Plan Bee Central News
UPDATE April 2013:
Britain’s beekeepers march on Parliament to suspend the use of neonic pesticides!
BEE report from EU – 4-23-13
Here are Bayer’s own descriptions of what imidacloprid does to insect colonies. Below are extracts from two of Bayer’s documents of the various mechanisms by which imidacloprid kills termites (Premise 200sc brochure attached) and a link to “The Secret Life of Termites.” http://www.research.bayer.com/en/20-termites.pdfx
In Denmark similar imidacloprid preparations are sold in Garden Centres for destroying ant colonies (Bayer Myre Lokkdåse and Kvit Myre Sirup).
For termites and ants substitute the word “honeybees”
From their description of the actions of Premise 200sc, Bayer knew from the beginning that imidacloprid was an effective and long-term killer of insect colonies, be they termites, ants, wild bees or managed honey bees. Individuals stop feeding and grooming, become disorientated, paralysed and die. They also become susceptible to fungal pathogens in the soil. “Premise 200sc makes fungi 10,000 times more dangerous to termites. Nature assists Premise in giving unsurpassed control”.
Yesterday the COLOSS organisation (in close collaboration with the research consortium BEE DOC) made a definitive statement with regard to honey bee health. “The mite Varroa destructor in combination with viruses is the main threat to honey bee colonies”.
Neonicotinoid insecticides have “unsurpassed control” over immune systems
In combination with naturally occurring pathogens, the neonicotinoid insecticides have “unsurpassed control” over the immune systems of many species, including those of honey bees and bumblebees. That is why Varroa destructor has turned into a killer of honey bees. The US EPA scientists had warned the US EPA Registration Division about the problem of immune suppression when clothianidin was given conditional registration in 2003. http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/factsheets/clothianidin.pdf
Massive global declines in other wildlife (attached paper in press)
Amphibians populations around the world have been devastated by Batratrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a chytrid fungus; bat colonies have been wiped out by the fungus Geomyces destructans; Medaka fish in rice paddy fields have been infected and weakened by a Trichodina ectoparasite; wild pink salmon on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia by Lepeophtheirus salmonis; wild house finches in the US by Mycoplasma gallisepticum; greenfinches in Europe by Trichomonas gallinae; blue tits by acute necrotising pneumonitis; avian pox produces tumours in great tits; chaffinches have papillomatous growths on their legs. The global biodiversity losses, which have been suppressed by the media, are devastating.
Can honey bees recover if Europe votes for a ban neonicotinoid insecticides?
When asked by MPs in the Environmental Audit Committee on insects and insecticides about the half lives in soil of imidacloprid and clothianidin, Dr Julian Little of Bayer CropScience replied “16-200 days” (p 18). In fact, the EAC had found two UK studies in the 1990s in the industry Draft Assessment Report that EFSA (at its reassessment of imidacloprid in 2006) had identified as a data gap: “At the two UK study sites accumulation occurred over the full 6 year duration of the studies and the experts considered that a plateau was not reached”(p 17). Bayer was in accord with Dr Little’s figures when it issued an ‘Imidacloprid-Expert-Overview’ in 2001 in response to a Pesticide Fact Sheet that said otherwise. http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/imidacloprid_bayer.htm
“Practical trials conducted under northern European conditions showed the half-life for dissipation to be less than six months.”
With regard to its behaviour in water: “Though imidacloprid is not intended to be applied directly in water, it nevertheless may enter water bodies due to spray drift or in extreme situations by runoff from treated fields after rainfall. It has been shown that no unacceptable harmful effects would occur under these circumstances as the substance will undergo complete elimination from water by photolytic reactions and by microbial activity.”
The conclusion was that: “The use of imidacloprid in agriculture does not entail unacceptable harmful effects for the environment as the substance will disappear under all circumstances from the compartments soil, water and air”.
No-one told Bayer that microbes are invertebrates. The neonicotinoid insecticides destroy the very organisms that are meant to break them down in soil and water.
