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Neonicotinoid pesticides tied to crashing bee populations

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posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by MeesterB
The only solution to combat this new threat is to release millions of GM honey bees. You already have a healthy base of research with all the GM plants. Just a small jump really.


That's not a solution. That's not the way it works. Bees come from queen bees, and must be laid by a healthy queen. It takes 5 days of being fed royal jelly, and another 5 days to pupate, before a bee can even be born. They are living insects, not dormant seeds. There is no way to artificially produce a bee. Period.

They react dynamically within their environment, and contaminants they come across are introduced back into the hive. Hives over-contaminated die off, and those that don't become genetically "hardened" to their environment.

It's quite a delicate balance, actually.




posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by Druid42
 





...only have 2 Queen Bees instead of the normal 14.


A normal healthy hive only has 1 queen at any given time. You'll have to clarify that a bit...


The quote is from the BBC article - I assume it refers to the number of queens produced during the life of bumblebee hives (the species studied).

And you're right - the issue is Colony Collapse Disorder.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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The biggest question of CCD is will the bees adapt to the amount of pollutants we are chucking into the environment. I simply don't have the answer to that.

Yes, bees adapt rapidly. They have to, as insects, it's a rule of evolution. The fact that they have been around for thousands of years and longer lends to the belief that they will adapt and change. In any given local it appears colonies may die off rapidly, but so far there has been no link to a common contagion that is affecting all bees everywhere.

There are still many healthy hives all over.

It's the rate of die offs that concerns me more. Hives have been failing since 2006, and the ratio increases every year, per reports. Some are losing 70% of their hives, which is nearly 4 times the natural rate.

This is something to keep an eye on.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 03:48 PM
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I have noticed the decreasing number of bees as well. In my neighborhood we have an entire colony of bees living nearby they have had to relocate several times.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 04:11 PM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


I am, assuming, that you are mostly refering to farmed bees...correct me if I am wrong. What I suppose is more of a problem, is what is happening with the wild populations. Exhaustion, given the distance that some may have to travel to find their food source for example, especially under rotational farming, as in, they may go into hibernation near their food source, only to find, come Spring, that it is nolonger close by.

Just a thought...and I'd appreciate your perspective on it as you seem far better informed than I.



posted on Mar, 31 2012 @ 08:04 PM
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reply to post by Biliverdin
 





...correct me if I am wrong.


I'll take it that we are understanding the terms "farmed" and "commercial" to be the same thing. Regardless of the term, yes, I am saying that CCD is due to the commercialization of bees.

There is no problem with the feral populations, as long as there is a food source within a 10 mile radius. Mind you, every plant has a blossom of some sort or another, it's how plants reproduce. Even what most consider to be a weed, which grow by the billions along the major highways, which are ALSO treated with pesticide for weed control, have a blossom and pollen. Dandelions grow everywhere. (That's speculation, but it is a very thriving weed that provides a continuous pollen source in my neck of the woods. Other species of pollinating plants are located in every other geographic location, and we call them weeds, and spray pesticides for "weed" control.) Feral bees (swarms), are much more superior to a "farmed" hive. The whole term of the "domestic" honey bee is kind of an oxymoron, because ALL bees are wild. Honey bees, yes, are actually feral bees. They follow their genetic blueprint and do a certain thing. You can't train a bee to do anything different than what is genetically programmed to do.

What I'm inferring is that we have a particular insect, that does a particular thing, and is vital to the pollination of nearly every plant. We have taken them for granted, and commercialized the whole process, greed overcoming the fact that bees are more acclimated to a stress-free environment. Bees like their hive in one spot, they know how to find their way back home after foraging within that ten mile radius, and ANY deviation causes stress to the hive. Poke a stick in an anthill, it's the same darn thing. You have stressed the ant's house, but they WILL repair it, given time and enough workers. They are actually both amazing insects.

