create healthy yards with bee habitats (cavity & ground nesters) this fall.  We hope to create a speakers bureau that will increase awareness to the public.  If any of you care to participate in the development of the slide material, I’d love to team with you directly.

                           

                          We must continue to provide manageable alternatives to ensure we have our food pollination as secure as possible.  Educating the backyard gardener is a step in the right direction. 

                           

                           

                          Dave Hunter

                          cid:428334615@02052011-35DF

                          O. 425.949.7954

                          C. 206.851.1263

                          www.crownbees.com

                           Click below to hear the buzz!

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                          From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pollinator2001
                          Sent: Friday, August 02, 2013 5:34 AM
                          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                           

                           


                          There has been so much media hoopla about the impending doom of the honey bee, and I've been saying all along that this is hogwash. The honey bee has keepers, who are handling many of the honey bee's problems, who feed the bees and make up the nutritional gaps, who breed new strains of bees for greater hardiness, and who protect and salvage the bees as best they can from pesticide damage.

                          My successor (the one who bought my bees at my retirement) has been expanding every year, has beautiful hives of bees, has never seen any CCD, and provided thousands of replacement hives this spring for bees lost up North. Honey bee keepers continue to increase in the proportion of pollination service provided by all bees.

                          This is confirmed by this article: http://qz.com/101585/everyone-calm-down-there-is-no-bee-pocalypse/

                          What does concern me is that the wild bees, which have no keepers and few defenders, are in greater decline.

                          I have been observing them for years at our home in South Carolina. We have planted many flowers to feed and encourage them, as well as provide housing, water, mud and other essentials.

                          Yet they continue to decline. Over a ten year span, all species of bumblebees, except B. impatiens have disappeared at our bee sanctuary.

                          Ten years ago, our bradford pears had hundreds of small solitary bees on them when they bloomed; now it's just an occasional one or two. Of the solitary bees, only the large carpenter bees remain fairly common.

                          Our Melissodes bees used to cover our blooming coneflower, sunflowers and milkweed, by this time each year. To date, I've only seen one individual, as opposed to the usual hundreds. I only see an occasional isolated Megachiliid, and B. impatiens on these flowers.

                          I am deeply concerned at the barrenness of pollinators at our bee sanctuary, despite all our efforts to make things perfect for them.

                          Pesticide applications continue to be made in violation of bee-protection directions. Around here, that means cotton and mosquito spraying. I am certain that this is a primary cause of the loss of wild bees.

                          What are we doing to change this?

                          Dave Green
                          Retired pollination contractor

                           

                        • Joe Franke
                          Peter, I wouldn¹t blame other readers of the forum if they found this thread this too far off topic, but I¹d like to keep this discussion going. I can give
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 6 7:03 PM
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                            Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? Peter,

                            I wouldn’t blame other readers of the forum if they found this thread this too far off topic, but I’d like to keep this discussion going. I can give you a Wordpress URL where we could start another thread if anybody is interested.

                            A few questions that might help clarify the issues that are obliquely being discussed here.

                            Michael Pollan represents the “green consumer” angle to solving social and environmental problems, one that allows a largely well-off sector of the population to do very little in the way of changing their behaviors in order to feel good about themselves, without really sacrificing anything. So of course he will be enduringly popular. But what is your problem with him and his readers, exactly?

                             What is an “environmental issue” in your view?

                            What is an “environmentalist”, and how are they somebody other than people “just like us”?

                            What do you mean by “neurotic”?

                            While there might be problems with the arguments presented by the apparently deranged woman who assaulted Doug, There are plenty of reasons that Americans have in not trusting the veracity of any media report, book, and particularly internet sources, here in the States we have plenty to be cautious about and actually should be more critical of everthing we read or hear.  We have regulators that come right out of industry in order to write and re-write environmental and public health legislation (for instance, what’s going on now in New Mexico in regards to how toxic mine waste is handled thanks to our relatively new Governor, involving regulation that will contaminate groundwater across the state), polluting and extractive industries writing “environmental education” curricula loaded with rubbish and handing them out free to school systems, we have a system of democracy that works only for the the highest bidder, and all sorts of things that absolutely should be regarded with considerable suspicion by the general public. So here again, what is it that you’re trying to say?

                            Unfortunately, people across the (very short) political spectrum in the US are all victims of a lousy educational system that doesn’t encourage debate and critical thinking, and everybody’s arguments tend to come from off as weak. I’d be the first to say that those that the people on the “right” would consider to be on the “left” (the later doesn’t really exist here, in my opinion) are both equally under-informed and not capable of formulating a coherent argument about much of anything. You know the now trite adage about how we’re like mushrooms...

                            However, here’s your chance! And again, since we’re straying pretty far from Bee Monitoring per se, we can take this somewhere else, like another forum. All for the cause of greater mutual understanding, of course.

                            Joe


                            Dear Douglas:

                            I'm sure we understand and empathize with you but it's really not fair to dismiss the general public based on one person inhabiting a forum on FaceBook.  That's like basing the behavior of American women on interviews with Hollywood actresses.  We all know plenty of people with pre-conceived biases because all of us have our own pre-conceived biases at some time.  The reading habits of such people ultimately favor authors whose prejudices converge with their own.  How else can anyone explain the enduring popularity of writers like... Michael Pollan?

                            Does this mean, though, that the generalist (meaning people without some tertiary training in Biology) supporter of environmental issues always, always, always behave like Transylvanian peasants in old black and white movies?  I don't think so at all based on my last 35 years of trying to make our research comprehensible to people in seven countries.  The infrequent communications I've received indicate that some (many?) environmentalists are willing to read, measure the possibilities and then make rational decisions just like us.  

                            Don't judge the general public based on the noisiest and the most negative.  You know, they're the sort whose real avocation or hobby is writing blistering letters to the editor.  Our e-age gives them the 24/7 platform they've always believed they deserved and you, Doug, are catering to one of them.  Yes, showing them up as jerks is a lot of fun but remember, they are as tireless as they are neurotic.  It's better to give the facts or references to the public and know you've done the right thing than try to humiliate or convert a fanatic.  I've been giving interviews to an Australian radio journalist for over 20 years because he insists that his audience likes me and trusts me.  Well, you can't please 100% of an audience (especially Australians).  When I talked about rare orchids in Oregon, and how a lady-slipper came up in massive populations in those regions with road cuts favoring selective timbering, some nut-burger in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales sent poor Robyn an email insisting I was paid off by the timber industry.  Robyn complained that this bloke had been pestering him for years making similar accusations about other scientists.  Does this all sound a bit familiar, Doug? 

                            Peter Bernhardt


                            On Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM, Doug Yanega <dyanega@...> wrote:
                             
                             
                             
                               

                               

                            On 8/2/13 4:47 PM, Joe Franke wrote:
                             
                             
                                
                             

                             We leave the dirty work to somebody else and wonder why the masses don’t respond to reason, empirical findings, etc. If there is a crisis, we’re not acting like it.
                             
