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View Diary: Neonicotinoid Insecticide Impairs Winterization Leading to Bee Colony Collapse: Harvard Study (156 comments)

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  •  It is the "sublethal" effects of nicotinoids (73+ / 0-)

    which turn out to be lethal.

    At OSU, there is a bee researcher who is investigating the role of these pesticides in damaging navigational abilities. Many hives are discovered empty with no dead bees nearby, leading many to suppose that they just simply do not make their way home.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:00:43 AM PDT

    •  Surprise surprise! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occupystephanie, Creosote

      The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

      by magnetics on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:02:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When the bees gather nectar to turn into honey (29+ / 0-)

      they place the nectar in the drawn out comb. Then bees in the hive fan their wings over said open, nectar filled, drawn out comb (that many lay people refer to indiscriminately as honey comb). This is to evaporate the excess moisture in the nectar as it goes through the process of becoming honey.

      If the treated nectar sources were given proper dosages of neonicotinoids, then at first the chemicals would be almost undetectable in a lab, and undetectable to the bees.

      But as the nectar turns into honey, it becomes a concentrate and the neonicotinoids in that nectar become concentrated too. So that it is strong enough that now the bees can detect it.

      Keep in mind that by this time the bees have been eating this crap all along because it is in every excreted material from treated or affected plants, including pollen and guttation, and it's even detectable in corn syrup if that is fed to the bees as a food substitute during dearths.

      By then the hive is emptying out due to the chronic exposure and if the beekeeper finds any bees in that hive box at all, it's just a few nurse bees and a freaked out queen at death's door. The guard bees, the foragers are all gone.

      Then when you set this stuff out, other bees will not rob it. Barely any insects will get on it, whereas under normal circumstances if you put what is called wet comb out (comb that has honey on it or in it) every kind of bee you can imagine, including honey bees show up to get a slice of that to take home, along with butterflies and beetles and wasps too.

      Two papers I recommend:

      Immune Suppresssion by Neonicotinoid Insecticides at Root of Gloabl Wildlife Declines, Mason, Tennekes, et al. Journal of Immunology and Toxicology Sept/Oct 2012

      This paper basically states (among a lot of other important things) that: "NeoNicotinoids can produce effects at any concentration level provided the exposure time is sufficiently long. (ibid pp1 of 10)"

      "...increased susceptibility of newly emerged worker bees to the gut pathogen nosema ceranae following exposure of honey bee colonies during three brood generations to imidicaloprid dosages of 5 to 20 ppb (which are exposures well below levels demonstrated) to cause effects on longevity or foraging in adult honey bees. (ibid pp2 of 10)."
      The bibliography of this paper is quite an eye opener for any reverse engineers out there.

      What's really great is that all the stuff that scientists all over the world have "discovered" about the effects of Neonicotinoids on bees, were basically what was advertised by Bayer Crop Science about these products when sold especially as Termiticides--another social insect.

      Things like disrupts feeding, and "makes soil pathogens 10,000 times more deadly" to target insect, is undetectable and carried back to the colony, causes (termites) to be unable to sustain their colony.

      Etc., and so on.

      It's easier to find this paper by just typing in the title. And then read it and weep.

      And there's a hell of a lot more where that came from.

      Then send it to other interested parties.

      So basically--back to the paper, when a honey bee is infected with the microsporidian, Nosema ceranae, it disrupts digestion and the bee eventually dies of malnutrition.

      The EPA's answer to American Beekeepers losing their livelihood and hives to neonicotinoid poisoning (CCD) was to approve a new Neonicotinoid Sufloxaflor for use on Cotton and lord knows what else.

      Of course every plant you buy in a box store like lows and home depot, walmart, etc., those plants are all treated with neonics in the greenhouse. It's freaken everywhere and it doesn't break down in composting either.
      :(

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:49:21 PM PDT

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      •  Oops--I only listed on paper. Sorry. (13+ / 0-)

        Interactions between Nosema microspores and neonicotiniod weaken honey bees (Apis mellifera), Environ Microbio 2010; 12(3):774-82
        By Alaux C. Brunet JL, Dussaubat C et al.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:53:01 PM PDT

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      •  The lack of robbing behavior is significant (8+ / 0-)

        Has the comb become rancid, or is the lack of robbing due to the now detectable concentration in the comb?