From the natural selection viewpoint, a "commercialized" hive in much weaker in the genetic sense than a "hobbyist" hive. "Commercial" beekeepers spray antibiotics into their hives, causing stress. The parasites in the bee's bodies develope the same immunities that humans do, so they have to increase the dosage, causing even more stress. The bees go out to forage, and collect pollen and nectar that is contaminated with pesticides, adding stress (to the enzymes in their stomachs which convert the pollen and nectar to honey) to the natural production cycle of honey. The hive senses a contaminated queen, and starts to produce replacements, and the 21 day cycle of making a new egg laying queen is interrupted because the commercial producers often remove queen cells for growing in a "nuc hive", in order to produce queens for sale for about 20 bucks a piece. A whole split, with queen, runs about 79 USD.

I've given just a few instances of stress on a beehive. Bees should be left mostly alone, to do their thing, but lazy farmers and a greedy industry has upset the balance. CCD is a result of commercial bee farmers forgetting to pay attention to the natural cycle of bees, with pesticides such as the Neonicotinoid varieties adding stress to hives, and if not corrected, it could lead to catastrophic results in a few years. That is a serious accusation.

When all the bees die, and we have no food, who will we blame, but ourselves?



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 05:22 AM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


Thank you for such a detailed reply, that helped clear up my confusion immeasurably. I watched a documentary a couple of years ago about the situation in the US with the pollination of fruit trees, and it showed how the hives are loaded onto the back of wagons and hauled sometimes hundreds of miles to the orchards so that they can carry out the necessary act of pollination. This no doubt would cause immense stress on a creature that is not tolerant to stress. Seems rather a waste of resources too...but I am sure that, as with all things, that this is relative.

Thanks again for such a well informed post



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 05:52 AM
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And what monopoly is the #1 producer of Neonicotinoid pesticides in the world?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !

figures




posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 06:34 AM
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reply to post by BiggerPicture
 


Well the manufacturers are mainly in China...and all established as limited companies in 1993...with massive capital injections...anyone have David Rockefeller's biography handy...I'm just thinking of that bit in it where he talks about going over to China with suitcases full of money...



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by Druid42
 



There is no problem with the feral populations


In fact there is. The study referenced by the BBC was done on wild bumblebees.

Colony Collapse Disorder is pandemic - wild and commercial hives all over the world are being affected. ...One thing I've been meaning to research is the impact on African killer bees - the species is spreading further and further North in North America and cross-breeding with wild and domestic bees, but I haven't seen any reports on CCD in African killer bee colonies. Do you know anything about this?



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 09:35 AM
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Originally posted by BiggerPicture
And what monopoly is the #1 producer of Neonicotinoid pesticides in the world?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ !

figures:




Imidacloprid is a nicotine-based systemic insecticide, belonging to a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids

Although it is off patent, the primary producer of imidacloprid is the German chemical firm Bayer CropScience.
The trade names for imidacloprid include Gaucho, Admire, Merit, Advantage, Confidor, Provado, and Winner.



my guess Monsanto...but since neonicotinoids are off patent, then anyone can release a product

tell me this all wasn't anticipated and planned



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Feral bee populations were reduced by mites, not necessarily CCD:


A dramatic decrease in feral honey bee populations began in the 1980s, with the accidental importation of two parasitic mite species. Since then, the increasing costs associated with managing honey bees with these mites and other hive pests, combined with depressed honey prices caused by cheap imported honey, has caused many beekeepers to quit the industry. Since the 1940s the number of managed bee colonies in the U.S. has declined from over 5 million to about 2.5 million. With feral bee populations effectively decimated, the need for mobile pollination services has increased. The current situation affecting managed bees may result in a pollinator shortage that could become a crisis for agricultural production.


As far as AHBs (Africanized Honey Bee) go:


The first AHB's arrive in the US in October 1990 and were found in Texas. From there they spread throughout the state and then moved on to New Mexico and Arizona. In October 1993 a swarm of AHB's was detected in California, west of Blythe in Riverside County. In 1999 the first swarm of AHB's was found in Palmdale, and now all bees in Southern California are considered Africanized.