                             
                               
                            The masses don't respond to reason and empirical findings because they've been told that scientists are all in the pockets of the corporations. I got into an argument with a woman in a very heavily-populated entomology forum on FaceBook, who - when I pointed out that "Colony Collapse Disorder" is a decades-old ailment that was renamed in 2006 (not *discovered* in 2006) - defended her stance (that all the world's pollinator troubles are the direct result of neonicotinoids) by citing a science writer's book, and accusing me of being a paid pesticide industry apologist. Oblivious, of course, to the irony that she paid money for that guy's book, so she is getting her (mis)information from someone who is making a profit at her expense.
                             
                             It seems like she is a representative case of what much of the modern environmental movement is about: conspiracy theories and paranoia. People who are intelligent enough to be easily manipulated, but not intelligent enough to be able to interpret the primary literature themselves, and not wise enough to be able to tell unbiased analysis from propaganda. They selectively adhere to one set of interpretive propaganda, insisting that anything that disagrees with that interpretation MUST be propaganda put into play by their enemies. I get the feeling that they're like the quintessential pitchfork-wielding mob, just needing a plausible-sounding excuse to go stabbing and burning, never stopping to turn their scrutiny on the people who are commanding them to go forth and destroy. All you have to do is holler "MONSANTO IS EVIL" and you'll have thousands of angry people ready to listen to ANYTHING ELSE YOU SAY, even if it's complete nonsense.
                             
                             I'm not sure there is any way to educate people who are convinced that you and your attempts at education are evil.
                             
                             Sincerely,
                             



                            Joe Franke
                            Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services
                            Chile Dog Designs, Inc.
                            1228 Lafayette Dr. NE
                            Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA
                            ph: 505-515-8736
                            Visit us on Facebook:
                            https://www.facebook.com/joe.frank.75685?ref=tn_tnmn
                            Sapogordoeco@...

                          • Ed Spevak
                            Liz Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their pest control expert
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 7 6:39 AM
                            • 0 Attachment

                               

                              Liz

                               

                              Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.

                               

                              Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.

                               

                              Ed

                               

                              Edward M. Spevak

                              Curator of Invertebrates

                              Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                              IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                              Saint Louis Zoo

                              One Government Drive

                              Saint Louis, MO 63110

                              314-646-4706

                              314-807-5419 cell

                               

                              From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                              Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                              To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                               

                               


                              >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                              >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                              >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                              >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                              >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                              >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                              >

                              My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                              are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                              to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                              horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                              neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                              summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                              are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                              training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                              replace it all with sod at great expense.

                              Liz
                              Indianapolis IN USA

                            • Peter Bernhardt
                              Dear Ed: Over the years I ve received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks. They don t
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 7 7:03 AM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Dear Ed:

                                Over the years I've received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks.  They don't want to bring in a specimen and identifications based on their descriptions is limited.  They almost always want me to recommend an insecticide.

                                This sounds like a worthy project for NAPPC.  Members should know that we have a colorful and informative card allowing us to identify all the bumblebee species in Missouri via color patterns in workers and queens.  My Chinese post-doc is so pleased with his copy he wants to see similar cards produced for districts in China.  What about a similar card for common ground-nesting bees/wasps and a second card for wood-nesting bees/wasps we could give away to home owners?  Another option is to produce this guide as a web page?  We could save some people worry and money.

                                Liz, when we moved to the suburbs the lawn care companies were aggressive.  They'd knock on your door or engage you while you were gardening and offer to tell you everything that was wrong with your grass.  I told them I was willing to listen but warned them I was a professor of Botany at St. Louis U.  Suddenly, they had no time to talk but they left me some nice cards to get in touch.  

                                Peter 


                                On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM, Ed Spevak <spevak@...> wrote:
                                 

                                 

                                Liz

                                 

                                Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.

                                 

                                Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.

                                 

                                Ed

                                 

                                Edward M. Spevak

                                Curator of Invertebrates

                                Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                                IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                                Saint Louis Zoo

                                One Government Drive

                                Saint Louis, MO 63110

                                314-646-4706

                                314-807-5419 cell

                                 

                                From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                 

                                 


                                >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                >

                                My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                Liz
                                Indianapolis IN USA


                              • Ed Spevak
                                Peter That is an interesting idea. For the bumble bee guides in China and other parts of the world we can possibly address that through the Bumblebee
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 7 7:21 AM

                                Peter

                                 

                                That is an interesting idea. For the bumble bee guides in China and other parts of the world we can possibly address that through the Bumblebee Specialist Group. As you know besides our IL and MO Bumble Bee guide there is currently a guide for Eastern and Western bumble bees (published through NAPPC) with an inclusive Bumble Bees of North America in prep. For general ID I would recommend the general two pagers developed by NAPPC just to get people to realize the diversity of our bees (see attached). Limited but a start. For general ID’s on typical ground nesting and wood nesting bees/wasps this seems very worthwhile. BugLife in the UK has produced a number of laminated guides for their bees. I have also been talking with Waterford Press to produce a laminated bee guide for our region. This could be expanded to other regions as well.

                                 

                                Ed

                                 

                                Edward M. Spevak

                                Curator of Invertebrates

                                Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                                IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                                Saint Louis Zoo

                                One Government Drive

                                Saint Louis, MO 63110

                                314-646-4706

                                314-807-5419 cell

                                 

                                From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                                Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:03 AM
                                To: Ed Spevak
                                Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                 

                                Dear Ed:

                                 

                                Over the years I've received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks.  They don't want to bring in a specimen and identifications based on their descriptions is limited.  They almost always want me to recommend an insecticide.

                                 

                                This sounds like a worthy project for NAPPC.  Members should know that we have a colorful and informative card allowing us to identify all the bumblebee species in Missouri via color patterns in workers and queens.  My Chinese post-doc is so pleased with his copy he wants to see similar cards produced for districts in China.  What about a similar card for common ground-nesting bees/wasps and a second card for wood-nesting bees/wasps we could give away to home owners?  Another option is to produce this guide as a web page?  We could save some people worry and money.

                                 

                                Liz, when we moved to the suburbs the lawn care companies were aggressive.  They'd knock on your door or engage you while you were gardening and offer to tell you everything that was wrong with your grass.  I told them I was willing to listen but warned them I was a professor of Botany at St. Louis U.  Suddenly, they had no time to talk but they left me some nice cards to get in touch.  

                                 

                                Peter 

                                 

                                On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM, Ed Spevak <spevak@...> wrote:

                                 

                                 

                                Liz

                                 

                                Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.

                                 

                                Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.

                                 

                                Ed

                                 

                                Edward M. Spevak

                                Curator of Invertebrates

                                Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                                IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                                Saint Louis Zoo

                                One Government Drive

                                Saint Louis, MO 63110

                                314-646-4706

                                314-807-5419 cell

                                 

                                From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                 

                                 


                                >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                >

                                My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                Liz
                                Indianapolis IN USA

                                 

                              • Joe Franke
                                ... Joe Franke Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services Chile Dog Designs, Inc. 1228 Lafayette Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA ph: 505-515-8736 Visit us on
                                Message 16 of 21 , Aug 7 8:33 AM
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                                  Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                  This is where a strong case can be made for funding public education programs on native pollinators. Curricula for state pesticide applicator licensing should include information on native pollinators. Right now in NM at least there’s nothing on the test about this topic. Of course, the joker who decided that a native plasterer bees needed to be sprayed might have had an economic incentive to feed the client a load of BS. That’s were some regulation might have to come into play as well as education efforts. Some of these people are willfully stupid and others engage in outright deceit.