        Has anyone looked at vapor pressure of these compounds and whether the bees/insects can smell them via associative learning methods like proboscis extension conditioning?

        How stable are these compounds? What is the half life in water, sunlight, soil? Are we talking weeks, months, years? If it's up in the years range, how are they getting approved?

        •  They are banned in the EU. (12+ / 0-)

          They are not banned in the US because we live in an oligarchy which is beholden to agrochemical corporations.

          We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

          by occupystephanie on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:45:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Imidacloprid breaks down into clothianidin and (5+ / 0-)

          for years in the soil, and is highly mobile in the soil and water. It can be taken up into the roots of untreated plants (read weeds) in or near ag fields and expressed in those plants as well. It's even worse if there is a lot of contaminated talc blown around from seed planting, because that will not only kill the bees in the field in that moment, but leech into the soil to affect new potential pollen and nectar sources for years to come, inside the field and wherever the dust has settled.  

          How does anything get approved in our new oligarchy? With CA$H and a fine and shiny Revolving Door Political System.

          Read Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honeybees Living Near Agricultural Fields. PLoS ONE 7/1:e29268. Krupke CH, Hunt GJ, Eitzer BD, Andino G, Given K (2012)

          That also means that when its in water, accidentally or on purpose that when bees drink that water, its yet another route for poisoning. Because bees drink water.

          You can look up neonics online and get a list that tells you soil half lives for each one.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sat May 10, 2014 at 07:15:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Basically, sits in soil forever (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeterHug, DSC on the Plateau

            For imadacloprin, high solubility,negative logKow, low Koc, long half life in water and soil, short half life in water exposed to sunlight. Plant uptake is pretty high.

            This is a devastating combination for bees. They forage for pollen, water and nectar, all of which could contain the pesticide. Then they bring it back to the dark hive and live with it for a while.

            This is a great example of aqueous photolysis not having much of an impact on environmental fate. It lands on soil, goes in and sits doesn't encounter anything that will break it down. In addition, the low Koc tells us that it is going to be highly transportable thought the soil.

            I'm guessing the regs heavily weighted aqueous photolysis thinking that it would be the biggest sink for the pesticide, without taking into account soil transport and plant uptake. They got this one wrong. If it was one of my compounds, my recommendation would be clean it up as quickly after the release as possible to keep it out of groundwater, plants and drinking water. But let's face it, it does have a lower human toxicity that most organophosphorus compounds.

            •  Keep in mind that most bees and wasps nest (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, RiveroftheWest

              in the soil. So this increases their exposure to these chemicals trapped in the soil or that run off into banks where bees like Centris or Cellophane Bees build their nests in clay.

              It's hitting them from every possible direction.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:04:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the posts, inspired me to look it up (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreenMother, PeterHug

            It looks like we went from lethal organophosphorus pesticides like methyl parathion to less than lethal pesticides like the neonics and are now starting to figure out the impact of low level exposure.

            Has anyone done a good environmental fate write up on that class of compounds, I'd be interested in reading.

            •  My advice would be to look up the following: (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PeterHug, RiveroftheWest, DawnN

              Immune Suppression by Neonicotinoid Insecticides at the Root of Global Wildlife Declines. Mason, Tennekes, Sanchez-Bayo & Jepsen. Journal of Immunology and Toxicology Sept/Oct 2012.

              And then look at the Bibliography

              That will give you a great start on that topic and many others related to this subject.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:06:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  GreenMother (10+ / 0-)

        I thank you for this wonderful complete comment. I had never heard before about this before in relation to termites. German Bayer Crop Science deals in poisons and has for decades.

        We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

        by occupystephanie on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:47:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They also deal in other chemicals and drugs. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't begrudge Bayer for making things. But what pisses me off to no end, is their insistence on destroying this terrestrial foodweb for a profit. I mean WHAT THE FUCK BAYER!

          It's funny too. They have been around for so long, even if they quit making Neonics, they make so many other things, that even though there would be some money lost, in the greater scheme of things it would barely make a dent in the list of all the things this company produces and sells.

          I mean really? Way to advertise to the rest of the world BAYER--that you are not part of this global community. That you don't hold any kind of responsibility as a multi-national conglomerate, to practice responsible manufacturing of materials and goods that will not KILL the entire fucking planet because you erased our pollination base with your goddamn greed and lies.

          Definitely a Great Job Bayer/Brownie moment.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sun May 11, 2014 at 05:34:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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