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The whole story is available here:

What caught my eye is the inclusion of a Bumble Bee Study in France.

I have said for a while now that Because NeoNicotinoids persist in the soil, that they would also be damaging directly to ground dwelling bees such as Bumble Bees. And that direct in-soil contact would be in addition to other forms of sublethal contact and ingestion via contaminated pollen, nectar and guttation.

In the bumble bee study, researchers concluded that colonies treated with nonlethal levels of the pesticide "had a significantly reduced growth rate and suffered an 85% reduction in production of new queens" compared to colonies without the pesticide.
Honey bees (Apis Mellifera) are the main, domestic pollinator we use for agriculture because they also produce honey.

But other bees are used as well such as Mason Bees, and Bumble Bees. Both of which have been domesticated to some degree. You can buy starts, cocoons and boxes/nests to keep these insects in your yard or greenhouse.

In addition those those domesticated bees, we also have indigenous bees. Their presence and competition has bee shown to increase the pollination of Honey bees.

But back to the Bumble Bees:

"Bumble bees have an annual life cycle and it is only new queens that survive the winter to found colonies in the spring," the authors noted. "Our results suggest that trace levels of neonicotinoid pesticides can have strong negative consequence for queen production by bumble bee colonies under realistic field conditions, and this is likely to have a substantial population-level impact."
Consider now that a new pesticide is being created that interrupts the diapause in insects that hibernate.
Scientists have designed agents that interfere with the protective dormancy period of the corn earworm, a species that infests more than 100 types of plants and costs American farmers an estimated $2 billion a year in losses and control costs.
Diapause is the delay in development in response to regularly and recurring periods of adverse environmental conditions.[1][2] It is considered to be a physiological state of dormancy with very specific initiating and inhibiting conditions. Diapause is a mechanism used as a means to survive predictable, unfavorable environmental conditions, such as temperature extremes, drought or reduced food availability. Diapause is most often observed in arthropods, especially insects, and in the embryos of many of the oviparous species of fish in the order Cyprinodontiformes.[3] (Diapause does not occur in embryos of the viviparous and ovoviviparous species of Cyprinodontiformes.)
This is a survival tactic of many butteflies and indigenous bees. Some who can go dormant during extreme weather events. If we add this new chemical to the neonics, it would not be a good thing for our food web.

But back to the MSNBC story:

In the honey bee study, radio transmitters were attached to the back of bees to see how they foraged in conditions with and without the pesticide.

The pesticide, the researchers concluded, impaired the homing ability of bees and exposed bees were two to three times more likely to die while away from the hive. That "high mortality ... could put a colony at risk of collapse" within a few weeks of exposure, especially in combination with other stressors, they noted.

"We were actually quite surprised by the magnitude," Henry told reporters.

You can go back and read my timeline of NeoNicotinoids. Bee Keepers reported that their bees acted drunk just before succumbing to poisoning.

There were arguments between researchers regarding dosage in the studies. However, a decade of Colony Collapse Disorder, coupled with Bumble Bee crashes and even some extinctions are enough to convince me that this shit has to go!

However, given that bees are getting direct contact with contaminated TALC during spring and fall planting of corn fields, perhaps cotton and soy too--I question the veracity of the criticisms regarding dosages used in these studies.

Seeds of most annual crops are coated in neonicotinoid insecticides for protection after planting. All corn seed and about half of all soybean seed is treated. The coatings are sticky, and in order to keep seeds flowing freely in the vacuum systems used in planters, they are mixed with talc. Excess talc used in the process is released during planting and routine planter cleaning procedures...the exhausted talc showed extremely high levels of the insecticides -- up to about 700,000 times the lethal contact dose for a bee.

"Whatever was on the seed was being exhausted into the environment," Krupke said. "This material is so concentrated that even small amounts landing on flowering plants around a field can kill foragers or be transported to the hive in contaminated pollen. This might be why we found these insecticides in pollen that the bees had collected and brought back to their hives."

The EPA is looking into it, in slow motion of course.
The EPA, contacted by, said it has "begun reviewing the two studies ... and they will be considered" as part of an ongoing process that reviews chemicals. Non-EPA scientists will weigh in at a special meeting in the fall, it added. (MSNBC)
Yea, EPA, don't take too long. I like to do this thing, I call growing and eating food. And I like to keep my bees. ALL OF THEM!

Here are other entries on this subject:

Things you can do on your own property to help conserve Pollinators:

7:18 AM PT: Science Daily also covered this story:
How Bees Are Harmed by Common Pesticides

This story discusses the Honey Bee and Bumble Bee Collapses, and mentioned specifically certain Bumble Bee Extinctions!

More Studies Results! Be sure and read this story too!

12:36 PM PT: Check this out: Bees Self Medicate when exposed to Pathogens.

"Wild honey bees normally line their hives with propolis, a mixture of plant resins and wax that has antifungal and antibacterial properties. Domesticated honey bees also use propolis, to fill in cracks in their hives. However, researchers found that, when faced with a fungal threat, bees bring in significantly more propolis -- 45 percent more, on average. The bees also physically removed infected larvae that had been parasitized by the fungus and were being used to create fungal spores."

Originally posted to GreenMother on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.

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Comment Preferences

  •  it may not look like it on the surface, (15+ / 0-)

    but all these stories about animal populations are some of the most important topics we could be discussing.

    tipped and rec'd.

    Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

    by Cedwyn on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:21:02 AM PDT

  •  I always suspected some kind of pesticide (7+ / 0-)

    had something to do with CCD.  Maybe it wouldn't kill the bees outright, but it wouldn't need to in order to weaken them.  I'm glad they've isolated the appropriate culprit.

    Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

    by Ice Blue on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:28:19 AM PDT

  •  EPA is Monsanto's 'Farm Team' (5+ / 0-)

    Those nice folks at the EPA wouldn't want to ruin their chances of moving up to the big league, now would they?

    The best government money can buy!

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 06:31:45 AM PDT

  •  Without pollinators (9+ / 0-)

    We might as well just wipe ourselves off the face of the earth. The effects of the lack of pollinators could cascade throughout the ecosystem and could lead to an extinction level event.

    -6.25 -7.08 The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty. The glass is just twice as large as it needs to be. If you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

    by Unit Zero on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:02:19 AM PDT

  •  I'm sure the Technological Savior Innovation Team (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Unit Zero

    is hard at work developing robot pollinators for massive profiter, uh, the good of the planet.  Nothing could possibly go wrong.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:23:51 AM PDT

  •  Rec'd and All Others Should to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, cybersaur

    This is important news, it is integral to our survival to stop the destruction of the Bee population.

  •  Thanks for posting this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, zerelda

    I was reading about it last night. It seems we finally have an answer about bees!

    And an FYI to everyone here...

    NeoNicotinoids are not the only problem, however. Americans today are poisoning themselves -  and the planet - with other toxic crap like permethrin and pyrethroids. These poisons are found in preparations you use on your body (head lice, scabies), on your pets (spot-on treatments and household eradication formulas used for fleas, ticks, bed bugs), as well as on lawns, gold courses, soccer fields, etc. Some folks even buy hunting gear (shirts and jackets) impregnated with the poison, which is also used to soak our soldiers uniforms before sending them off to war.

    These poisons are toxic to humans, pets, the water table, bees, butterflies, etc. They have been connected to Parkinsons's, childhood asthma, cancer and more.

    But you don't have to use them! There is an organic solution. It's called Cedarcide. Now before you all get on me for spamming, let me just say that I have used their products. I got rid of a really bad flea infestation in my house by doing nothing more than spraying and vacuuming. I didn't have to leave, nor did my mom or our pets. there was no cleanup of toxic dust after the fact, and the worst thing you have to deal with is your house smelling mildly like a cedar closet for about a day.

    They have formulas that work for inside and on pets (BestYet), outside (PCO Choice) and another one that is a formula that can be used on wood that prevents rot and bug infestations without having to resort to composites or pressure treated wood (CedarShield). You can find them all at ALL of their products are both EPA exempt from registration and...certified organic. AND PLEASE NOTE: these products will NOT kill beneficial things like BEES or butterflies.

    And I'll end with a quote from a wise woman...

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray.
    Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

    I only use extra-virgin olive oil because I've been told that the other kinds are sluts (unashamedly stolen from Cheers n' Jeers!)

    by MA Liberal on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 09:24:11 AM PDT

    •  I knew organophosphates were connected to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MA Liberal, northsylvania

      Various human dis-eases such as but not limited to: ADHD, Parkinsons, Alzheimers and other nervous system and brain disorders because *BECAUSE and I cannot stress this enough--That particular chemical family directly interferes with the processing and uptake of Acetylcholine.

      In fact, like LSD, organophosphates are stored in the fat cells in animals, insects and humans. So it bio-accumulates readily.

      Stand by and I shall dig up some links regarding these issues.

      •  there was a study that made a defininte (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        link between Parkinson's and pyrethroids. Link here, but you can find other references to his study.

        the scary thing is how many products on the shelves contain permethrin & pyrethroids, and how many people use them thinking they are safe. They are NOT safe - not for people, pets or the environment.

        Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

        by MA Liberal on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well After spending too long doing it, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I dumped it. I chock it up to a new computer with counter-intuitive tab issues, that are anything but.

        I hate it when programmers and software designers assume they are psychic.

        They are not.
        If you go to You can do a search on Parkinsons and Pesticides and find lots of stuff about Organochlorines and Parkinsons, Testicular cancer, suicidal ideations, Attention issues in children and lower IQs in children who were exposed in the womb.

        Diabetes is also tied in there too. :(

        So Organophosphates, POPs, PCBs, and Organochlorines.

        I am afraid to ask what NeoNics will do to our brains over a long period of time.

  •  I wrote a diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when news of collapse disorder hit the Guardian via Science. It went online at a bad time, but one of the good things that came out of it was a link to your diaries in the comments. This particular diary has a number of important points I hadn't considered. Tipped, recced, and following. Good work.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 04:37:59 PM PDT

    •  Wow, thanks for noticing! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have always been struck by the simultaneous decline of bees, and bats in North American, both by opportunistic fungal infections mostly.

      Although neoNics were in the states prior to 2006, I find it interesting that this is the red letter date for the most collapses and the onset of White Nose Syndrome.

  •  I think its time to send the new (0+ / 0-)

    studies regarding Bumble Bees to the EPA with the other Honey Bee Material and start demanding that this stuff be banned yesterday!

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