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  •  The only good news here (32+ / 0-)

    is that banning neonicotinoids in the EU sets the stage for a controlled study. If it turns out to be something else, we'll know.

    •  Maybe, maybe not. THe whole concept of (22+ / 0-)

      "cause and effect" oversimplifies reality and has infected not only the general populace and politicians, but many scientists as well. Most things in this world have multiple causes, interacting causes, etc.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Tue May 28, 2013 at 12:17:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If it isn't black and white (4+ / 0-)

        then two or more causes are indicated.

        •  Including varroa mites and habitat loss (4+ / 0-)

          and total body burden of who-knows-what assorted industrical chemicals in addition to neonicotinoids.  

          My understanding is that Italy's ban on neonics did not produce the long-term rebound in bee health that was hoped for in the last 3 years or so since it was implemented.  It is this disappointing  lack of improvement that opponents in the UK were pointing to.  

          So it appears that the fix may not be as simple as banning this one class of compounds.  Though I personally would be happy to ban them even as one potential factor.  

          "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

          by lgmcp on Tue May 28, 2013 at 05:38:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How could it? (0+ / 0-)

            NeoNics persist in the soil for two years at least, more if there is a drought. That means wild flowers near treated fields could be exuding this crap for years.

            France did see a rebound though.

            •  That's good to know re France. (0+ / 0-)

              Just a few weeks ago I was searching for updates on the outcomes of the ban in France and Italy, and could find only bad news or equivocal news.  The search engine was awash with references to the UK debate.

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:34:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  First of all, there are several incarnations of (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lgmcp, ZhenRen

                NeoNicotinoids.

                In Fance, initially, after the first ban of Imidacloprid, Beekeepers in France disovered that the chemical was replaced with Regent [another trade name for Neonics] and that even though it wasn't used on Sunflowers, it was on dressed Maize seed [corn].

                So the bees went from Imidacloprid on Sunflowers to Fipronil [regent] on Sweet Corn.

                Corn doesn't need bees to pollinate it, it's wind pollinated. But bees cannot resist it's copious amounts of pollen [read protein]. In the old days, Beeks put their bees on corn fields, to feed on pollen, to build the colonies up for pollination services in orchards in other parts of the US like Almonds in CA or Cranberries and Blue Berries on the E. Seaboard.

                so Beeks ban one NeoNic, Bayer pushes another and then says, "See it wasn't NeoNics...the bees are still dying." Blithely pretending their own corporate antics make them blameless, hoping that most regular people do not have the time or knowledge to understand what is happen or the part Bayer plays in this mess.

        •  Including re-using pre-made combs (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, estreya, ZhenRen

          The top-bar hive theory is partly that toxins, viruses, miticides, etc. build up in the manufactured combs as they get re-used, get older and darker, so we should let the bees build their own combs, as they would naturally do, and remove the dark ones [rewarding ourselves with a restrained share of the honey and beeswax], instead of extracting honey from those combs and then returning them to the hive.

          Bees apparently produce twenty percent less honey in top-bar hives, and six times as much beeswax.  Not bad.

          Feral bees in Italy were almost wiped out by the mites, but after about ten years, came back, apparently having self-selected themselves, without antibiotics or miticides, for resistance and survival.

          •  Hubby and i put together two top-bar hives ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... this weekend, in preparation for getting honey bees next Spring.  We've been planting nectar and pollen rich plants in preparation as well (though it will probably takes a few years to get a balanced bloom cycle established).  I hope it all works out ... :)

          •  Beekeepers can use (0+ / 0-)

            removable frames in traditional Langstroth hives without foundation, allowing bees to build their own comb in the frames from scratch. These frames can be wired and bees will imbed the wire in the comb, and these combs can be extracted (gently) and reused. The brood frames can be reused as well. The increased breakage of the comb due to reduced reinforcement will force an increased rate of replacing comb.

            This is what some small commercial beekeepers are doing  to retain hive management ability while still reducing the toxin buildup.  

            It would be nice if the top bar hives were immune to the problems bees face, but when even feral hives are affected, this doesn't appear to be solving the problem, sadly.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:38:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The only thing we can say with certainty is that (12+ / 0-)

        the honey bees are disappearing. Why is difficult and it doesn't help when we have huge corporations refusing to list their ingredients. They also fight back against our efforts to find out why with tons of corporate propaganda.

        It's not as if Monsanto has welcomed any unbiased research on their miles and miles of mono-culture GMO farms. Their own studies on CCD emphasize everything but pesticides as the cause.