Africanized Honey Bees look the same and in most ways behave like the European Honey Bee. Both produce honey and wax, pollinate flowers, protect their nest, and sting in defense. All bees are only able to sting once, since their stinger is barbed and part of the abdomen and the venom sack tears off when the bee flies away and dies. The venom of both species is the same too. Persons who are hypersensitive to bee venom can die from a single EHB sting and others survive over 200 AHB stings. The main difference is their behavior. AHB's are more defensive of their nest and respond faster, in greater numbers. They can sense movement within 50 feet or more, vibrations and noise from power equipment within 100 feet from the nest. Be aware that the nest might not be visible, since they like to nest in small cavities and sheltered areas such as empty boxes, cans, buckets, old tires, lumber piles, holes in trees and the ground, garages, sheds, and other places.


It does appear that they are hardier:


According to apiarists in Arizona, Africanized bees and organically raised European bees are not being affected by CCD and mites to the same extent that other bees are, suggesting that normal practices like geneticaly engineering bees and feeding them protein supplements may be destructive in the long run.



CCD has primarily affected domestic, commercial honeybees - those that are raised exclusively for producing honey and pollinating crops. It seems to affect bees from hives that are moved from place to place in order to pollinate crops. Commercial honeybees make up a tiny portion of the overall bee population. Other types of bees, including Africanized honeybees, do not seem to be affected.



Although experts are stumped about what's causing the colony-collapse disorder die-off in U.S. commercial beehives, there is some speculation that Arizona's famed Africanized -- or "killer bee" -- wild-bee population is somehow immune. Dee Lusby's bees are doing fine. Actually, they're doing better than that, says the owner of Lusby Apiaries & Arizona Rangeland Honey of Arivaca. Lusby has 900 hives of "free range" organic bees spread out over ranches from Benson to Sasabe.


However:


Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, research leader of the USDA's Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, is not so quick to crown the wildly enthusiastic Africanized honeybees as superior. "We don't push the African populations like we do Europeans," DeGrandi-Hoffman said of the carefully genetically controlled honeybees used by commercial beekeepers for field work. "We're putting them on trucks and taking them halfway across the country. We're stressing them in almost a feedlot situation, feeding them protein supplements. We're stressing them pretty good. And that doesn't happen with Africans."


Link.
Link.
Link.

So is it the hardiness of the Africanized bee, or the fact that they have not been commercialized? Until the nail down the true cause of CCD, we won't know for sure. All indications point to the fact that disturbing the bees natural habitat is ultimately the cause. The verdict is still out.



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Druid42
 



Feral bee populations were reduced by mites, not necessarily CCD:


Key phrase that, "Not necessarily."

My point - There is no single cause-and-effect. Current cutting edge research looks at complex systems - and at "the environment" as encompassing -and involving- the interractions of numerous distinct complex systems. …Looking for single cause-and-effect is old, out-of-date and debunked dogma.



…there are some prevalent theories on the causes of CCD:

* The process of transporting bees over long distances in order to pollinate crops may cause stress, depress the bees' immune system, expose them to additional pathogens or affect their navigational abilities.

* Mites that generally feed on bees, such as the varroa and tracheal mites, may be exposing the bees to an unknown virus. These mites have caused colony collapses in the past, but they have also left evidence for beekeepers to find, which is not the case in CCD.

* Some unknown pathogen or other factor may be affecting bees' ability to navigate.

* Honeybees may have too little genetic diversity, making the species as a whole susceptible to widespread disease.

One common theory -- that cellular phones may be causing CCD -- has been widely discounted. This theory made the news in April 2007, after "The Independent" featured an article on a link between cell phones and bee disappearance. However, the study that "The Independent" cited was not related to cell phones. The researchers were instead studying the electromagnetic energy coming from the base units of cordless phones by implanting the bases directly in the beehives. A cordless phone uses a different wavelength of electromagnetic energy than cellular phones do.




…The only reason to quantify specific cause-and-effects is to determine (or avoid) liability.

