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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:26 pm 
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Glad to know they're back in biz (buzz) -

US Honeybee Colonies Hit A 20-Year High

You've heard the news about honeybees. "Beepocalypse," they've called it. Beemageddon. America's honeybees are dying, putting honey production and $15 billion worth of pollinated food crops in jeopardy. Recent numbers indicate that the tide is turning for our stinging friends. Was Beepocolypse all buzz?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/won ... year-high/


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:17 pm 
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Still seeing wild bees where I am, and the neighbor`s bee colonies are doing great.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:02 pm 
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Heh, this is someone trying to polish a turd. Rates are high because they are replenishing at unprecidented rates, not because colony collapse disorder has lessened. That article does not mention one single time the word "pesticide" or the dramatic changes in agriculture we've seen in the last two decades to bring this about. It doesn't mention the Monach Butterfly once. It's completely myopic and facile in its conclusions:

Quote:
Tucker and Thurman, the economists, call this a victory for the free market: "Not only was there not a failure of bee-related markets," they conclude in their paper, "but they adapted quickly and effectively to the changes induced by the appearance of Colony Collapse Disorder.


Go ahead, pat yourselves on the back. Meanwhile, the die-off is unprecidented. Nobody is restocking native bee popluations-- yes, bees exist outside of commercial hive operations, believe it or not. There's a lot more they're conveniently forgetting to think about, discuss, things that seem kind of important prior to making triumphant declarations. For one, there's that inconvenient truth that the Monarch Butterfly is like a mineshaft canary, showing how toxic we're making our own ecology. Other things, too, such as:

Quote:
One in 4 colonies is now dying during summer, which was unheard of several years ago, according to the results...

"We are not worried bees are going to go extinct," vanEngelsdorp said. "What we are worried about is that the commercial beekeeper won't be able to stay in business. Losing this number of colonies every year is very financially hard, and it is difficult to replace these guys, because these are the last migratory farmers in America."...

... the costs of maintaining colonies have mushroomed. That has driven up prices for pollination. The price to use a healthy colony for pollination used to run about $70. Now it has more than doubled to $175...
http://www.cnbc.com/2015/05/14/honeybees-are-dying-and-us-fruit-and-nut-crops-may-suffer.html


Quote:
Bee Die-Offs Are Worst Where Pesticide Use Is Heaviest
By Tom Philpott - Thu May 14, 2015 1:34 PM EDT

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Note that total losses are more than double what beekeepers report as the "acceptable rate"—that is, the normal level of hive attrition. Losses above the acceptable level put beekeepers in a precarious economic position and suggest that something is awry with bee health. "We traditionally thought of winter losses as a more important indicator of health, because surviving the cold winter months is a crucial test for any bee colony,” Dennis vanEngelsdorp, University of Maryland entomologist and director for the Bee Informed Partnership said in a press release. But now his team is also seeing massive summer die-offs. "Years ago, this was unheard of," he added...

A growing weight of science implicated pesticides—particularly a ubiquitous class of insecticides called neonicitinoids, as well as certain fungicides...

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(full article) http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2015/05/40-percent-us-honeybees-died-over-past-year


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:21 pm 
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The correlation between pesticides and die off are pretty obvious from the data you provided, thanks.
I personally know bee keepers who have lost their entire colonies, inexplicably (not winter die off).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:19 pm 
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Maine looks like an outlier for some reason.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Bees attacked the guy doing my siding last week

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:21 am 
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john wrote:
Maine looks like an outlier for some reason.

There are a couple other states where it's hard to see much correlation, but these statistics are admittedly murkey to interpret too deeply. For all I know, Maine only had 10 bee colonies assayed. :) There are a few other states, Michigan, that are hard to interpret. And correlation != causation. I think the pesticides are inevitably a big smoking gun with respect to bees, though.

Beyond the spillover effects on natural ecosystems, the commercial bee colony collapse disorder underscores the unprecidented and heavyhanded manner in which neurotoxins like pesticides are now flooding the fields in historically unprecidented ways. It's like someone took a sledgehammer to the governing mechanisms and they're now operating on a greed-deluded hope and prayer on the gamble it isn't going to slowly destroy millions of lives and regional ecosystems. It's insane, and seems to be manifest proof of how illegitimate the agricultural establishment has become. And they think they're going to keep ramping it up as the world's population continues to spike?