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 12:52:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hate Monsanto with (20+ / 0-)

          a purple passion for any number of reasons from Agent Orange to 2-4D ready GMO crops...oh, wait...
          BUT, if you are rounding up culprits, Sygenta and Bayer should definitely be included. Seeds coated with systemic insecticides are just as hard on pollinators as BT infused, modified crops. It's all bad. In England we have about 1/4 the butterfly count of a few years ago and a similar hit in native bumblebees. We grow very few GMOs. However, insecticide coated rapeseed fields are common.

          You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

          by northsylvania on Tue May 28, 2013 at 01:06:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Monsanto claims that canola from the acronym (12+ / 0-)

            "Canadian Oil Less Acid" is not GMO because the original rapeseed seeds were hybridized before GMO existed. That's true but their seeds have been GE'd since then to be Roundup Ready and the crops are sprayed with it to keep out weeds. On top of that the seeds are treated with neonics. There's also the environmental problems that are created by vast areas of mono-culture.

            Organic farmers in Canada have lost their lawsuits against Monsanto for contaminating their crops.

            To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 01:26:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  UK is different... (0+ / 0-)

              because supposedly the UK doesn't use GMOs commercially. However, the size of the flower heads in rape fields has increased exponentially in the seven years I've lived in the UK. I suspect that our main problem is that seeds treated with systemic poison, poison the pollinators.
              In 2010, I first noticed that domestic honeybees were floundering around the driveway during the rapeseed blooming season and butterfly activity went down. In 2011, the wild bee population started dropping precipitately and butterflies virtually disappeared. This year I have seen an increase in domestic bees (possibly because local beekeepers have brought in new stock). However, the rapeseed season has just begun, so we'll see.

              You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

              by northsylvania on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:28:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Especially something as ill-defined and ill- (10+ / 0-)

        understood as CCD.  There was an excellent discussion about this at the entomology blog Bug Girl (h/t scienceblogs).  The conclusion, for people not willing to wade through the rest, is this:

        A reasonable course of action, to my mind, is acknowledging that we aren’t likely to find that any man-made factors are the true cause of CCD, devoting energy to looking for contagious pathogenic agents, and taking a closer look at genetic diversity in honey bees themselves (e.g., are there strains that are resistant to CCD?), while at the same time working towards reducing the exposure and impacts of man-made factors that are capable of harming bees (but without BLAMING them in the process, or overreacting). Does every potentially harmful thing need to be banned outright, or just used more prudently? Is there a level of exposure to neonicotinoids that is not harmful? Can beekeepers simply use less HFCS, or less or different acaricides, or make other changes to their practices that will result in fewer bee deaths? Answers may not be simple, nor black-and-white, but real science rarely is.
        The site owner herself put together a fantastic summary of the evidence for pesticides' contribution to CCD.  The short version is that pesticides are harmful to bees, but probably not the main (or even secondary) culprit.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 12:55:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, i read BugGirl's website and got a link (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nica24, 4Freedom, Urizen, cynndara, Sunspots

          from it.

          What's black and white to me, is that there are too many pesticides in existence and they are being used too profusely. If dead bees at the entrance of their hives are found dead and their bodies filled with the agricultural pesticides used on an adjacent corn field, we should not BLAME their deaths on  the agricultural pesticides? While study after study shows the connection between bee die offs and pesticides, we should keep waiting for absolute conclusive proof before doing anything about it? By that time there won't be any bees left.

          What's black and white to me is that organic farming has proven to be quite successful without using all the pesticides and chemical fertilizer that big agriculture claims it cannot do without.

          A great example of successful organic farming is in Cuba. When the Soviet Union collapsed and pulled out of Cuba they stopped supplying fertilizer and pesticides and heavy equipment. Cuba had no choice but to turn to the old ways of growing food, organically and without heavy machinery.