                                  Liz
                                   
                                  Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.
                                   
                                  Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.
                                   
                                  Ed
                                   

                                  Edward M. Spevak
                                  Curator of Invertebrates
                                  Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation
                                  IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer
                                  Saint Louis Zoo
                                  One Government Drive
                                  Saint Louis, MO 63110
                                  314-646-4706
                                  314-807-5419 cell
                                   

                                  From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                  Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                  To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                  Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                    


                                  >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                  >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                  >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                  >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                  >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                  >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                  >

                                  My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                  are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                  to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                  horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                  neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                  summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                  are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                  training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                  replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                  Liz
                                  Indianapolis IN USA

                                   
                                     





                                  Joe Franke
                                  Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services
                                  Chile Dog Designs, Inc.
                                  1228 Lafayette Dr. NE
                                  Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA
                                  ph: 505-515-8736
                                  Visit us on Facebook:
                                  https://www.facebook.com/joe.frank.75685?ref=tn_tnmn
                                  Sapogordoeco@...

                                • Stoner, Kimberly
                                  I looked up the guide to Eastern bumble bees, and it looks great! Congratulations to all involved. Here is the link:
                                  Message 17 of 21 , Aug 8 2:56 PM
                                  • 0 Attachment

                                    I looked up the guide to Eastern bumble bees, and it looks great!  Congratulations to all involved.  Here is the link:

                                    http://pollinator.org/PDFs/BumbleBeeGuide2011.pdf

                                     

                                    About the other thread on communicating science to the public:

                                    There is a lot we can communicate that is not controversial – all this great information about the diversity of bees, their importance in the ecosystem and in agriculture, their need for floral resources, nesting sites -  and even the need for protection from pesticides is uncontroversial up to a certain point. I believe the pesticide companies would agree that the direct spraying of linden trees in bloom with active bumble bees present, as happened in the incident in Oregon, is contrary to the label and therefore illegal.

                                     

                                    But, as someone who does research on exposure of bees to pesticides, I can tell you that communication about a subject where there are economic interests on both sides, and the science is still not clear, is very tricky.  People want a clear answer.  They want to know what is killing the bees (honey bees, mostly, since they aren’t much aware of other bees), so they can ban it or cure it, and the bees will be saved.  That’s why there is a paper every few months that is trumpeted by the media as “the answer to colony collapse disorder.”  Last month, it was chlorothalonil, a few months before, it was imidacloprid, before that clothianidin, before that Nosema ceranae, before that it was IAPV, and imidacloprid makes a return visit periodically.

                                     

                                    And, of course, there are people who have an economic interest in making sure that the answer is not a pesticide (or at least not the one they manufacture, or apply, or need for their crop).

                                     

                                    I got into this field about eight years ago (before colony collapse disorder)  because I was reading the reports from Europe about imidacloprid, I knew how widely it was used, and how long it had been on the market; and I couldn’t believe that we knew so little about the levels of exposure and effects on bees.  I have helped to fill in a few gaps, and my collaborator Brian Eitzer, an analytical chemist who does pesticide testing for many bee projects, has filled in some more.  The many bee experts looking at effects of neonicotinoids (and now fungicides) on susceptibility to disease and on behavior and learning (mostly in honey bees and a few bumble bee species) have also filled in gaps, working from a different direction.

                                     

                                    The Europeans have decided there is enough evidence to ban neonicotinoids for most uses.  They have different criteria than we do in the US – specifically, they have a much more precautionary approach.  And, this decision was controversial among governments in Europe.  There are well-respected European bee scientists who would argue – who have argued in the scientific literature – that the proof is not there to attribute major bee losses to neonicotinoids, outside of certain incidents.

                                     

                                    I have to agree that the proof is not there – again outside of certain circumstances, like where dust from seed treatments blows off corn seed, spreading highly concentrated insecticide dust onto flowers in bloom or directly onto nearby honey bee hives. ( And even here, we need more information – how often does this happen?  Are there ways to avoid this problem other than banning the active ingredient – changing the formulation for example?  Or how farmers dispose of the dust?)

                                     

                                    I have to ask, too – if we ban neonicotinoids, what would farmers use instead?  Organophosphates? Pyrethroids?  The people using neonics now are not going to become organic overnight.

                                     

                                    Nevertheless, it is possible, if neonicotinoids really are the problem, that while the wheels of science are slowly turning, and the wheels of bureaucracy are also slowly turning, that in the meantime we are poisoning the bees (Honey bees? Bumble bees?  Other bees closely associated with crops, like squash bees? Bees feeding at ornamental trees, like lindens?).

                                     

                                    There are judgments to be made, based on values and economics and politics, and also based on what science we have.  But we shouldn’t pretend to have more certainty than we can support with evidence.

                                     

                                    I see the parallels with climate science and climate change.  I am currently reading the book, “Science as a Contact Sport” by Stephen Schneider, a leading climate scientist since the 1970s.  He recounts, in sometimes excruciating detail, the process of communicating to policy makers – not just in the US, but around the world - how much we knew about climate change at each point along the way, and what the uncertainties were. The scientists struggled to communicate the importance of uncertainties – and that uncertainties carry two kinds of risk. There is the risk that we act before we have enough evidence, and our actions turn out to be unnecessary and costly.  But, there is also the risk that we don’t act and the consequences turn out to be much greater than we expect.

                                     

                                    This is long and rambling, but I think all scientists whose work has policy implications need to struggle with these issues.

                                     

                                    Kim

                                     

                                    From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ed Spevak
                                    Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:22 AM
                                    To: 'Peter Bernhardt'
                                    Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                    Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? [1 Attachment]

                                     

                                     

                                    [Attachment(s) from Ed Spevak included below]

                                    Peter

                                     

                                    That is an interesting idea. For the bumble bee guides in China and other parts of the world we can possibly address that through the Bumblebee Specialist Group. As you know besides our IL and MO Bumble Bee guide there is currently a guide for Eastern and Western bumble bees (published through NAPPC) with an inclusive Bumble Bees of North America in prep. For general ID I would recommend the general two pagers developed by NAPPC just to get people to realize the diversity of our bees (see attached). Limited but a start. For general ID’s on typical ground nesting and wood nesting bees/wasps this seems very worthwhile. BugLife in the UK has produced a number of laminated guides for their bees. I have also been talking with Waterford Press to produce a laminated bee guide for our region. This could be expanded to other regions as well.

                                     

                                    Ed

                                     

                                    Edward M. Spevak

                                    Curator of Invertebrates

                                    Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                                    IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                                    Saint Louis Zoo

                                    One Government Drive

                                    Saint Louis, MO 63110

                                    314-646-4706

                                    314-807-5419 cell

                                     

                                    From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                                    Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:03 AM
                                    To: Ed Spevak
                                    Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                    Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                     

                                    Dear Ed:

                                     

                                    Over the years I've received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks.  They don't want to bring in a specimen and identifications based on their descriptions is limited.  They almost always want me to recommend an insecticide.

                                     

                                    This sounds like a worthy project for NAPPC.  Members should know that we have a colorful and informative card allowing us to identify all the bumblebee species in Missouri via color patterns in workers and queens.  My Chinese post-doc is so pleased with his copy he wants to see similar cards produced for districts in China.  What about a similar card for common ground-nesting bees/wasps and a second card for wood-nesting bees/wasps we could give away to home owners?  Another option is to produce this guide as a web page?  We could save some people worry and money.