Addition to Appendix 2: Independent research on glyphosate
This review has just been published on glyphosate’s suppression of enzymes in the gut. This provides an explanation for modern diseases that affect humans on a Western diet.
Samsel, A., Seneff, S. Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases Entropy 2013, 15, 1-x manuscripts; doi:10.3390/ e140x000x
Abstract: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.
The Government’s call for GMO crops, food and animal feed is grossly misguided
The only GM crops that are ready and waiting to be launched are glyphosate-tolerant and have neonicotinoid insecticides on the seeds. In January 2012, Monsanto Europe asked EFSA to raise the import tolerance for glyphosate in lentils “in order to accommodate the authorised desiccation use of glyphosate in lentils in the US and Canada” from 0.1 mg/kg to 10 mg/kg (i.e. 100 times). Similar increases had been granted on wheat and GM soya.
Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA on behalf of a global network of beekeepers, toxicologists, scientists, farmers and environmentalists
EU activists continue to fight Neonicotinic pesticides with new reports and new scientific studies documenting health dangers not only to honeybees but to children, birds and other wildlife. Letter to Chairman of the Environment Agency (Like our EPA) by Rosemary Mason:
UPDATE September 2011:
Pesticide Action Network
Here is a fantastic new updated web site where you can check foods and see the pesticide residues in each one. The new application also shows the pesticides that are in the food that are toxic to bees. Check out blueberries! You’ll never eat another regular blueberry again…remember to by local home grown or certified organic…
UPDATE April 2011:
We are in a big transition.
Recently there has been Wiki leaks and a focus–particularly regarding the EPA–on Clothianidan a chemical almost identical to IMD. Most people do not realize this is basically the same chemical…it is definitely the same chemical class of neonicotinoids.
Over the past 3 years GMO crops have been a focus. Many people do not
realize the connection to IMD with GMO seeds. The pesticide genome
engineered into the seeds is the nicotine molecule. In addition other GMO
seeds are treated with IMD—or Clothianidan. The name change or switch is
a strategy by the B corp. Clothianidan is included in the IMD bans in
Our strategy has not changed in the face of these permutations—GO ORGANIC!
BayerAdvanced.com has put out a whole new line of products advertised as natural insecticides and herbicides, but since they are the manufacturers of imidacloprid and clothianidin and other nictontine based pesticides we are wondering if they are truly safe for bees. The ads say these are natural eco-friendly products suitable for “organic lawns and gardens” because there are no synthetic ingredients. (IMD is a combination of nicotine and chlorine–nicotine, after all, is a “natural” substance and chlorine is an element, so neither substance is “synthetic” to begin with–but the combination, as we know, is highly toxic to honeybees even in minute doses.)
The label ingredients on the new “Natria” products are not available online as they have been in the past, so I called Lowe’s nursery and asked the person to read off the label ingredients on the products that they had in stock. Here is what she said:
Natria Multi-Insect Control: Canola oil 96% and “other ingredients”
Natria Insect Disease and Mite control: sulphur .2%, pyrethrum and “other ingredients”
Natria Home Pest Control: Soybean oil 3%, eugenol 0.25%, “other ingredients” 96% including potassium laurate, sodium benzoate and water
Natria Lawn Disease Control: QST713 and “other ingredients”
We have some concerns about eugenol, an anesthetic derived from cloves and/or nutmeg that is attractive to bees. This might cause a similar effect as neonicotinoid pesticides. The bees exposed to it could become too sleepy or drugged to get back to the hive. This substance being attractive to one type of bees (male orchid bees) makes this even more of a concern. Even though male honeybees stay in or near the hive and do not harvest honey or pollen, we have no data on how eugenol affects female honeybees that do all of the foraging, how returning female bees that drink water run off and bring it back to the hive would affect the males, the brood and other bees in the hive or its affect on honeybees in general. Eugenol is an ingredient used in pesticides for grapes, strawberries and other crops. We haven’t found information on this as yet and can only assume that there hasn’t been any studies done or independent testing pertaining to the impact on honeybees.
