Scientists claim radiation from handsets are to
blame for mysterious 'colony collapse' of bees
GEOFFREY LEAN & HARRIET SHAWCROSS
The Independent (UK) 30apr2007
It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.
They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world — the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon — which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe — was beginning to hit Britain as well.
The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the famously home-loving species from finding their way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now evidence to back this up.
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers, like so many apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found, but thought to die singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.
The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.
CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.
Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."
The implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, "man would have only four years of life left".
No one knows why it is happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides, global warming and GM crops have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.
German research has long shown that bees' behaviour changes near power lines.
Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a "hint" to a possible cause.
Dr George Carlo, who headed a massive study by the US government and mobile phone industry of hazards from mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am convinced the possibility is real."
The case against handsets
Evidence of dangers to people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof is still lacking, largely because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer, take decades to show up.
Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an official Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10 years were 40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as they held the handset.
Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed that radiation from mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that today's teenagers could go senile in the prime of their lives.
Studies in India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use mobile phones heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically, doctors have identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant texting.
Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official inquiries, warned that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a series of safety recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.
Story Published: Apr 7, 2008 at 6:11 PM PDT
By Rudabeh Shahbazi
BENTON CITY-- Cherry and apple seasons are approaching, and Washington farmers are looking to migratory beekeepers to pollinate their crops.
As the bee population rapidly decline in nature, beekeepers are traveling from state to state, where their bees pollinate seasonal crops before moving on.
"Einstein's theory-- it's been, oh, a couple years ago-- was that within about four years, there would be no more food to sustain life anywhere on the planet, to pollinate orchards, pollinate everything out there," said Daniel McLaury, a migratory beekeeper from Montana.
Bees may be the fuzzy, buzzing creatures humans try to avoid, but without them, there would be nothing to pollinate our fruit, the plants livestock eat, the cane to make sugar, even coffee.
"Without the bees, there is no life, there is no food to eat," said McLaury. "So we're going to get real hungry really soon without bees."
The beekeepers we need to keep agriculture going, are struggling. They're trying to figure out ways to combat disease, spores and genetic problems, all of which pose a serious threat to the dwindling bee population.
Last year, McLaury's family business lost 70 percent of its bees. Add the rising cost of gas to the equation, and these Montana-based beekeepers can only hope for a break.
"We crash one more time, we're out of business, we're done," said McLaury. "We crashed three years in a row. We can't take a fourth."
The earth's bee population is less than half of what it was 20 years ago. McLaury says there are no more wild hives to pollinate crops. He says the planet losing an essential part of the food chain, which will mean higher prices for the food that is available.
"The only thing that's wild now is if we let a swarm get away," he said. "They're wild for about a year, then they're dead."
The earth's bee population is less than half of what it was 20 years ago
What!!!???? _________________ "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power and influence. Our sole influence is public outrage. Extract from "Cloud Atlas (page 125) by David Mitchell.
“It's worse than last year, and last year was worse
than the year before. So, it's bad. And there are a lot of good,
big beekeepers that are having a lot of problems. I think we're coming
in for a big train wreck.” - Gilly Sherman, Beekeeper
Western honey bee, or European honey bee (Apis mellifera),
gathering pollen from purple aster. 34% of American honey bees in
commercial hives have disappeared this spring of 2008, in a
persistent mystery known as “colony collapse disorder.”
April 10, 2008 Gainesville, Florida - On April 5, 2008, England's BBC News carried a report entitled, “U. S. Fears Over Honey Bee Collapse.” A California beekeeper, Gilly Sherman, was interviewed and he said sobering words: “It's worse than last year, and last yar was worse than the year before. So, it's bad. And there are a lot of good, big beekeepers that are having a lot of problems. I think we're coming in for a big train wreck.”
I took that quote to Jerry Hayes, Chief, Apiary Section, Florida Department of Agriculture, and President of the Apiary Inspectors of America in Gainesville, Florida and asked for his comment.
Jerry Hayes, Chief, Apiary Section, Florida Department of Agriculture, and President of the Apiary Inspectors of America in Gainesville, Florida: “Certainly West Coast beekeepers were more dramatically affected this year than perhaps East Coast beekeepers. Last year, East Coast beekeepers had the first and dramatic events happening to their bee colonies. Sometimes, the West Coast beekeepers said, ‘Well, it’s not happening to us. You must just be bad beekeepers.’ So, now the shoe is on the other foot and they are suffering as badly as anybody has been. Everybody is on an even playing field right now.