                                     

                                    Liz, when we moved to the suburbs the lawn care companies were aggressive.  They'd knock on your door or engage you while you were gardening and offer to tell you everything that was wrong with your grass.  I told them I was willing to listen but warned them I was a professor of Botany at St. Louis U.  Suddenly, they had no time to talk but they left me some nice cards to get in touch.  

                                     

                                    Peter 

                                     

                                    On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM, Ed Spevak <spevak@...> wrote:

                                     

                                     

                                    Liz

                                     

                                    Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.

                                     

                                    Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.

                                     

                                    Ed

                                     

                                    Edward M. Spevak

                                    Curator of Invertebrates

                                    Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation

                                    IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer

                                    Saint Louis Zoo

                                    One Government Drive

                                    Saint Louis, MO 63110

                                    314-646-4706

                                    314-807-5419 cell

                                     

                                    From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                    Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                    To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                     

                                     


                                    >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                    >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                    >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                    >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                    >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                    >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                    >

                                    My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                    are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                    to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                    horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                    neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                    summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                    are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                    training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                    replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                    Liz
                                    Indianapolis IN USA

                                     

                                  • Joe Franke
                                    ... Joe Franke Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services Chile Dog Designs, Inc. 1228 Lafayette Dr. NE Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA ph: 505-515-8736 Visit us on
                                    Message 18 of 21 , Aug 8 3:17 PM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?
                                      The public also needs to know something of the Precautionary Principle, particularly when the stakes are as high as they are. Too often moneyed interests have trained the public to accept that the burden of proof should fall on those who seek to limit any activity that would result in an even temporary loss of economic gain for any stakeholder in a controversy. By saying “maybe yes and maybe no”, the lazy-minded American public is then vulnerable to the usual barrage of bought and paid for BS from TV and other media, crooked politicians, etc.

                                      So, the message should be that until the science is done, properly and transparently, we need a moratorium on the use of certain compounds.

                                      Farmers got along without neonics for an awfully long time, so I find your statement about “what else will they use” somewhat confusing. Could you clarify?

                                      Joe
                                         

                                      I looked up the guide to Eastern bumble bees, and it looks great!  Congratulations to all involved.  Here is the link:
                                      http://pollinator.org/PDFs/BumbleBeeGuide2011.pdf
                                       
                                      About the other thread on communicating science to the public:
                                      There is a lot we can communicate that is not controversial – all this great information about the diversity of bees, their importance in the ecosystem and in agriculture, their need for floral resources, nesting sites -  and even the need for protection from pesticides is uncontroversial up to a certain point. I believe the pesticide companies would agree that the direct spraying of linden trees in bloom with active bumble bees present, as happened in the incident in Oregon, is contrary to the label and therefore illegal.
                                       
                                      But, as someone who does research on exposure of bees to pesticides, I can tell you that communication about a subject where there are economic interests on both sides, and the science is still not clear, is very tricky.  People want a clear answer.  They want to know what is killing the bees (honey bees, mostly, since they aren’t much aware of other bees), so they can ban it or cure it, and the bees will be saved.  That’s why there is a paper every few months that is trumpeted by the media as “the answer to colony collapse disorder.”  Last month, it was chlorothalonil, a few months before, it was imidacloprid, before that clothianidin, before that Nosema ceranae, before that it was IAPV, and imidacloprid makes a return visit periodically.
                                       
                                      And, of course, there are people who have an economic interest in making sure that the answer is not a pesticide (or at least not the one they manufacture, or apply, or need for their crop).
                                       
                                      I got into this field about eight years ago (before colony collapse disorder)  because I was reading the reports from Europe about imidacloprid, I knew how widely it was used, and how long it had been on the market; and I couldn’t believe that we knew so little about the levels of exposure and effects on bees.  I have helped to fill in a few gaps, and my collaborator Brian Eitzer, an analytical chemist who does pesticide testing for many bee projects, has filled in some more.  The many bee experts looking at effects of neonicotinoids (and now fungicides) on susceptibility to disease and on behavior and learning (mostly in honey bees and a few bumble bee species) have also filled in gaps, working from a different direction.
                                       
                                      The Europeans have decided there is enough evidence to ban neonicotinoids for most uses.  They have different criteria than we do in the US – specifically, they have a much more precautionary approach.  And, this decision was controversial among governments in Europe.  There are well-respected European bee scientists who would argue – who have argued in the scientific literature – that the proof is not there to attribute major bee losses to neonicotinoids, outside of certain incidents.
                                       
                                      I have to agree that the proof is not there – again outside of certain circumstances, like where dust from seed treatments blows off corn seed, spreading highly concentrated insecticide dust onto flowers in bloom or directly onto nearby honey bee hives. ( And even here, we need more information – how often does this happen?  Are there ways to avoid this problem other than banning the active ingredient – changing the formulation for example?  Or how farmers dispose of the dust?)
                                       
                                      I have to ask, too – if we ban neonicotinoids, what would farmers use instead?  Organophosphates? Pyrethroids?  The people using neonics now are not going to become organic overnight.
                                       
                                      Nevertheless, it is possible, if neonicotinoids really are the problem, that while the wheels of science are slowly turning, and the wheels of bureaucracy are also slowly turning, that in the meantime we are poisoning the bees (Honey bees? Bumble bees?  Other bees closely associated with crops, like squash bees? Bees feeding at ornamental trees, like lindens?).
                                       
                                      There are judgments to be made, based on values and economics and politics, and also based on what science we have.  But we shouldn’t pretend to have more certainty than we can support with evidence.
                                       
                                      I see the parallels with climate science and climate change.  I am currently reading the book, “Science as a Contact Sport” by Stephen Schneider, a leading climate scientist since the 1970s.  He recounts, in sometimes excruciating detail, the process of communicating to policy makers – not just in the US, but around the world - how much we knew about climate change at each point along the way, and what the uncertainties were. The scientists struggled to communicate the importance of uncertainties – and that uncertainties carry two kinds of risk. There is the risk that we act before we have enough evidence, and our actions turn out to be unnecessary and costly.  But, there is also the risk that we don’t act and the consequences turn out to be much greater than we expect.
                                       
                                      This is long and rambling, but I think all scientists whose work has policy implications need to struggle with these issues.
                                       
                                      Kim
                                       

                                      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ed Spevak
                                      Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:22 AM
                                      To: 'Peter Bernhardt'
                                      Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? [1 Attachment]

                                        

                                      [Attachment(s) <#TopText>  from Ed Spevak included below]

                                      Peter
                                       
                                      That is an interesting idea. For the bumble bee guides in China and other parts of the world we can possibly address that through the Bumblebee Specialist Group. As you know besides our IL and MO Bumble Bee guide there is currently a guide for Eastern and Western bumble bees (published through NAPPC) with an inclusive Bumble Bees of North America in prep. For general ID I would recommend the general two pagers developed by NAPPC just to get people to realize the diversity of our bees (see attached). Limited but a start. For general ID’s on typical ground nesting and wood nesting bees/wasps this seems very worthwhile. BugLife in the UK has produced a number of laminated guides for their bees. I have also been talking with Waterford Press to produce a laminated bee guide for our region. This could be expanded to other regions as well.
                                       
                                      Ed
                                       
                                      Edward M. Spevak
                                      Curator of Invertebrates
                                      Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation
                                      IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer
                                      Saint Louis Zoo
                                      One Government Drive
                                      Saint Louis, MO 63110
                                      314-646-4706
                                      314-807-5419 cell
                                       

                                      From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                                      Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:03 AM
                                      To: Ed Spevak
                                      Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?