          To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 01:47:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, we disagree. (7+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            parryander, Kevskos, NYFM, lgmcp, FG, Agathena, wonmug
            If dead bees at the entrance of their hives are found dead and their bodies filled with the agricultural pesticides used on an adjacent corn field, we should not BLAME their deaths on  the agricultural pesticides?
            Nope, not if you want to find the cause of their deaths.  Pesticides can harm bees, but so do a long slate of other factors.  This is a piece of evidence, and this is why neonicotinoids are part of our discussion in the first place.  One running hypothesis is that neonicotinoids contribute to, but are not responsible for, CCD (or some of it, whatever it is.) by virtue of compromising their immune system.  But among other things one would have to explain why the die offs seem so similar to pre-neonicotinoid die offs, and vary so wildly from region to region in ways that don't align with neonicotinoid use.   There's not going to be an easy answer.
            While study after study shows the connection between bee die offs and pesticides, we should keep waiting for absolute conclusive proof before doing anything about it?
            Except they haven't, and that's why I posted those links.   From the second one:
            Because non-entomologists mostly see just a few papers that are covered by the media, it creates the illusion that there is far more evidence for pesticide causes of CCD than actually exists.
             It's not a "conclusive proof" standard, which ... I'm not sure what that'd even be.  It's a failure of basic proofs as per that link above.  The authors of that study are cautious in a way that scientists are usually cautious, and I know that frustrates readers who want to make this-or-that a rallying cry, but this is how science works, and should work.  I give a lot more credibility to entomologists who understand the scope and limitations of their work than to ideological advocacy sites that have an agenda to push.

            In the end it may very well make sense to ban or more strictly regulate the use of neonicotinoids, but if we're going in that direction, we should go with a surer sense of what the environmental impact of these pesticides are.

            I'm not on the organics-or-nothing boat, sorry.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 02:14:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  why should we be so cautious about "blaming" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Urizen, cynndara, Sunspots

              pesticides for bee die offs? Why protect corporations and throw caution to the winds when if comes to protecting living nature?

              I'm with Rachel Carson, that in turning terrible weapons against insects we have turned them against the earth.

              To thine ownself be true

              by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 02:26:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, we did domesticate those bees (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena, Aquarius40

                in the first place.  I mean, we transform the planet just by living: our honeybee/agriculture symbiosis is partially why there isn't as much genetic diversity in honey-yielding bees, and why they're probably more susceptible to mass die offs.  There have been attempts to bring more genetic diversity into existing colonies, but I have no idea how that's panning out.

                We may very well ban or more strictly regulate the use of neonicotinoids if we decide that the overall risk is greater than the reward. But it's a curious thing to see similar die offs before there were neonicotinoids, and then to ask why we shouldn't blame them.  I don't get that.  That's the opposite of how good science should work.

                I don't romanticize nature, so the Rachel Carson quotes don't do much for me.  Caution is a good principle, but that's a way oversimplification of how we live and interact with the natural world.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 02:37:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Were there ever die offs as big as 2012 before? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lgmcp, Marihilda

                  were the historical CCD's (under other names) continuous for 6+ straight years?

                  I didn't find that 2009 article stating that CCD occurred in history before neonics were invented therefore neonics are not the cause, to be convincing.

                  Thanks for the discussion.

                  To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 03:00:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In numbers or percentage? (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Agathena, lgmcp, wonmug, Marihilda

                    I'm sure it was bigger in numbers, 'tho I'm not sure about percentages.  And it's certainly more widespread, which I think it is an inevitability in a more globally connected world, especially when (as I mentioned above) there's a real problem of homogeneity among the bees we use in agriculture.

                    But it's worth reading this short paper (pdf) to see how colonies have collapsed in the past.  Some of these are really dramatic and still unexplained - and with less geographic isolation than a hundred years ago, we may be more susceptible to seeing these effects wipe out more than just a single region.  The paper's already about 5 years old, and I think the issue's been explored more fully (and with more examples), but that's a good introduction.

                    At any rate it's a striking topic, and worth following up on.

                    Thanks for the discussion.

                    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                    by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 03:34:05 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I've been involved with bees for decades... (0+ / 0-)

                      As to bee die-off history, when I was a kid (my father was a commercial beekeeper) I could throw a wild swarm in a box, do absolutely nothing more to assist them, and the hive would prosper for years.

                      Nowadays if I hive a swarm, I'm lucky if it lives through the winter without giving aid of some sort.

                      Previous die offs were not as persistent, were regional, and were short lived. Unlike those incidences, the latest die-offs have transformed the entire practice of beekeeping, which has radically changed in the last several years. Beekeeping is now a whole different world than it was when I was younger. And beekeeping has been global for decades. Sheez, queens (which carry pathogens like any other bee) have been shipped all over the world for decades. How do I know this? My father was an expert commercial queen breeder beginning back in the 50s, and shipped queens all over the world from Puerto Rico. While some diseases have more recently become global, it doesn't entirely explain the severity of the problems or why it is all happening at once.  