Bees are not healthy. Bees have not been healthy for a few years and they are becoming more unhealthy. The beekeepers, the industry that uses them as a tool, is in a precarious situation.
SO WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THE BEEKEEPER QUOTED BY THE BBC NEWS, ‘I THINK WE’RE COMING IN FOR A BIG TRAIN WRECK’?
We’ll never know these things until after the train wreck. It certainly does not look good. I’ve been reading some reports about whole populations of bats dying and disappearing in the Northeast. The quail population in the southeast has virtually disappeared. I don’t know if any of these things have parallels and links, but it certainly is interesting that something in the environment is impacting these other animals.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATE OF COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA?
34% Bee Loss in U. S. by Spring 2008
The Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA), of which I am a part – we just completed a survey of 327 beekeepers and we came up with about a 34% loss rate over this past 2007 to 2008 winter season.
THAT’S EVEN MORE THAN LAST YEAR?
Yes, a little bit. [ 2007 estimated American loss was 25%.]
GOING INTO THIS SPRING OF 2008, WHAT ARE YOUR GREATEST WORRIES?
Beekeepers cannot continue to take these kinds of losses and rebound in any kind of way.
Cause of Colony Collapse Disorder?
“Unfortunately, we still don’t have a clear picture of why this is happening.”
THE LAST TIIME WE TALKED, IT WAS THE ISRAELI VIRUS UNDER SUSPICION OF COMING INTO THE UNITED STATES THROUGH AUSTRALIAN BEES THAT HAD BEEN BROUGHT IN BECAUSE THE NORTH AMERICAN BEE POPULATION HAD BEEN WEAKENED. IS THERE EVIDENCE THAT THE ISRAELI ACUTE PARALYSIS VIRUS IS STILL CAUSING THE MORTALITY? OR IS THERE STILL SOMETHING TO BE FOUND? WHAT IS CAUSING ONE-THIRD OF ALL THE BEES IN THE UNITED STATES TO DISAPPEAR IN THE WINTER OF 2007 TO SPRING OF 2008?
[ Editor’s Note: See 090707 Earthfiles: Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) September 2007 journal, Science.]
Boy, if I knew that, I’d probably have a statue some place, Linda. Obviously it’s all the issues that are still on the table right now. Viruses – whether it’s the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, or other viruses that are known and impact honeybees? There again, pesticides, poor nutrition, stress whatever that is from moving bees back and forth, a shallow genetic pool in our managed bee colonies. Some how, all these things are interacting. Basically, we need more funds in order to hire smart people and expensive equipment to figure what is going on. Research is never quick.
DID YOU EXPECT AN INCREASE IN THE DISAPPEARANCE OF BEES IN NORTH AMERICA?
I was personally interested to find out if it was going to continue and to find out what was going to happen to our West Coast beekeepers that seemed to have dodged a bit of the bullet last year. I was hoping that it would not, but I knew that something like this just generally does not go away on its own.
BUT ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE WEST COAST BEEKEEPERS ARE BEING HIT HARD NOW IN 2008?
No, not really. You know how things spread – if this is a pathogen or something in which all populations are not hit equally. So, it was unfortunately their turn.
HAS THE ISRAELI ACUTE PARALYSIS VIRUS BEEN FOUND IN THE WEST COAST HONEYBEES?
Yes, it’s there, but not at any dramatic levels. In fact, there’s kind of an East Coast variant and a West Coast variant of the Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus. There’s also the Kashmir bee virus that has shown up in quite large numbers. Then you add in all the other things we talked about that could cause the immune system collapse. All those things are interacting.
SO, IN APRIL 2008, YOU CAN’T SAY EVEN NOW THAT IT IS THE ISRAELI VIRUS THAT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MOST OF COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER?
No, because in the CCD, the Israeli acute paralysis virus was found in most of the samples and at the moment is considered just a marker. It was not present in tremendously high numbers. And we can’t say it’s the varroa mite because in CCD, varroa and trachea mites are in very low levels. The Nosema protozoan was found in less than 50% of the colonies. Unfortunately, we still don’t have a clear picture of why this is happening.
Future Almond and Other American
Crop Pollinations in Jeopardy?