                                      Dear Ed:

                                       

                                      Over the years I've received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks.  They don't want to bring in a specimen and identifications based on their descriptions is limited.  They almost always want me to recommend an insecticide.

                                       

                                      This sounds like a worthy project for NAPPC.  Members should know that we have a colorful and informative card allowing us to identify all the bumblebee species in Missouri via color patterns in workers and queens.  My Chinese post-doc is so pleased with his copy he wants to see similar cards produced for districts in China.  What about a similar card for common ground-nesting bees/wasps and a second card for wood-nesting bees/wasps we could give away to home owners?  Another option is to produce this guide as a web page?  We could save some people worry and money.

                                       

                                      Liz, when we moved to the suburbs the lawn care companies were aggressive.  They'd knock on your door or engage you while you were gardening and offer to tell you everything that was wrong with your grass.  I told them I was willing to listen but warned them I was a professor of Botany at St. Louis U.  Suddenly, they had no time to talk but they left me some nice cards to get in touch.  

                                       

                                      Peter

                                       

                                      On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM, Ed Spevak <spevak@...> wrote:

                                        


                                      Liz
                                       
                                      Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.
                                       
                                      Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.
                                       
                                      Ed
                                       

                                      Edward M. Spevak
                                      Curator of Invertebrates
                                      Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation
                                      IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer
                                      Saint Louis Zoo
                                      One Government Drive
                                      Saint Louis, MO 63110
                                      314-646-4706 <tel:314-646-4706>
                                      314-807-5419 <tel:314-807-5419>  cell
                                       

                                      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                      Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                        


                                      >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                      >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                      >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                      >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                      >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                      >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                      >

                                      My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                      are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                      to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                      horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                      neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                      summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                      are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                      training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                      replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                      Liz
                                      Indianapolis IN USA

                                        <http://groups.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTJlZWY5aHV1BF9TAzk3NDc2NTkwBGdycElkAzE3NTk4NTQ1BGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTA4MzEyNQRzZWMDZnRyBHNsawNnZnAEc3RpbWUDMTM3NTg4Mjc5Ng-->

                                       
                                         





                                      Joe Franke
                                      Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services
                                      Chile Dog Designs, Inc.
                                      1228 Lafayette Dr. NE
                                      Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA
                                      ph: 505-515-8736
                                      Visit us on Facebook:
                                      https://www.facebook.com/joe.frank.75685?ref=tn_tnmn
                                      Sapogordoeco@...

                                    • Stoner, Kimberly
                                      Liz, Joe, and others: Neonicotinoids in general and imidacloprid in particular came rapidly into widespread use in the late 90 s and early 2000s because of the
                                      Message 19 of 21 , Aug 9 6:32 AM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                        Liz, Joe, and others:

                                        Neonicotinoids in general and imidacloprid in particular came rapidly into widespread use in the late 90’s and early 2000s because of the need to reduce the use of organophosphates after the passage of the Food Quality Protection Act.  Oral toxicity of imidacloprid to people and other vertebrates is much lower than for most organophosphates.

                                         

                                        I found this article from the era when neonics and pyrethroids were replacing organophosphates.  It compares various characteristics of the three groups.

                                        http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/repositoryfiles/ca5901p11-69161.pdf

                                         

                                        Other newer insecticides are coming through the pipeline, and there are important questions about their effects on bees.  Hopefully, they will be carefully scrutinized before going into widespread use.

                                         

                                        Kim

                                         

                                        From: Joe Franke [mailto:sapogordoeco@...]
                                        Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 6:17 PM
                                        To: Stoner, Kimberly; Ed Spevak; 'Peter Bernhardt'
                                        Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                         

                                        The public also needs to know something of the Precautionary Principle, particularly when the stakes are as high as they are. Too often moneyed interests have trained the public to accept that the burden of proof should fall on those who seek to limit any activity that would result in an even temporary loss of economic gain for any stakeholder in a controversy. By saying “maybe yes and maybe no”, the lazy-minded American public is then vulnerable to the usual barrage of bought and paid for BS from TV and other media, crooked politicians, etc.

                                        So, the message should be that until the science is done, properly and transparently, we need a moratorium on the use of certain compounds.

                                        Farmers got along without neonics for an awfully long time, so I find your statement about “what else will they use” somewhat confusing. Could you clarify?

                                        Joe
                                           

                                        I looked up the guide to Eastern bumble bees, and it looks great!  Congratulations to all involved.  Here is the link:
                                        http://pollinator.org/PDFs/BumbleBeeGuide2011.pdf
                                         
                                        About the other thread on communicating science to the public:
                                        There is a lot we can communicate that is not controversial – all this great information about the diversity of bees, their importance in the ecosystem and in agriculture, their need for floral resources, nesting sites -  and even the need for protection from pesticides is uncontroversial up to a certain point. I believe the pesticide companies would agree that the direct spraying of linden trees in bloom with active bumble bees present, as happened in the incident in Oregon, is contrary to the label and therefore illegal.
                                         
                                        But, as someone who does research on exposure of bees to pesticides, I can tell you that communication about a subject where there are economic interests on both sides, and the science is still not clear, is very tricky.  People want a clear answer.  They want to know what is killing the bees (honey bees, mostly, since they aren’t much aware of other bees), so they can ban it or cure it, and the bees will be saved.  That’s why there is a paper every few months that is trumpeted by the media as “the answer to colony collapse disorder.”  Last month, it was chlorothalonil, a few months before, it was imidacloprid, before that clothianidin, before that Nosema ceranae, before that it was IAPV, and imidacloprid makes a return visit periodically.
                                         
                                        And, of course, there are people who have an economic interest in making sure that the answer is not a pesticide (or at least not the one they manufacture, or apply, or need for their crop).
                                         
                                        I got into this field about eight years ago (before colony collapse disorder)  because I was reading the reports from Europe about imidacloprid, I knew how widely it was used, and how long it had been on the market; and I couldn’t believe that we knew so little about the levels of exposure and effects on bees.  I have helped to fill in a few gaps, and my collaborator Brian Eitzer, an analytical chemist who does pesticide testing for many bee projects, has filled in some more.  The many bee experts looking at effects of neonicotinoids (and now fungicides) on susceptibility to disease and on behavior and learning (mostly in honey bees and a few bumble bee species) have also filled in gaps, working from a different direction.
                                         
                                        The Europeans have decided there is enough evidence to ban neonicotinoids for most uses.  They have different criteria than we do in the US – specifically, they have a much more precautionary approach.  And, this decision was controversial among governments in Europe.  There are well-respected European bee scientists who would argue – who have argued in the scientific literature – that the proof is not there to attribute major bee losses to neonicotinoids, outside of certain incidents.
                                         