                      Only people inexperienced with the changes over the years (observations which usually require owning more than a hive or two for several decades) would argue that the present situation is comparable to those other limited incidences.

                      Not buying that, and the argument looks very much like confirmation bias.

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:33:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Anecdote versus data. (0+ / 0-)

                        That's the extent of my confirmation bias.  

                        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                        by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:50:02 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Dismissing everything as anecdotal... (0+ / 0-)

                          is the refuge of people who are in denial.

                          Have you ever even owned a hive of bees? Experience makes a world of difference in understanding what bees are faced with. Experience matters. Call it "clinical experience" if you will. But decades of experience are far more than anecdotal, in my view.

                          Data is not always very useful if you have inadequate experience in how to interpret it. Reading flat, one dimensional papers isn't useful without some background knowledge, which you lack.

                          Prove, with citations, if you will, that the limited die-offs historically documented are equivalent to the massive, year after year die offs of recent times.

                          Cite the evidence, oh knowing one. Prove it.

                          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                          by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:29:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Not sure why you're attacking me on this point. (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm trying to interpret the data as best I can.  If it put my faith in entomologists, it's not because I prefer their results, but because I understand the hoops they have to jump through to verify their use of the data, and that's something none of us can replicate on our own.  

                            Since we were talking about Bug Girl in the other branch of this thread, I recommend this post of hers: "It's hard out there for a bee".  Maybe you'll disagree.  Maybe not.  Maybe you'll see why I put her experience + data analysis on a higher pedestal than experience alone.    She's an entomologist and a beekeeper.  She has anecdotes and peer reviewed literature.

                            (You'd also find more to agree with than disagree in her summary of the pesticide issue.)

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:42:52 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've read all that... (0+ / 0-)

                            and having read her pages led me to giving my response. She isn't as clever as she appears. And I detect a "free market" bias in her defense of the pesticides. She isn't neutral.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:27:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh, lord. (0+ / 0-)

                            She didn't defend pesticides.  The quote you criticized wasn't hers, but from a guest post she admits she doesn't agree with entirely, but wanted to include for conversation.   If that's how sloppy your reading is...

                            "I detect a bias" is about as useful a critique as "I has an opinion", so... I guess that's it from me: I'm out.   Cheers!

                            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                            by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:39:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  She certainly does defend the use... (0+ / 0-)

                            of the pesticides. Look at the larger pattern, the big picture of her message. Please cite where she states she would allow for a temporary suspension of the use of the neonics. She clearly does not. The notion that such chemicals must be accepted as harmless until proven otherwise is clearly a free market approach. A better approach would be to put the burden more firmly on the backs of the sellers of the product, forcing them to prove it is harmless before introduction fo the product. Bayer's own scientists admitted it was harmful to bees, but the information was suppressed.

                            Think about it... the logic is pretty clear.

                            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                            by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:09:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  There could be other causes (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Agathena

                Wasn't it around 2006 that 3G cell phone networks became widespread?  Don't bees use some kind of micro-electrical navigation system?  

                It could also be GMOs.  Those things are slowly killing us all.

                It could be a lot of things, and I think it's prudent to not point the finger at pesticides prematurely.  Not that I like pesticides, mind you, it's just that we need to find the true cause if it is to be mitigated.

                The meek shall inherit the Earth that the stupid destroyed.

                by CharlieHipHop on Tue May 28, 2013 at 03:48:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cell towers have been ruled out last I heard (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lgmcp, cynndara

                  I haven't presented anything conclusive.

                  We need at least 10 more years and 10,000 more studies before we dare implicate the pesticide industry or so it seems.

                  To thine ownself be true

                  by Agathena on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:27:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The experiment was pretty silly (0+ / 0-)

                    They put a phone in a hive and then called it constantly.

                    If you do that, bees will abscond. They will perceive the phone as an invader and get very stressed. Try to kill it and when that doesn't happen, leave and make a new nest somewhere else. Or at least swarm, losing a lot of older foragers and an older queen leaving a much smaller, less efficient colony.

                •  Probably not cell phones, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Agathena

                  or GMOs.  Part of the problem - as stupid as this may sound - is a semantic one: we may be using CCD to refer to a number of different kinds of bee die offs, which is why we're not finding the silver bullets that would make this conversation a lot easier.  So some areas are advising the banning of certain kinds of pesticides as a precaution, and I guess we'll find out if the pesticides are a contributing factor in those countries or not.  The most convincing (to me) hypothesis so far is that domesticated bees in general might be becoming less capable of fighting off diseases and parasites, and that may be a pesticide issue, or a genetic diversity issue, or a bad beekeeping practices issue, or a whole list of other possibilities.  