WITH A 33% DISAPPEARANCE RATE SO FAR IN 2008, WHAT HAPPENS TO ALMOND POLLINATION AND CROPS BECAUSE THEY WERE STRETCHED LAST YEAR TRYING TO IMPORT ENOUGH BEES FROM THE EAST COAST AND AUSTRALIA TO GET THE ALMOND GROVES POLLINATED. WHAT HAPPENS NOW WITH EVEN MORE BEES DISAPPEARING?
Well, almond pollination is over right now. And most of the bees fell apart during or towards the end of almond pollination. I think the almond guys got by in good shape, so they don’t care as long as they get pollination for next year because this year is over with. To them, honeybees are an input, just like fertilizer, pesticides and fungicides. So, until next year, the almond growers probably don’t care.
WHAT HAPPENS TO ALL THE OTHER CROPS THAT ARE DEPENDENT UPON HONEY BEES, IF THEY HAVE FALLEN APART IN SUCH GREAT NUMBERS TRYING TO POLLINATE THE ALMOND CROP?
That’s a great question. The bees are coming back to Florida now and we’re talking about watermelon pollination. And then the bees will be moving north for blueberries and apples and cranberries. But yours is a good question and I don’t have an answer for it at this moment in time.
U. S. Headed for Reliance On
International Food Imports
”The USDA projects that something like 40% of our vegetables
are going to be coming from China in 2012 or some date like that and the
U. S. is going to be a net food importer in fifty years.”
I’d like to see people at the federal level and others realize how important honeybees are! But if people don’t care where food comes from, if people are happy that food is at the grocery store and they don’t care how it gets to the grocery store, then maybe all this concern is a moot point. People have to care about this. The USDA projects that something like 40% of our vegetables are going to be coming from China in 2012 or some date like that and the U. S. is going to be a net food importer in fifty years.
We already have someone who has us by the nose for energy production, oil (Middle East). And so now, we’re going to turn our food production over to someone else? This all has larger strategic implications than just honey bees. This is talking about the food supply and how secure our food supply is in the United States?
So, I just hope that people realize how important honey bees are and somehow give support. We support sugar people. We have been throwing money at the corn people for years and everything else. Why not honey bees, if they are important?
Implications for Increasing Decline
of American Honey Bees?
“If the almond people come up short, my guess is that probably the Mexicans will petition to bring their Africanized bee colonies across the border to fill that gap. And that will probably destroy the U.S. commercial beekeeping industry.”
YOU AND I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT COLONY COLLAPSE DISORDER AND THE DISAPPEARANCE OF SO MANY HONEY BEES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA NOW FOR A YEAR. I THINK I THOUGHT, AS A REPORTER, THAT BY THE SPRING OF 2008 THAT WE WOULD BE SEEING A RESTORATION OF BETTER HEALTH TO THE BEES AND THAT EVERYTHING MIGHT BE GETTING BETTER. THE FACT THAT IT’S GONE DOWN HILL EVEN MORE, THE FACT THAT EVEN MORE BEES HAVE DISAPPEARED THROUGH THE WINTER OF 2007 TO 2008, THE FACT THAT AFTER THE ALMOND POLLINATION THAT, TO USE YOUR WORDS, ‘THE BEES ARE FALLING APART IN THE UNITED STATES.’ WHAT HAPPENS WHEN EVERYTHING IS GOING DOWN HILL IN APRIL?
There might be crops that are potentially impacted and as the almond acreage grows, the almond growers will try to use every honeybee colony in the United States. If the almond people come up short, my guess is that probably the Mexicans will petition to bring their Africanized bee colonies across the border to fill that gap. And that will probably destroy the U.S. commercial beekeeping industry.
BUT WOULD YOU AND OTHERS IN AGRICULTURE ALLOW THAT TO OCCUR?
I’m just a mid-level civil servant. The almond people and value of the almond crop – money talks in our capitalistic society and the almond people will not be denied.
BUT DO YOU SERIOUSLY MEAN THERE COULD BE A DECISION THAT WOULD BE ONLY POLITICAL AND ECONOMICAL FOR THE ALMOND INDUSTRY THAT COULD END UP BRINGING IN AFRICANIZED BEES THAT WOULD DESTROY THE REST OF THE NORTH AMERICAN HONEYBEE?
It’s very possible.