                                        I have to agree that the proof is not there – again outside of certain circumstances, like where dust from seed treatments blows off corn seed, spreading highly concentrated insecticide dust onto flowers in bloom or directly onto nearby honey bee hives. ( And even here, we need more information – how often does this happen?  Are there ways to avoid this problem other than banning the active ingredient – changing the formulation for example?  Or how farmers dispose of the dust?)
                                         
                                        I have to ask, too – if we ban neonicotinoids, what would farmers use instead?  Organophosphates? Pyrethroids?  The people using neonics now are not going to become organic overnight.
                                         
                                        Nevertheless, it is possible, if neonicotinoids really are the problem, that while the wheels of science are slowly turning, and the wheels of bureaucracy are also slowly turning, that in the meantime we are poisoning the bees (Honey bees? Bumble bees?  Other bees closely associated with crops, like squash bees? Bees feeding at ornamental trees, like lindens?).
                                         
                                        There are judgments to be made, based on values and economics and politics, and also based on what science we have.  But we shouldn’t pretend to have more certainty than we can support with evidence.
                                         
                                        I see the parallels with climate science and climate change.  I am currently reading the book, “Science as a Contact Sport” by Stephen Schneider, a leading climate scientist since the 1970s.  He recounts, in sometimes excruciating detail, the process of communicating to policy makers – not just in the US, but around the world - how much we knew about climate change at each point along the way, and what the uncertainties were. The scientists struggled to communicate the importance of uncertainties – and that uncertainties carry two kinds of risk. There is the risk that we act before we have enough evidence, and our actions turn out to be unnecessary and costly.  But, there is also the risk that we don’t act and the consequences turn out to be much greater than we expect.
                                         
                                        This is long and rambling, but I think all scientists whose work has policy implications need to struggle with these issues.
                                         
                                        Kim
                                         

                                        From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ed Spevak
                                        Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 10:22 AM
                                        To: 'Peter Bernhardt'
                                        Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                        Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee? [1 Attachment]

                                          

                                        [Attachment(s) <#TopText>  from Ed Spevak included below]

                                        Peter
                                         
                                        That is an interesting idea. For the bumble bee guides in China and other parts of the world we can possibly address that through the Bumblebee Specialist Group. As you know besides our IL and MO Bumble Bee guide there is currently a guide for Eastern and Western bumble bees (published through NAPPC) with an inclusive Bumble Bees of North America in prep. For general ID I would recommend the general two pagers developed by NAPPC just to get people to realize the diversity of our bees (see attached). Limited but a start. For general ID’s on typical ground nesting and wood nesting bees/wasps this seems very worthwhile. BugLife in the UK has produced a number of laminated guides for their bees. I have also been talking with Waterford Press to produce a laminated bee guide for our region. This could be expanded to other regions as well.
                                         
                                        Ed
                                         
                                        Edward M. Spevak
                                        Curator of Invertebrates
                                        Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation
                                        IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer
                                        Saint Louis Zoo
                                        One Government Drive
                                        Saint Louis, MO 63110
                                        314-646-4706
                                        314-807-5419 cell
                                         

                                        From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                                        Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:03 AM
                                        To: Ed Spevak
                                        Cc: Liz Day; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com; Mike Arduser
                                        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?


                                        Dear Ed:

                                         

                                        Over the years I've received telephone calls from people asking me to identify bees or wasps that have invaded their porches or decks.  They don't want to bring in a specimen and identifications based on their descriptions is limited.  They almost always want me to recommend an insecticide.

                                         

                                        This sounds like a worthy project for NAPPC.  Members should know that we have a colorful and informative card allowing us to identify all the bumblebee species in Missouri via color patterns in workers and queens.  My Chinese post-doc is so pleased with his copy he wants to see similar cards produced for districts in China.  What about a similar card for common ground-nesting bees/wasps and a second card for wood-nesting bees/wasps we could give away to home owners?  Another option is to produce this guide as a web page?  We could save some people worry and money.

                                         

                                        Liz, when we moved to the suburbs the lawn care companies were aggressive.  They'd knock on your door or engage you while you were gardening and offer to tell you everything that was wrong with your grass.  I told them I was willing to listen but warned them I was a professor of Botany at St. Louis U.  Suddenly, they had no time to talk but they left me some nice cards to get in touch.  

                                         

                                        Peter

                                         

                                        On Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM, Ed Spevak <spevak@...> wrote:

                                          


                                        Liz
                                         
                                        Regarding the uniformed pesticide applicators, we had an incident where one of our horticulturalist brought in a specimen that their “pest control expert” had identified as a ground nesting hornet next to their driveway and that they needed to be sprayed to protect them and their grandchildren. The specimen in question was Colletes inaequalis. I informed our horticulturalist of this and wrote up a one page ID sheet on the species with which they could educate their “expert.” Unfortunately, the “bee bed” had already been sprayed. Luckily the application was ineffective and the bees survived. Our staff member talked to their pesticide applicator, told him he was wrong and asked for their money back. The company refused and they fired him.
                                         
                                        Story is both our public, sometimes even our own staff, do not know the story that we are trying to tell and certainly those trying to make money off of the uneducated either do not try to become informed or willfully ignore the facts.
                                         
                                        Ed
                                         

                                        Edward M. Spevak
                                        Curator of Invertebrates
                                        Director-Center for Native Pollinator Conservation
                                        IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group - Programme Officer
                                        Saint Louis Zoo
                                        One Government Drive
                                        Saint Louis, MO 63110
                                        314-646-4706 <tel:314-646-4706>
                                        314-807-5419 <tel:314-807-5419>  cell
                                         

                                        From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Liz Day
                                        Sent: Tuesday, August 06, 2013 7:48 PM
                                        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

                                          


                                        >.... about 6 weeks ago a sign on his lawn went up warning of
                                        >'pesticide application.' On my wondering if 'pesticide applications'
                                        >locally might have something to do with the total absence of Monarch
                                        >larvae in the area, and the effect on bees, A. mellifera and
                                        >indigenous, my neighbor responded: "Oh, I was told that it is
                                        >specific for wasps, ants and mosquitos, and will not affect honey bees."
                                        >

                                        My impression of companies that spray lawns is that their personnel
                                        are barely trained in their jobs, are hired mainly on their ability
                                        to operate the truck and the equipment, and have no background in
                                        horticulture or natural history. One such company fertilized my
                                        neighbor's bluegrass lawn during a prolonged drought in the heat of
                                        summer. Any horticulturalist would know not to fertilize plants that
                                        are under water stress, but I guess that wasn't part of their
                                        training. The lawn died from the treatment, and the company had to
                                        replace it all with sod at great expense.

                                        Liz
                                        Indianapolis IN USA

                                          <http://groups.yahoo.com/;_ylc=X3oDMTJlZWY5aHV1BF9TAzk3NDc2NTkwBGdycElkAzE3NTk4NTQ1BGdycHNwSWQDMTcwNTA4MzEyNQRzZWMDZnRyBHNsawNnZnAEc3RpbWUDMTM3NTg4Mjc5Ng-->

                                         
                                           




                                        Joe Franke
                                        Sapo Gordo Ecological Restoration Services
                                        Chile Dog Designs, Inc.
                                        1228 Lafayette Dr. NE
                                        Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA
                                        ph: 505-515-8736
                                        Visit us on Facebook:
                                        https://www.facebook.com/joe.frank.75685?ref=tn_tnmn
                                        Sapogordoeco@...

