Skip to main content

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

Comment Preferences

  •  So, it would appear to be the logical (49+ / 0-)

    next step to ban neonicitinoid insecticides.  

    Practically speaking, how likely is that to happen?  How many such products are on the market and how widespread is their use?  And, are there alternatives available?  All these factors will play into whether we can get these chemicals banned.

    Finally, assuming that we can ban them forthwith, how soon can we expect to see a restoration of bee colonies?

    BTW, thanks for bringing this info to the fore.

    I’ve said before, I will always work with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. -- President Barack Obama

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:01:27 AM PDT

    •  Neonics are immensely profitable (24+ / 0-)

      and the companies who make them fund lots of research on lots of other causes of Colony Collapse Disorder.

      American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

      by atana on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:47:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What are the brand names under which this (19+ / 0-)

      form of insecticide is marketed, so small scale folk like me can make sure I don't buy or use them around my bees?

    •  Imidaclopid, the active ingredient in the flea (13+ / 0-)

      preventative Advantage, is in the neonicotinoid class. They're much less toxic to mammals than organophosphates (i.e., malathion) or organochlorides (i.e., DDT).  I'd say they're here to stay.

      Whether it becomes illegal to treat crop seeds with it remains to be seen.
       

      “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

      by Ice Blue on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:01:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GMO's? (4+ / 0-)

        All we need now is a gene to express Neonic's/Imidaclopid and we can kiss bees goodbye while Dupont explains how it's the beekeeper's fault, or incorrect claims by opposing scientists or the phase of the moon or climate change.

        In case you think a gene expressing an insecticide is nuts, that's already done in "safening" plants from herbicides like Roundup. Yum!

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Fri May 09, 2014 at 03:17:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  a bit of confusion here (6+ / 0-)

          the plants that make their own pesticide in every cell make Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) which occurs naturally in soil, but not in plant tissue. The Roundup ready plants are resistant to the herbicide so they can be sprayed with it and still continue to grow, be harvested and eaten, possibly (almost certainly?) with long-term negative health effects on humans and animals.

          No GMOs make their own Roundup (glyphosate).

          •  What?! (0+ / 0-)
            make their own pesticide in every cell make Bt
            I must be misunderstanding you. These cells are expressing BT? That is not possible.

            And who did the long term studies for Roundup? You may wish to chow down on this stuff but I don't and many others do not either.

            What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

            by TerryDarc on Sat May 10, 2014 at 09:56:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Glyphosphate is also being used (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              to dry pulses and grains immediately before harvest.

              Here's a link to a nontechnical story about this, which also links to several research papers.  I have not yet had time to look through them, so I have no idea if the hypothesis (that glyphosphate exposure may be causing gluten intolerance) is reasonable; it is in any case a bit disturbing to me.

              •  I also know that genes do not express organisms (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest

                Interesting that gluten intolerance and use of Roundup might be tied together. I had heard that there could be extra gluten in the GMO strains or maybe that more gluten tastes better and has been selected. Would not be the first time we've modified food and not in a good way. Thanks.

                And the toxicity of Roundup (glycophosphate) is certainly not settled. Or, if it's settled, it's that Roundup is NOT safe.

                The idea that there may be receptors in insects that do not exist in vertebrates/mammals is dubious at best. I think, like climate change, that one would err on the side of caution and not on the side of someone whose pockets will be lined with gold, say Dupont.

                What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                by TerryDarc on Sat May 10, 2014 at 10:18:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The toxicity studies were done (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GreenMother, TerryDarc

                  when glyphosphate was originally registered, and I am completely confident that they were well done, and that Monsanto (and all the other chemical companies) take the results very seriously.

                  The problem is that those studies are very good at detecting acute toxicity, but may be less able to uncover long-term or more subtle effects that might nevertheless be important.

                  (The same is true for the neonicotinoids, BTW.)

                  •  Also it has only just been a recent thing that (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TerryDarc, PeterHug, Oh Mary Oh

                    scientists are looking into what we call in the service, Caustic or Toxic Cocktails.

                    It's not just low level chronic exposure, it's also what happens when we encounter several chemicals simultaneously, and how they interact inside a body or in the soil and air.

                    Forgive me for paraphrasing but I recall studies posted in Bee Culture magazine that stated something like 131 pesticides were found in random comb, for a study on field bees (not in a controlled lab). That's just in the wax.