THAT IS ACTUALLY BEING DISCUSSED NOW AS AN OPTION?
I didn’t make that up! (laughs)
I’M VERY DISTRESSED TO HEAR THIS.
A Year from Now in 2009?
“(Richard Adee, largest beekeeper in U. S.) is truthfully shell shocked and numb and doesn’t know what to do. You can’t replace 60,000 colonies overnight.”
GIVEN THE FACT THAT THE PERCENTAGE IN THE NUMBER OF BEES DISAPPEARING IN 2008 IS EVEN HIGHER THAN IT WAS IN 2007, AND THAT THE BEE HEALTH IS NOT GOOD, WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT TO BE THE STATUS A YEAR FROM NOW IN 2009?
I don’t know. I don’t know if this is Darwin in action and that this might go away as the weak are culled out and the strong survive – because if this continues on for another year or two, there won’t be many commercial beekeepers left. There will be some small beekeepers left, but not of the size that can load up colonies on semi-trucks and take them over the United States.
The largest beekeeper in the United States [ Richard Adee Honey Farms, Brookings, South Dakota], I think lost 60,000 colonies out of his 80,000 colonies this past late winter and spring. He had something like 100 loads of empty equipment that he had to bring back from California. You just can’t replace those kinds of numbers very quickly.
WHEN YOU TALK TO THAT LARGE HONEYBEE KEEPER, WHAT HIS IS ASSESSMENT, TALKING TO YOU, ABOUT THE NEXT FEW MONTHS INTO NEXT YEAR?
He is truthfully shell shocked and numb and doesn’t know what to do. You can’t replace 60,000 colonies overnight.
WOULDN’T THIS RISE TO A NATIONAL SECURITY LEVEL? WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE LOSS OF POLLINATORS THAT AFFECT SO MUCH OF OUR FOOD SUPPLY?
You would think so. Obviously, Senator Boxer is meeting tomorrow. So, certainly at high levels of the government, there is interest. And of course, we’re at war and spending a lot of money on the war, and money can be authorized, but is it appropriated? So, the whole political scene has to play out its course here in the way we handle things here in the United States.
ARE YOU OPTOMISTIC OR PESIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HONEYBEES IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA?
I’m pessimistic. We have a tendency to wait until a crisis happens in western civilization. We might lose control of our food supply at some point.
IF ONE-THIRD OF THE HONEYBEE POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES DISAPPEARED IN THE 2007 TO 2008 WINTER-SPRING, AND IF NEXT YEAR, THE PERCENTAGE CLIMBS TO ABOUT A 50% LOSS, HAS THERE EVER BEEN A TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY IN WHICH HALF OF THE HONEYBEE POPULATION DISAPPEARED AND WAS ABLE TO COME BACK?
Boy, not that I’m aware. We are in a precarious situation strategically for maintaining food supplies for our population. We need to have somebody at some level decide that honeybees are important. It’s like a lot of other agricultural industries in the U. S. – the Chinese have basically wiped out the American apple industry; the Brazilians have virtually wiped out the citrus juice industry; and these trends continue. Maybe this is the natural order of things.
DOSN’T IT SEEM THAT THIS WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY THE OPPOSITE OF THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS?
Yes, I would agree with you, but I’m a pragmatist and the low-cost producer gets the orders. It doesn’t make any difference where it’s produced or how it’s produced. Look at the Chinese goods that have come in over the last year and there are other scary things coming in, not only from them but other countries that don’t have quite the regulations and pesticides and chemical oversight that we do.
Genetically Modified Crops Could
Also Be Killing Honey Bees
IS THERE ANY MORE HARDER DATA LINKING THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS TO THE WEAKENING AND DISAPPEARANCE OF THE HONEY BEES?
Yes, that’s certainly being looked at. In fact, I read an article the other day talking about some genetically modified crops that had the BT toxin in it (genetically modified crops with built-in pesticide) and they found that with the BT toxin, there are a couple of different toxins involved, and one toxin they found was actually opening up the cell walls of insects and animals to allow this second toxin in to affect it. So, we don’t understand what we do - and places such as Monsanto.
So, we’re going down a precarious path and we don’t know everything. Unfortunately, we will make mistakes as human beings, but the repercussions as things grow and become more global and widespread is that the repercussions will be more severe and more dramatic.