                                      • pollinator2001
                                        ... and transparently, we need a moratorium on the use of certain compounds. Farmers got along without neonics for an awfully long time, so I find
                                        Message 20 of 21 , Aug 9 7:18 AM
                                        • 0 Attachment


                                          --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Joe Franke <sapogordoeco@...> wrote:

                                          > > So, the message should be that until the science is done, properly and
                                          > > transparently, we need a moratorium on the use of certain compounds.
                                          > > 
                                          > > Farmers got along without neonics for an awfully long time, so I find your
                                          > > statement about ³what else will they use² somewhat confusing. Could you
                                          > > clarify? 


                                          I retired before neonics were common, so I haven't had experience with them, and cannot comment from personal experience.

                                          But, as a former pollination contractor, I can attest to the damage done (and still continuing) by other pesticides. What the public doesn't realize is that this has been an ongoing struggle for beekeepers for many decades. 

                                          Arsenicals have caused bee losses since the turn of the 20th century, but their use was limited.

                                          The damage really started with the widespread use of DDT following World War II. There were ongoing battles between beekeepers who saw their bees wiped out by aerial applications, and the applicators. That included fist fights in local bars between members of the groups, and sabotage of planes, even beekeepers pulling trucks directly in front of planes as they were landing and taking off.

                                          Harry documents this story in California in the late 40s in his autobiography, "Bees are My Business," an out-of-print book that can still be found in used book shops and sometimes on E-Bay.

                                          After DDT, there were formulations that were far worse on bees, and usage became ever more widespread. With the advent of FIFRA in 1972, label directions stated that they were not to be used, if bees were foraging in the application area, but the label directions were widely ignored (and still are), and enforcement is very difficult to obtain, except in a few areas where growers know how dependent they are upon bees.

                                          Label directions (correctly) focus on bees as they forage, and do not relate to the beehives. Surprisingly a lot of beekeepers, and even some people in science think that the problem is when pesticides are sprayed on hives. That has little effect, if the bees are all inside. What is important is contamination of the food supply, and direct contact with individual bees, as they forage.

                                          All of this history has been focused on honey bees, but you just have to know that any pesticide that contaminates the food supply for honey bees is going to have similar effects on any bee that gathers pollen and nectar.

                                          Penncap M, which has now been banned from most of the worst bee killing situations, was one of the worst pesticides ever for bees. It was slow acting, and bees would carry home the tiny capsules mixed with their gathered pollen, which would cause lingering death for bees for months, even for a small exposure.

                                          Sevin dust (and other dust formulations) is similar in effect. The powder acts just like pollen. It is appropriately sized to adhere to the fuzzy and electrostatically charged bees. I would like to see dust formulations banned, because they are stored with pollen and cause lingering death. 

                                          When colonies die in the fall from contaminated pollen, beekeepers learned that they had to sort out frames of pollen and throw them away, because, in making nucs in the spring, a frame of this pollen would start poisoning all over again, interupting the spring buildup, until enough brood died that the poison had all be used up. 

                                          Most of the problem before neonics was from applicators ignoring label directions. Last Wednesday, the local mosquito control guys went by our home spraying in the late afternoon, when bees were still foraging. No doubt they are using Malathion, or some similar material that forbids application when bees are out. They've been notified many times about this, so it's not that they don't know.

                                          Cotton applications in this area constantly violate these label directions. Orchard spraying when bees are working on clover in the orchard floor is another common violation. Of course these kinds of applications, by removing wild and domestic bees, is constantly increasing the need for contract pollination by honey bees.

                                          Pesticide kills were an ongoing problem for beekeepers that was only marginally on the scene for the public, and didn't register until the public began to be aware of pollinator decline.

                                          Each year on the garden groups online, more and more are reporting symptoms of inadequate pollination, and areas which did not have the problem.

                                          So the focus on neonics is increasing public awareness, which is a good thing. 

                                          Banning neonics may or may not be the solution, depending on the response of growers. If they return in great numbers to the pesticides used before neonics, it could be disastrous, especially to many of the young beekeepers who have not had the experience of finding whole yards of bees piled up and dying in front of the hives, and wouldn't know what to do.

                                          To some extent (that which is possible) beekeepers are trying to avoid crops upon which pesticides are used. But you never know from year to year what crops will be planted, and if you have bees in maybe 50 different locations, it's impossible to keep track of all the surrounding fields. And you can always be surprised by unexpected spraying for many different reasons.

                                          In widespread aerial spraying, applicators try to slough off the label directions, by notifying beekeepers to "protect their hives." This is of course, impossible for beekeepers, and it provides NO protection for wild bees at all.

                                          Closing up bee hives in hot weather would kill them as surely as a pesticide would. You'd have to have a tanker truck and an employee in each bee yard to keep them hosed and cool.

                                          I remember when a beekeeping family tried desperately to avoid a widespread aerial application for mosquitoes by moving their hives away from the spray.  They had to pull off all supers, most full of nectar that shook out with every bump, load these on dripping trucks, then load the bees themselves on rented tractor trailers to move a hundred miles. It took more than a week to get the badly stressed bees set up and working again, and the exhausted family to get some rest. Then, about a week later, farmers began spraying alfalfa in the new location for an alfalfa weevil outbreak. Since the alfalfa was in bloom, this was a label violation, but it didn't matter; this beekeeping family was wiped out, and had to start over from scratch.

                                          So, while there's a hue and cry for banning neonics,  professional beekeepers are not so sure this is sufficient. Return en masse to 
                                          the previously used pesticides would have known results and they would not be good. At least not without some serious enforcement of label directions.

                                          I've been thinking of setting up a 501(c)3 to help protect the bees by education for label adherence and by legal action to get better enforcement. (Most of the enforcement people are from the pesticide industry, so they have an inherent conflict of interest.) 

                                          We've been needing this for years, but my own resources are so limited. I might have been wealthy, but every time the bees were really looking good, they'd get hit again. I always dreaded August (illegal spray on cotton bloom), because it was always a struggle to build back enough strength for fall crop pollination.

                                          There are two basic effects of insecticides. The slow acting, and long residuals ones are carried home and usually cause the death of a hive, if not immediately, during winter when they are totally dependent on stored (contaminated) pollen.

                                          On the other hand, many of the quick acting pesticides drop the foraging bees in the field, so the hives lose the ability to feed themselves, or they have to take younger nurse bees out to forage earlier than normal. One of the key methods of salvaging honey bees thus is to feed them (yes corn syrup!) That way, they can continue to raise brood and build back up to strength. Of course that is expensive and it takes time.

                                          And we must always keep in mind that wild bees have no one to help salvage them and restore populations that were decimated.

                                          Dave Green
                                          Coastal SC
                                          Retired pollination contractor (East Coast FL - NY)
                                        • <barbara.abraham@...>
                                          Dave Green s sad story is enough to make this environmentalist shed tears! I will make a commitment that the next generation of homeowners, at least, who go
                                          Message 21 of 21 , Aug 9 8:44 AM
                                          • 0 Attachment

                                            Dave Green’s sad story is enough to make this environmentalist shed tears! I will make a commitment that the next generation of homeowners, at least, who go through my classes will be aware of this problem. Too bad not many of my students are rural!