Eugenol: (Wikipedia source) An anesthetic made mostly from clove oil, but also from cinnamon and nutmeg. It is one of many compounds that is attractive to males of various species of orchid bees, who apparently gather the chemical to synthesize pheromones; it is commonly used as bait to attract and collect these bees for study. ^ Schiestl FP, Roubik DW (January 2003). “Odor Compound Detection in Male Euglossine Bees”. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29 (1): 253–257. doi:10.1023/A:1021932131526. PMID 12647866.
Also of concern is QST713, a microbial fungicide. Not enough data on this is available to evaluate toxicity. Basically this means it has not been tested or that test data that has been done by the manufacturer has not been made public. It is known that other fungicides can increase the toxicity of IMD by up to a 1000x or more when the two chemicals are combined in the environment.
At least, it appears to be a “green washing” strategy to give the appearance that Bayer Corporation (also Bayer Crop Science) makes environmentally friendly products. These products will make up only a very small portion of the chemicals they produce and sell worldwide and so, though we want to see new organic alternatives coming on the market, we don’t expect this to improve the situation with CCD and die off of other pollinators that much.
Discontinuing the production and use of the “neonic” pesticides and switching to truly safe–independently tested products is the only thing that will have a real impact.
UPDATE January 2011: This from Organic Consumers: Ask Tom Vilsack, Secretary of agriculture and Lisa P. Jackson, administrator to ban Imidacloprid: Here is this link: http://capwiz.com/grassrootsnetroots/utr/2/?a=22033501&i=104525628&c= Please all your friends and family to participate in this effort. Thank you!UPDATE – January 2011: AVAAS Petition to STOP pesticides from Killing the Bees is gaining! Sign it NOW!
UPDATE – April 2010 ALERT–THERE ARE NEW THREATS TO BEES THIS SPRING.
by Jack D. DeAngelis (Ph.D. in Entomology)quote from the web page:
Merit Insecticide (Imidacloprid)
– Relatively new, broad-spectrum insecticide –
Summary: Imidacloprid is the active ingredient in Merit Insecticide ™, Bayer Advanced ™, Premise ™, and some other insecticides. It is a synthetic, broad-spectrum, and relatively low-toxicity insecticide.Jack DeAngelis, PhD OSU Ext. Entomologist (ret.)He (and Bayer) defines “least toxic” as being the least toxic to mammals (according to their studies)
UPDATE – February 2010
Sign this petition! Sierra Club is now on board–
Here is the text link to go to:
Update November 2009
Great source of news–dont’ forget to sign up for Dr. Eric Mussen’s newsletter
This is BIG News! Latest article from U.C. Davis Mussen newsletter. Gluttation–New studies show honeybees are getting lethal doses of IMD and other neonics from the dropplets of plant sap from GMO plants that have seeds treated with the chemicals. Huge implications–
Plan Bee Central News Update October 2009
Please join me and Pesticide Action Network in urging President Obama to
withdraw his Big Ag industry insiders nominations to vital agriculture
posts. Click here (or paste this address in your browser) for the petition &
more information on how to get involved:
Kudos to Washington State University breakthrough research~
Scientists Untangle Multiple Causes of
Bee Colony Disorder
microscopic pathogen and pesticides embedded in old honeycombs are two major contributors to the bee disease known as colony collapse disorder:
According to this report, the British Beekeepers’ Association is sponsored by Bayer, the company which produces the pesticides which are killing bees.http://www.biobees.com/british_beekeeping/
This report refutes Bayer spokesperson’s claim about Australia using IMD but with no signs of CCD (as the reason it can’t be traced to neonic pesticides)
What the spokesperson also doesn’t tell you is that IMD, although approved for use in AU, is so rarely used it is not even listed as a pesticide in the annual government report. When it has been used, it has been withdrawn due to hive loss. In addition, the majority of AU are wind pollinated grains and evidently the fruit crops are using other chemicals as verified by the government report–which points to a much less frequent use of IMD than implied.