GREAT links btw. Thanks for your references on Africanized bees.



AFRICANIZED BEES AND ORGANICALLY RAISED BEES MAY BE RESISTANT TO CCD

According to apiarists in Arizona, Africanized bees and organically raised European bees are not being affected by CCD and mites to the same extent that other bees are, suggesting that normal practices like geneticaly engineering bees and feeding them protein supplements may be destructive in the long run.




…experts are stumped about what's causing the colony-collapse disorder die-off in U.S. commercial beehives…

Lusby has a hunch the disorder is the result of a number of factors, including the use of pesticides, bee-growth formulas, artificial food supplements, breeding for size, inbreeding -- all or some of which may make them susceptible to mites, viruses and fungi -- and maybe even some strange side effects from feeding on genetically modified crops.

Breeding for size is a major factor, Lusby believes. She says the commercial honeybees are now too large to feed on some of the very plants that historically may have given them immunity to diseases and parasites. They're simply too big to get into those plant's flowers, she says.

…Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, research leader of the USDA's Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, is not so quick to crown the wildly enthusiastic Africanized honeybees as superior. "We don't push the African populations like we do Europeans," DeGrandi-Hoffman said of the carefully genetically controlled honeybees used by commercial beekeepers for field work. "We're putting them on trucks and taking them halfway across the country. We're stressing them in almost a feedlot situation, feeding them protein supplements. We're stressing them pretty good. And that doesn't happen with Africans."




All indications point to the fact that disturbing the bees natural habitat is ultimately the cause.


Multiple factors "including the use of pesticides, bee-growth formulas, artificial food supplements, breeding for size, inbreeding -- all or some of which may make them susceptible to mites, viruses and fungi -- and maybe even some strange side effects from feeding on genetically modified crops." Not to mention "stressing them in almost a feedlot situation, feeding them protein supplements," and "…putting them on trucks and taking them halfway across the country."

We've filled our world with contaminants and pollutants; we're feeding them to our cattle - and what? We think it won't have an effect?

OH-kay.


Great stuff Druid42 - S&



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by St Udio

Imidacloprid is a nicotine-based systemic insecticide, belonging to a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids

Although it is off patent, the primary producer of imidacloprid is the German chemical firm Bayer CropScience.
The trade names for imidacloprid include Gaucho, Admire, Merit, Advantage, Confidor, Provado, and Winner.



my guess Monsanto...but since neonicotinoids are off patent, then anyone can release a product

tell me this all wasn't anticipated and planned


Not everything is Monsanto you know. Is the name Bayer not clearly given in the link that you provide? Are you unaware of Bayers history? They definately have had their finger in quite enough conspiratorial pies to send up red flags a plenty. For example, they once upon a time, operated under IG Farben, and attached as they were to the Auschwitz concentration camp, were able to gain their market lead on their ability to test, with impunity, on a production line of highly disposable human subjects.

en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Apr, 1 2012 @ 09:19 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


I'm curious, do you have hives? I'm glad you share my concern.

This is ATS, what else do you expect?



posted on Apr, 2 2012 @ 10:42 AM
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reply to post by Druid42
 


No, I don't have hives but my neighbor does. He's extremely well-informed and active in the local beekeeping community - I've been interested in CCD for some time, primarily as it parallels similar problems ALL species are facing (including humans).





edit on 2/4/12 by soficrow because: clarity



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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I'm new here. Have any of you guys eaten a bee and then felt ill?



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by amberprobe
I'm new here. Have any of you guys eaten a bee and then felt ill?


Does it wiggle and wriggle and tiggle inside ya? Or is that just flies?

Bees are more likely to sting you during the eating process I should imagine and then you could go into anaphylactic shock...which isn't pretty.

Whatever you do though, don't eat a horse, antihistimines are far more effective...but on the whole, I'd caution against eating bees altogether.



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by amberprobe
 


Oh gosh, no hun. You don't eat the bees, you eat the honey they produce.

The OP is talking about bee hives crashing, so let's stick (like honey) to that topic, k?




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