                    How does that change the break down of these chemicals and the emergence of metabolites?

                    "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 10:15:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I just posted on APR about the solvents used (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PeterHug, GreenMother

                      which are supposed "inert ingredients" and are anything but. Check Mother Earth News.

                      This is the kind of crap-science we've come to expect out of big biz.

                      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

                      by TerryDarc on Sun May 11, 2014 at 10:57:17 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Its scary. I make it a point to go over MSD info (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TerryDarc, Oh Mary Oh

                        found on the back of paint cans, and other chemicals that might be used in the home. I even bought them kid-sized safety glasses to use, and show the different kind of rubber gloves, and when to work in areas that need more ventilation.

                        Work in a craft store some time and marvel at the complete ignorance of the shoppers as they buy a variety of paints, solvents and other chemicals, glues etc., and then extrapolate that to shoppers in the pesticide aisle, the cleaning aisle and even OTC drugs.

                        Scary Scary Shit! Most people think those warnings on the back are only for in cases of large spills. They have no idea how little it takes to hurt a body.

                        "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 05:19:18 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •   Is This The Off-Topic Inane Red Herring Thread? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slouchsock

          I heard it was a great place to get mojo!

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Fri May 09, 2014 at 05:49:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Roundup (glyphosate) breaks down quickly and (0+ / 0-)

          has no target in animal tissues. Dogs were tested at 0.5g/kg body weight and rats were tested at many times higher levels. The LD50 in mammals is so high that you would have to eat it out of the container for it to have a bad effect. Pretty much the worst it does to mammals is irritate the eyes- so take reasonable care. See pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/dienochlor-glyphosate/glyphosate-ext.html
          This whole "Oh No, bad GMOs, bad 'chemicals'" is reflexive unscientific nonsense for the most part.  The neonicotinoids need to be banned, for good reason, but don't bring nonsense into this important discussion.

          •  Uhh, no... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest, Ice Blue, GreenMother

            Chow down, baby.

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/...

            There is ample question in my mind over long term toxicity to make Roundup off of my dinner table.

            AbstractThe health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.
            No thanks!

            What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

            by TerryDarc on Sat May 10, 2014 at 10:03:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Seralini's paper was retracted. It was garbage. (0+ / 0-)

              The statistics were at best weak, the rat strain was prone to tumors and gave too high background, and the methods were not sound. This was known in the field a year ago. Got anything else? (Got anything real?)

      •  Actually I think that might be fipronil. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samanthab, Prickly Pam

        But I doubt this is the problem, since this stays on the mammal and is spread by sebum on the surface of their skin.

        Bees don't pollinate Dogs and cats.

        That being said, I do wonder if that makes dogs and cats more susceptible to fungal infections or thyroid problems.

        "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 05:57:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, fipronil is what is in Frontline (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, GreenMother

          and its generics. I've found that doesn't kill the fleas on my pets anymore.

          “You think You're frightening me with Your hell, don't You? You think Your hell is worse than mine.” --Dorothy Parker

          by Ice Blue on Sat May 10, 2014 at 02:32:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yea, I know that it doesnt kill fleas any more (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Oh Mary Oh

            Just like DDT, most bugs targeted by NeoNics are immune to it.

            Bees won't have that issue, because they are actually missing genes for detoxification and metabolizing novel toxins.

            So basically the only thing we are killing are the animals and insects we need.

            Damn we are a bunch of damn geniuses. (snark)

            "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 10:17:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but that's a very limited, topical use with (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog, Prickly Pam, RiveroftheWest

        very little mechanism for traveling beyond the individual pet. The sprays are the danger here. Treating seeds is likely to be an issue as well.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
        ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

        by FarWestGirl on Sat May 10, 2014 at 01:44:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Or allowed only on wind-pollinated crops. ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... Or withheld during nectar flow on insect pollinated crops. Or carry stronger over-spray penalties. Or mixed with something that bees find distasteful.

      They're a useful class of chemicals, and unlikely to be abandoned. We can find and promote less reckless ways of using them, though.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:29:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bees collect pollen from everything (6+ / 0-)

        Beeks put their bees on corn because pollen is protein. And they need that pollen to make bee bread, which is fed to brood to build up the colony's strength in the spring for pollination services.

        Bees collect pollen from oak trees and cedar trees too. And they will even collect the powder from animal feed in the early spring when no pollen is available.