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Tue May 28, 2013 at 08:38:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  If that were true... (0+ / 0-)
                    The most convincing (to me) hypothesis so far is that domesticated bees in general might be becoming less capable of fighting off diseases and parasites, and that may be a pesticide issue, or a genetic diversity issue, or a bad beekeeping practices issue, or a whole list of other possibilities.  
                    Why are feral bees and other non-domesticated feral insects declining?

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:10:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do you have a cite? (0+ / 0-)

                      As far as I can tell, feral bees have been steadily declining for generations for the obvious reasons: shrinking habitat and introduction of managed agricultural bee colonies, and in the case of European bees, invasive species like Africanized honey bees.  I don't see anything suggesting that the decline has been more marked recently than it has been for at least half a century now.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:49:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Cite your own link (0+ / 0-)

                        to substantiate your claims that feral bee decline predates neonics.

                        Africanized bees have little to do with declining bee colonies. They are limited to warmer climates, so far. And introduction of managed bee colonies dates back to far before the introduction of neonics, and is certainly not a recent development. I was contracting bees for almond pollination decades before the current problem. And my father did the same before I was even born. Do you know nothing of beekeeping history? Managed bee colonies goes back centuries.

                        The massive die-offs began in the mid 2000s. What do Africanized bees, or managed bee colonies, which predate the recent die off for decades, have to do with the problem?

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:52:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Glad I read down. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, NYFM

          I was going to post that same update from Bug Girl.

          Thanks.

        •  yes things that are designed to kill insects (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, Sunspots

          couldn't possibly be affecting insects.

          right...

          big badda boom : GRB 090423

          by squarewheel on Tue May 28, 2013 at 07:29:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This isn't as well reasoned as it seems (0+ / 0-)
          Does every potentially harmful thing need to be banned outright, or just used more prudently? Is there a level of exposure to neonicotinoids that is not harmful? Can beekeepers simply use less HFCS, or less or different acaricides, or make other changes to their practices that will result in fewer bee deaths?
          And I would say it reveals a bias. Beekeepers are going out of business, and insects are dying, while some scientists refrain from demanding strategic responses to the problem as they look for the definitive, incontestable cause. That isn't ethical. Apparently some scientists don't have any greater sense of ethics than anyone else.

          The prudent, cautious action to take is never to permit new substances on the market until it is absolutely certain the environment won't be adversely affected, but BugGirl seems to want to open Pandora's Box, and then force beekeepers to prove beyond a doubt there isn't a problem while suffering from what many studies suggest is a problem pesticide. It's as if a pesticide must be "innocent until proven guilty" instead of guilty until proven innocent. Bayer's own researchers knew the neonics harmed bees and the information was suppressed. Pesticides aren't people, and thus they don't have civil rights. It's my planet too, and no one has the right in my opinion to unleash poisons on the environment without certifying they aren't harmful.

          And her comment ignores that feral insects (not just feral bees) are in decline. And it ignores the immune deficiency that some studies suggest are caused by the neonics. She also ignores the fact that many beekeepers refrain from the worst of hive management practices, such as use of toxic acaricides (pesticides for mites), toxic fungicides/antibiotics (for nosema), don't use corn syrup, leave the natural honey on the bees, and use natural comb (free of toxic buildup) and yet they still have enormous die offs.

          And even if the neonics are only a percentage of the problem, that could easily be enough to tilt the scale toward colony death when combined with all the other problems (which some studies suggest are related to neonics).

          I can only conclude Bug Girl suffers from her own "free market" biases, given her predilection for wanting to leave the pesticides on the market in a "wait and see" approach, when there are enough very compelling studies that indicate there is a problem. Sometimes strict scientific method, when applied with, or combined with, or conflated with a free market approach, results in allowing environmental toxins to be rampantly unleashed on the market. This logic must be reversed.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Wed May 29, 2013 at 12:17:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, for starters, (0+ / 0-)

            that's not Bug Girl's post: that's a guest post from Dr. Doug Yanega, and it's a very detailed article.  I wish you'd address the article rather than the one pulled quote.  It covers much of the material you claim she (sic) didn't address.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 02:52:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Then we should just sit on our hands and do nothin (0+ / 0-)

        Let the cooler, richer heads prevail?

        Stop blocking progress?

        Go with the flow?

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