New film agrees with pesticide theory as major suspected cause or strongly implicated in CCD Vanishing of the Bees website and
Finally, here is one of the French reports from 2003
French study 2003
New article just came out by German group on Clothianidan, a new neonicotinoid very similar to IMD used in the UK and Europe. Different name, same poison–basically.
Yellow Jacket Trap contains fipronil–neonicotinoid pesticides that kills bees
EPA registration review of IMD — article
EPA new plan to investigate pesticides and pollinators
Anyone know more about status of EPA issues—or what the outcome was on EPA the above two items? If so, please post comments.
Plan Bee Central News Update August 2009
IT STILL COMES DOWN TO PESTICIDES!
About the new research from University of Illinois that has been touted by some reports to be the beginnings of a “cure” for CCD–
“The loss of ribosomal function would explain many of the phenomena associated with CCD”, Berenbaum said.
“If your ribosome is compromised, then you can’t respond to pesticides, you can’t respond to fungal infections or bacteria or inadequate nutrition because the ribosome is central to the survival of any organism. You need proteins to survive,” — May Berenbaum, University of Illinois, co-principal investigator on the study with entomology professor and department head
This quote from:
We are pragmatists here at Plan BEE Central. We always maintained that the bee genome is unable to defend against toxins and pesticides. This was known from previous scientific study. This genetic research says that bees are becoming more unable to process stress and pesticides.
Let us be clear–this is very important information and extremely important research and we commend those who are giving it rigorous scientific research and testing. However, if this research is only laying the foundation for genetic engineering of a pesticide resistant honeybee, this is not the “cure” we are looking for. What it should imply (and we think does imply) is the need to remove dangerous pesticides as quickly as possible from the environment.
It is only logical and reasonable that if new generations of bees are more vulnerable to pesticides then we must look at the enormous quantities of pesticide being dumped into the environment. Because of the interactive effect of pesticides with other causes as well as the enormity of the ecological impact from pesticides, we still say—we must deal with pesticide use directly and first if we want to stop CCD.
BEE Genome study implications for CCD:
Possible “cure” for CCD?
This from Apis Newsletter – August 2009
. For information about the registration review of imidacloprid, please see
Bee Health: Editor Flottum discusses the progress of the $4.1 million colony health grant one year later in this month’s Bee Culture. Part of that is a so-called “community of practice” web site
This resource is worth taking a look at on a routine basis. Special links are found showing how to test for hygienic behavior and the state-of-the-art healthy bees course from the University of Minnesota. See also a review of the American Bee Research Conference held early this year in Gainesville, FL. Sustainable Beekeeping: A Best Management Practices Guide; Africanized and Feral Honey Bees; Pollination; Managed Non-Apis Bees (bumble bees, mason bees, etc.); Landscape Health; Unmanaged Beneficial Bees,
and Bee Identification Guidance. The site has also been linked to the Consumer Horticulture Community of Practice Blog http://consumerhortcop.wordpress.com/.
Altrazine—the important point is that just a few part per billion has serious impact
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrazine banned in EU, like IMD it is chlorine based but is also an estrogen disruptor and connected to cancer
EPA new plan to investigate pesticides and pollinators — very important to have public input NOW–
EPA registration review of IMD — article
The way the EPA has protected pollinators has been through the proper use of pesticides by following label instructions.
Admire, a commercial pesticide with a high concentration of IMD has 22 pages of instructions for “safe application”. On page 2, it clearly states that Admire is “highly toxic to honey bees” Instructions then say not to use the chemical “when bees are feeding in the field”. When are bees not feeding in the field or in nearby border areas from wild flowering plants? Bees must feed continuously in order to have the honey storage necessary to survive the winter. Are farmers able to determine when they are not feeding in the field or nearby areas? Instructions also say not to use where water run off could contaminate nearby water tables and streams. Where is there a place where there is no water run off—no nearby streams? The instructions are 22 pages total. How many farmers are going to read through 22 pages? There are no warnings not to apply fungicides that make IMD 1000 times more toxic to honeybees. Yet unknowingly, fungicides are applied along with IMD. There are warnings not to use the chemical when winds could carry residues to areas beyond. Who can predict the wind?