                                             

                                            Barb

                                             

                                            Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

                                            Associate Professor

                                            SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

                                            Department of Biological Sciences

                                            Hampton University

                                            Hampton, VA  23668

                                            757-727-5283

                                            barbara.abraham@...

                                             

                                            From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of pollinator2001
                                            Sent: Friday, August 09, 2013 10:18 AM
                                            To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Demise of the honey bee?

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                             

                                            --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, Joe Franke <sapogordoeco@...> wrote:

                                             

                                            > > So, the message should be that until the science is done, properly and

                                            > > transparently, we need a moratorium on the use of certain compounds.

                                            > > 

                                            > > Farmers got along without neonics for an awfully long time, so I find your

                                            > > statement about ³what else will they use² somewhat confusing. Could you

                                            > > clarify? 

                                             

                                             

                                            I retired before neonics were common, so I haven't had experience with them, and cannot comment from personal experience.

                                             

                                            But, as a former pollination contractor, I can attest to the damage done (and still continuing) by other pesticides. What the public doesn't realize is that this has been an ongoing struggle for beekeepers for many decades. 

                                             

                                            Arsenicals have caused bee losses since the turn of the 20th century, but their use was limited.

                                             

                                            The damage really started with the widespread use of DDT following World War II. There were ongoing battles between beekeepers who saw their bees wiped out by aerial applications, and the applicators. That included fist fights in local bars between members of the groups, and sabotage of planes, even beekeepers pulling trucks directly in front of planes as they were landing and taking off.

                                             

                                            Harry documents this story in California in the late 40s in his autobiography, "Bees are My Business," an out-of-print book that can still be found in used book shops and sometimes on E-Bay.

                                             

                                            After DDT, there were formulations that were far worse on bees, and usage became ever more widespread. With the advent of FIFRA in 1972, label directions stated that they were not to be used, if bees were foraging in the application area, but the label directions were widely ignored (and still are), and enforcement is very difficult to obtain, except in a few areas where growers know how dependent they are upon bees.

                                             

                                            Label directions (correctly) focus on bees as they forage, and do not relate to the beehives. Surprisingly a lot of beekeepers, and even some people in science think that the problem is when pesticides are sprayed on hives. That has little effect, if the bees are all inside. What is important is contamination of the food supply, and direct contact with individual bees, as they forage.

                                             

                                            All of this history has been focused on honey bees, but you just have to know that any pesticide that contaminates the food supply for honey bees is going to have similar effects on any bee that gathers pollen and nectar.

                                             

                                            Penncap M, which has now been banned from most of the worst bee killing situations, was one of the worst pesticides ever for bees. It was slow acting, and bees would carry home the tiny capsules mixed with their gathered pollen, which would cause lingering death for bees for months, even for a small exposure.

                                             

                                            Sevin dust (and other dust formulations) is similar in effect. The powder acts just like pollen. It is appropriately sized to adhere to the fuzzy and electrostatically charged bees. I would like to see dust formulations banned, because they are stored with pollen and cause lingering death. 

                                             

                                            When colonies die in the fall from contaminated pollen, beekeepers learned that they had to sort out frames of pollen and throw them away, because, in making nucs in the spring, a frame of this pollen would start poisoning all over again, interupting the spring buildup, until enough brood died that the poison had all be used up. 

                                             

                                            Most of the problem before neonics was from applicators ignoring label directions. Last Wednesday, the local mosquito control guys went by our home spraying in the late afternoon, when bees were still foraging. No doubt they are using Malathion, or some similar material that forbids application when bees are out. They've been notified many times about this, so it's not that they don't know.

                                             

                                            Cotton applications in this area constantly violate these label directions. Orchard spraying when bees are working on clover in the orchard floor is another common violation. Of course these kinds of applications, by removing wild and domestic bees, is constantly increasing the need for contract pollination by honey bees.

                                             

                                            Pesticide kills were an ongoing problem for beekeepers that was only marginally on the scene for the public, and didn't register until the public began to be aware of pollinator decline.

                                             

                                            Each year on the garden groups online, more and more are reporting symptoms of inadequate pollination, and areas which did not have the problem.

                                             

                                            So the focus on neonics is increasing public awareness, which is a good thing. 

                                             

                                            Banning neonics may or may not be the solution, depending on the response of growers. If they return in great numbers to the pesticides used before neonics, it could be disastrous, especially to many of the young beekeepers who have not had the experience of finding whole yards of bees piled up and dying in front of the hives, and wouldn't know what to do.

                                             

                                            To some extent (that which is possible) beekeepers are trying to avoid crops upon which pesticides are used. But you never know from year to year what crops will be planted, and if you have bees in maybe 50 different locations, it's impossible to keep track of all the surrounding fields. And you can always be surprised by unexpected spraying for many different reasons.

                                             

                                            In widespread aerial spraying, applicators try to slough off the label directions, by notifying beekeepers to "protect their hives." This is of course, impossible for beekeepers, and it provides NO protection for wild bees at all.

                                             

                                            Closing up bee hives in hot weather would kill them as surely as a pesticide would. You'd have to have a tanker truck and an employee in each bee yard to keep them hosed and cool.

                                             

                                            I remember when a beekeeping family tried desperately to avoid a widespread aerial application for mosquitoes by moving their hives away from the spray.  They had to pull off all supers, most full of nectar that shook out with every bump, load these on dripping trucks, then load the bees themselves on rented tractor trailers to move a hundred miles. It took more than a week to get the badly stressed bees set up and working again, and the exhausted family to get some rest. Then, about a week later, farmers began spraying alfalfa in the new location for an alfalfa weevil outbreak. Since the alfalfa was in bloom, this was a label violation, but it didn't matter; this beekeeping family was wiped out, and had to start over from scratch.

                                             

                                            So, while there's a hue and cry for banning neonics,  professional beekeepers are not so sure this is sufficient. Return en masse to 

                                            the previously used pesticides would have known results and they would not be good. At least not without some serious enforcement of label directions.

                                             

                                            I've been thinking of setting up a 501(c)3 to help protect the bees by education for label adherence and by legal action to get better enforcement. (Most of the enforcement people are from the pesticide industry, so they have an inherent conflict of interest.) 

                                             

                                            We've been needing this for years, but my own resources are so limited. I might have been wealthy, but every time the bees were really looking good, they'd get hit again. I always dreaded August (illegal spray on cotton bloom), because it was always a struggle to build back enough strength for fall crop pollination.

                                             

                                            There are two basic effects of insecticides. The slow acting, and long residuals ones are carried home and usually cause the death of a hive, if not immediately, during winter when they are totally dependent on stored (contaminated) pollen.

                                             

                                            On the other hand, many of the quick acting pesticides drop the foraging bees in the field, so the hives lose the ability to feed themselves, or they have to take younger nurse bees out to forage earlier than normal. One of the key methods of salvaging honey bees thus is to feed them (yes corn syrup!) That way, they can continue to raise brood and build back up to strength. Of course that is expensive and it takes time.

                                             

                                            And we must always keep in mind that wild bees have no one to help salvage them and restore populations that were decimated.

                                             

                                            Dave Green

                                            Coastal SC

                                            Retired pollination contractor (East Coast FL - NY)

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