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[beemonitoring] Demise of the honey bee?

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Aug 6, 2013
    • 0 Attachment

      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!

      Description: http://www.crownbees.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/facebook-28px28p.jpgPinteresthttp://www.crownbees.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Twitter-28px28p.jpg

      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

       

    • Stoner, Kimberly
      I looked up the guide to Eastern bumble bees, and it looks great! Congratulations to all involved. Here is the link:
      Message 2 of 21 , Aug 8, 2013
      • 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 3 of 21 , Aug 8, 2013
        • 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 4 of 21 , Aug 9, 2013
          • 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 5 of 21 , Aug 9, 2013
            • 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 6 of 21 , Aug 9, 2013
              • 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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