        "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 05:59:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still can't see the whole class being outlawed (0+ / 0-)

          Bee keepers might demand an independent certification before taking a job on their colonies' behalf. They could charge more or less depending on other nearby crops. That could change the practices of farmers who need bee pollination, if not necessarily those who manage neighboring fields.

          But, I can't see the government acting quickly enough to do any good. The best I can see, near-term, is a requirement to add a persistent repellent to anything affecting bees.

          Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

          by chimpy on Sat May 10, 2014 at 01:26:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because in plants it's expressed in every part of (0+ / 0-)

            the plant making it a danger for bees and other pollinators like bats, birds, and butterflies.

            In the soil, it harms the soil fauna, including killing earth worms, AND it causes proliferation of certain pathogenic microsporidians like Nosema ceranae.

            Wow, this stuff sounds SWELL! we should spray it everywhere.

            Oh wait, we already have.

            And when we put it in irrigation ditches to treat for mosquitoes--what do you think that does to the bats that eat them? Or to the aquatic organisms vertebrates and invertebrates that spend part of all of their lives in the water?

            Dragonflies? Getting double doses via the water AND the poisoned mosquitoes and midges and flies.

            This stuff is bad news. Already reports are emerging from the EU stating this has adverse affects on human neural development. Just what we need--another environmental vector for ADHD, Autism, or better yet Parkinsons (shades of organophosphates)

            "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 10:21:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Active Ingredients to Avoid (21+ / 0-)

      Acetamiprid
      Clothianidin
      Dinotefuran
      Imidacloprid
      Thiamethoxam
      Thiamexothan

      Those are the ones currently on the market. They come under different brand names, but if these are on the label, then it's got neonicotinoids.

      Also be aware that some "organic" or "natural" branded pesticides may contain Nicotine Sulfate, which should also be avoided.

      :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
      Can you help me make Green Planet Heroes happen?

      by radical simplicity on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:03:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Obama Administration would NEVER ban... (4+ / 0-)

      ...a product made by a major U.S. corporation. It's just not how Obama rolls.

      Obama: Pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, pro-drilling, pro-fracking, pro-KXL, pro-surveillance. And the only person he prosecuted for the U.S. torture program is the man who revealed it. Clinton: More of the same.

      by expatjourno on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:37:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  US is BIG buyer and promoter: USFS, NPS, etc... (12+ / 0-)

        Under the misguided "war on invasive species" the USDA's US Forest Service has been funding the purchase  of lots of these toxic neonicotinoids. Dozens and dozens of "forest and environmental groups" up and down the east's Appalachian mountain chain have been "soil injecting" the forests to make the soil and water so toxic the living trees become toxic to insects when they "uptake" these toxins. Tough on the non targeted…nature is just collateral damage.

        This "systemic poisoning" approach to making trees toxic to say, the emerald ash borer in the case of elm trees, or to target the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) that is killing off easter hemlocks, is a grossly misguided mass poisoning effort. That these highly soluble and mobile toxics are being put at the uppermost reaches of all of our watersheds, especially on public lands, is terrible public policy. USFS, National Park Service, etc. Imagine the poisoning of the hemlocks along the Blue Ridge Parkway? Done.

        These poisons are in foods at levels toxic to bees, and our waterways are becoming similarly toxic. Trace exposures cause irreversible nerve damage, so these "systemic poisons" in our foods--poisons we can't wash off, may keep the climb in autism rates climbing, and other neurological disease increasing.

        Bayer Crop Sciences has sold the USFS and their many "partners" mothball like pellets of these poisons, so they can be backpacked to the uppermost reaches of our mountains and spread around. Poisoning soil, trees, waters, and lots of non-target species.

        Read more about these toxics at the Danish site:

        Bird Decline, Insect Decline, and Neonicotinoids
        http://www.farmlandbirds.net/...

        Get the book, Disaster in the Making
        http://www.disasterinthemaking.com/...

        More on the fallacy of non-native invasive species wars, at Death of a Million Trees: http://milliontrees.me

        And, read about the poisoning of the special forest named as a tribute to Trees, named for the author of the poem, [and then the dynamiting of] Joyce Kilmer Natonal Forest, a designated wilderness area. This project,  the use of poisons, and dynamite, in the formerly off-limits designated wilderness, was promoted by The Wilderness Society. Go figure…

        http://moccasinbadlandsreview.blogspot.com/...

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site