In light of the real conditions in the field—the EPA strategy to so mildly mandate proper management of these pesticides is, well, just not based on reality. The possibility of human error is too high.
Alarm–new pesticides make honeybees die in only two minutes. The death arrives in just two minutes: a small bee drinks the drops of water found on the leaves of corn treated with the new neonicotinoid pesticides, two turns of clock and it falls to the ground dead. These are the dramatic images shown from the video produced during the course of research performed from the professors Vincenzo Girolami and Light Mazzon, of the GROUP Entomology of the environmental Department of agronomy of the university of Padua. From Montalcino, seat of the Italian association beekeepers, this alarm arrives: 1. in the last years more of 40% of the honeybees are dead and 2. it is the fault of these new pesticides. (Video realized from Vincenzo Girolami and Light Mazzon, group Entomology, Environmental Department of Agronomy, University of Padua – sound Fabio Galati) [21 January 2009]
|Bees are dying off and our entire food chain is in peril. Scientists blame toxic pesticides, and four European governments have already banned them, but these deadly poisons are still for sale in the USA. If we urgently get the government to join the ban we could save bees from extinction. Sign the petition and forward this appeal:|
Silently, billions of bees are dying off all over the country and our entire food chain is in danger. Bees don’t just make honey, they are a giant, humble workforce, pollinating 90% of the crops we grow.
Multiple scientific studies blame one group of toxic pesticides for their rapid demise, and some bee populations are recovering in countries where these products have been banned. But powerful chemical companies are lobbying the Environment Protection Agency hard to keep selling these poisons. It’s up to us to defend the bees and our food supply by calling for a US ban now.
We have no time to lose — a recent study shows 96% of our four main bee species have been wiped out. Let’s build a buzz across the nation calling on the EPA to outlaw these killer chemicals and save our bees and our food. Sign the emergency petition now and send it on to everyone and we’ll deliver it to the top decision makers:
Bees are vital to life on earth — every year pollinating plants and crops with an estimated $40bn value, over one third of the food supply in many countries. Without immediate action to save bees many of our favourite fruits, vegetables, and nuts could vanish from our shelves. .
Recent years have seen a steep and disturbing global decline in bee populations and scientists have been scrambling for answers. Some studies claim the decline may be due to a combination of factors including disease, habitat loss and toxic chemicals. But increasingly, independent research has produced strong evidence blaming neonicotinoid pesticides. France, Italy, Slovenia and even Germany, where the main manufacturer Bayer is based, have banned one of these bee killers. But, Bayer continues to export its poison across the world, and the US is one of its biggest markets.
This lethal issue is now coming to a boil as major new studies have confirmed the shocking scale of this problem. It is urgent that we get the government to act, but it won’t be easy. A leaked document shows that the EPA already knew about the pesticide’s dangers, and ignored them. The document says Bayer’s “highly toxic” product is a “major risk concern to non target insects [honey bees]”.
We need to make our voices heard to counter Bayer’s very strong influence on US policy makers and scientists — they fund the studies and sit on policy bodies. The real experts — the beekeepers and farmers — want these deadly pesticides prohibited until and unless we have solid, independent studies that show they are safe. Let’s support them now. Sign the petition below, then forward this email:
We can no longer leave our delicate food chain in the hands of research run by the chemical companies and the regulators that are in their pockets. Banning this pesticide will move us closer to a world safe for ourselves and the other species we care about and depend on.
Alex, Alice, Iain, David and all at Avaaz
Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
$15 Billion Bee Murder Mystery Deepens
“Nicotine Bees” Population Restored With Neonicotinoids Ban
EPA memo reveals concern that pesticide causes bee deaths
Beekeepers want government to pull pesticide
Bees in freefall as study shows sharp US decline
Pesticide industry involvement in EU risk assessment puts survival of bees at stake
Thanks to Kevin Connerton and Avaas —
UPDATE- August 2010: New breed of honeybee created by British beekeeper grooms itself to remove and kill Varroa Mites