Yet another study points to pesticides as cause of bee death disorder


#1

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#2

Impossible. The pesticide companies tell us that these chemicals are perfectly safe for bees.


#3

And us, too. We can spray it directly on the food we consume with no repercussions. It's the friggin VACCINES that are causing all this autism and cancer and celiac-sprue/IBS BS!!! And giant snowballs from space corrupting the magnetosphere!


#4

Prediction: either farmers will stop using these pesticides when they start seeing lower yields (caused by fewer plants being pollenated), OR large beekeepers will start refusing to work farms that use these pesticides (naturally, their own livelihood depends on their bees staying healthy, and alive.)

Pesticide companies can say whatever they like, and play whatever propaganda game they want, but the market will have the final word.


#6

... the driver said "Chriiiiist!"

And it's funny how he named the only man who could save him now.


#7

I am a HUGE fan of "The Market." After all, "The Market" brought us Slim Jims, Pizza on a Stick, and the Double Down. What more could a fatass want?


#8

Well, no. The researchers observed not colony collapse-- a very specific syndrome characterized by the queen, capped brood, and food remaining while all the adults vanish without leaving corpses-- but rather the animals in the hive simply dying. Bug spray kills insects; we already knew that. Colony collapse disorder is not the same thing, however, as "A bunch of the insects died." See Colony Collapse Disorder: More Dead Bees, More Sloppy Science for more details.

On top of that, although the USA's use of neonicitinoids hasn't changed, the number of bees who make it through winter has. See Colony Loss 2013-2014.

I'm not a fan of high-input farming; I don't think it's sustainable. But any hypothesis that fingers anything in particular-- neonicitinoids or anything else-- has to account for both the extremely high losses in 2006 and similar years AND the lack of similarly high losses in other years.


#9

Or, they will come up with a technology, chemical or mechanical that replaces the natural work of bees at incredible expense, get a subsidy to use it, continue using pesticides, and double dip by vertically integrating their groundbreaking artificial pollination technologies...profit!


#10

consider that this study overdosed the bees with 138 times the normal exposure for neonic insecticide and half of them still lived! honeybees are amazingly resilient.

but eventually they will say, "enough of this bullshit. so long and thanks for all the flowers."


#11

Word.

Thank you.

I'm amazed at the credulousness of the boingboing moderators, who seem to get all week-kneed over any claims of potential bee saving.

I'm amazed at "Science Writers" such as Tom Philpott who lack even the most basic understanding of bees necessary to be writing on this topic. He has completely misinterpreted this study.

Jeff Pettis' take on the matter is very kind. He knows this is dreck as well as anyone.

There is no bee decline. Bees are not endangered. There is no mystery to be solved, solved, and re-solved every second week.

It's beyond my comprehension how this mass delusion has gone on for so long.


#12

Pesticides? I heard the #1 killer was overturned trucks.


#13

That was liberation. Hives are not collapsing. Bees are not dying. They are all being liberated.
All those sensational stories about "killer" bees coming up from South America were designed to malign those bees, because the goal of "killer" bees is to liberate their North American cousins from indentured servitude.
Colonies don't collapse -- they just go underground. Vive la revolution!


#14

Seriously? There's about 7 things wrong with this statement.

It's funny how folks make up this plausible-sounding, but completely incorrect BS.


#15

Oh totally. Beekeepers love to repeatedly send hives to locales that result in CCD 90% of the time. And they don't at all track and share that information with other beekeepers, beekeepers are completely anti-social and do not develop State, City and Regional associations. Super serial seriously?


#16

It sounds like you're an expert in this area.

Perhaps you can englighten us as to where these "CCD Areas" are, and which "Apiary operators of all sizes" are moving away from them.

Given the confidence of your claim, this information should be readily availabe to you.

Unless, of course, this is just a plausible sounding conjecture that aligns with your misinformed worldview.

Naw!


#18

It was a well-planned and perfectly executed hive-mind attack. They combed through the schematic for the truck, infiltrated the air brake system and systematically honeyed, waxed and chewed key components to make that truck's brakes fail, causing the driver to overreact and tip the truck. Many bee brothers and sisters died in that operation, but so many others were saved. This is but the first in a series of beetaliations. Humanity, you are on notice! Long live the queen! (Also, notice the buzzwords. There will bee a lot more of that, too, honey.)


#20

There is at least one thing wrong with the above statement. It uses a singular verb instead of a plural.


#21

Did you guys not read the PDF of the Harvard study that Xeni linked to?

Via the Abstract

Here we show that sub-lethal exposure of neonicotinoids, imidacloprid or clothianidin, affected the winterization of healthy colonies that subsequently leads to CCD.

Via the Discussion

The results from this study not only replicate findings from the previous study on imidacloprid and extend to clothianidin, but also reinforce the conclusion that sublethal exposure to neonicotinoids is likely the main culprit for the occurrence of CCD


#22

What is the normal exposure for bees suffering from CCD is one of the questions which arose in my mind while reading the paper. Do you have any references for your figure?


#23

We read the whole paper. It's important to do that, because the abstract and the discussion aren't where the meat of the paper is; you have to read the methods and results to understand what they did and what they found. They dumped high levels of various neonicitinoids into the bee chow, and half the poisoned hives became ghost towns and the other half lost queen and broods. Problems is, that's not symptomatic of colony collapse disorder. That's garden variety "Bees poisoned by stuff that kills bees."

The Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder goes into some detail as to what is and isn't CCD.

Bear in mind that neonicitinoids have been in use since 1990. It wasn't until 2006 that we saw the alarming spike in CCD, and that spike went away-- all without any change in neonicitinoid use. This doesn't rule the stuff out, but so far, there's nothing much to recommend the theory, either.