Oh, we may be able to put some kind of meal on the table, but I think it's nutritional value is going down and the accumulative toll on health and wellbeing continues to balloon, expressed in society as unexplained development disorders, autoimmune disease, cancer, and cognitive decline.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:28 pm 
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Bees 'dumb down' after ingesting tiny doses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos
phys.org, March 1, 2016

Honeybees suffer severe learning and memory deficits after ingesting very small doses of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, potentially threatening their success and survival, new research from New Zealand's University of Otago research suggests... Study lead author Dr Elodie Urlacher says they found that chlorpyrifos-fed bees had worse odour-learning abilities and also recalled odours more poorly later, even though the dose they ingested is considered to be "safe".

"For example, the dosed bees were less likely to respond specifically to an odour that was previously rewarded. As honeybees rely on such memory mechanisms to target flowers, chlorpyrifos exposure may be stunting their effectiveness as nectar foragers and pollinators," Dr Urlacher says.

The study identified the threshold dose for sub-lethal effects of chlorpyrifos on odour-learning and recall as 50 picograms of chlorpyrifos ingested per bee, she says. "This amount is thousands of times lower than the lethal dose of pure chlorpyrifos, which is around 100 billionths of a gram. Also, it is in the low range of the levels we measured in bees in the field."

The current study is the first to establish the threshold at which a pesticide has an effect on memory specificity in bees while also measuring doses in bee populations in the field, she says. "Our findings raise some challenging questions about regulating this pesticide's use. It's now clear that it is not just the lethal effects on bees that need to be taken into account, but also the serious sub-lethal ones at minute doses," Dr Urlacher says.
(full article) http://phys.org/news/2016-03-bees-dumb-ingesting-tiny-doses.html

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Chlorpyrifos (IUPAC name: O,O-diethyl O-3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl phosphorothioate) is a crystalline organophosphate insecticide, acaracide and miticide. It was introduced in 1965 by Dow Chemical Company and is known by many trade names... It acts on the nervous system of insects by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase.

Chlorpyrifos is moderately toxic to humans, and exposure has been linked to neurological effects, persistent developmental disorders and autoimmune disorders. Exposure during pregnancy retards the mental development of children, and most home use was banned in 2001 in the U.S. In agriculture, it is "one of the most widely used organophosphate insecticides" in the United States, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...

Persistent health effects follow acute poisoning or from long-term exposure to low doses. Developmental effects appear in fetuses and children even at very small doses... In experiments with rats, early, short-term low-dose exposure to chlorpyrifos resulted in lasting neurological changes, with larger effects on emotional processing and cognition than on motor skills. Such rats exhibited behaviors consistent with depression and reduced anxiety. In rats, low-level exposure during development has its greatest neurotoxic effects during the period in which sex differences in the brain develop. Exposure leads to reductions or reversals of normal gender differences.

Before residential use was restricted in the US, data from 1999-2000 in the national NHANES study detected the metabolite TCPy in 91% of human urine samples tested. In samples collected between 2007 and 2009 from families living in Northern California, TCPy was found in 98.7% of floor wipes tested and in 65% of urine samples tested... On August 10, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to respond no later than October 2015 to a petition from pesticide activists requesting a chlorpyrifos ban. The court called the EPA's failure to respond for more than eight years (neither granting nor denying the petition) an "egregious" delay. In late October, 2015, the EPA released a proposal to end the use of chlorpyrifos due to a possible risk to certain water supplies. Dow AgroSciences disagreed with the EPA’s proposal...
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorpyrifos)

Chlorpyrifos seems toxic, and I question the sufficiency of the safety studies conducted in order to clear it for market in 1965... This is just another in a long legacy of 'grandfathered' chemicals that got on the market before science had the footing and the imagination sufficient to identify the correct harms to be testing for.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:59 am 
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Farming methods caused the Dust Bowl and real change didn't happen until Washington D.C. got a dose of it.
I hope they get it right for bees

The Dust Bowl, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion (the Aeolian processes) caused the phenomenon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl

Obama administration 2015 National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators
It aims to reduce honeybee colony losses during winter to no more than 15 percent within a decade, and increase the Eastern population of the monarch butterfly so that 225 million butterflies occupy roughly 15 acres of wintering grounds in Mexico by 2020. The government and private entities will also restore or enhance 7 million acres of land for pollinators over the next five years.

. . . The agency will also impose new restrictions on what pesticides farmers can use when commercial honeybees are pollinating their crops.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... ?tid=sm_tw


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:22 am 
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Interesting reading, apparently the White House Pollinator Task Force is expected to announce its recommendations tomorrow. I hope they don't pull their punches.


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