SO, WHILE WE ARE PROMOTING A GM FOOD INTO THE FUTURE ON THE ONE HAND IN GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS, WE COULD BE KILLING THE VERY INSECT THAT KEEPS PLANTS ALIVE.
Yes, but there again, if the seed companies can develop plants that don’t need insect pollinators, and keep selling seed to the farmers, maybe that’s the goal.
WHAT I’M HEARING IN YOUR VOICE AND YOUR WORDS IS THAT YOU ARE FEELING AND SENSING THAT THIS IS A VERY DEPRESSING SITUATION WITH VERY LITTLE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.
Boy, is that coming through my voice? I’m sorry, but yeah, it is. I’m sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t tell if it is an answer, or a train coming down the track.
WHICH COMES BACK FULL CIRCLE TO THE BEEKEEPER WHO SAID TO THE BBC THIS WEEK, ‘I THINK WE’RE COMING IN FOR A BIG TRAIN WRECK.’
It’s possible. We’ll know in the future. But the take home message is: Honeybees are not healthy and we, at this moment in time, have no way to make them healthier.”
For further information about honeybees, colony collapse disorder (CCD) and other threatened earth life, please see related Earthfiles reports below in the Earthfiles Archives:
• 02/29/2008 — Mysterious Bat Deaths in New York, Vermont and Massachusetts
• 01/18/2008 — Amphibians Dying Out At Alarming Rate
• 10/13/2007 — Now Bumblebees Are Disappearing, Too.
• 09/26/2007 — North American Honey Bees Still Weak
• 09/07/2007 — Honey Bee DNA Study Finds Australian Virus in Colony Collapse Disorder
• 06/28/2007 — Hackenberg Apiary, Pennsylvania - 75-80% Honey Bee Loss in 2007. What Happens If Colony Collapse Disorder Returns?
• 05/04/2007 — Environmental Emergency Updates: Part 1 - Spreading Honey Bee Disappearances - Nosema ceranae Not the Answer?
• 04/06/2007 — Collapse of Honey Bees in U. S., Canada and 9 European Countries
• 03/22/2007 — Genetically Modified Crops: Playing Dangerous Genetic Roulette?
• 03/17/2007 — Honey Bee Disappearances Continue: Could Pesticides Play A Role?
• 02/23/2007 — Scientists Hope "Amphibian Arks" Can Save Frogs and Toads
• 02/23/2007 — Part 1: Earth Life Threats - Alarming Disappearance of Honey Bees
• 08/26/2005 — What Is Killing Amphibians Around the World?
• 06/25/2005 — "Junk DNA" That's Not Junk
• 08/27/2004 — Global Warming Impact On Birds - More Extinctions Expected
• 12/22/2001 — Scientists Warn That Climate and Earth Life Can Change Rapidly
• 11/26/2000 — Environmental Updates
• 11/12/2000 — Update On Increased UV Radiation and Amphibian Decline
• 05/27/1999 — Amphibian Decline - Parasites and Increased UV Radiation
• 02/28/1999 — Chickadee Beak Deformities in Alaska
Republication and redissemination of the contents of this screen or any part of this website are expressly prohibited without prior Earthfiles.com written consent.
_________________ "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power and influence. Our sole influence is public outrage. Extract from "Cloud Atlas (page 125) by David Mitchell.
Wonder why the African Bees are perfectly alright? Love to have an answer to that one, any ideas Blackcat?
I wasn't aware that African bees were all right! Then again I have heard no equivalent problems with any other insects which surely should be the case as there are plenty other insects which do as bees do. Maybe it is the keeping of bees which has highlighted the problem because hive owners naturally see the problem come to light because of their business, whereas with other insects (including African bees?) there may be problems but we are as yet unaware as it does not affect vested interests. _________________ "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power and influence. Our sole influence is public outrage. Extract from "Cloud Atlas (page 125) by David Mitchell.
I read recently that the actual pollen bees are bringing back to the hive is infected with acute bee paralysis virus. Combine this virus with the varroa mite and it is a sure way to kill the colony. There is also inadequate food supplies thanks to genetically engineered pollen-free plants which trick bees into thinking they'll find food, and then leave them hungry. CCD is caused by a multiple of factors. Bees have become weakened over time and unfortunately the current practices of beekeeeping in the US (moving hives all over the country and thus exposing and spreading disease) is just not condusive to bee health.
I haven't heard of any weaknesses in the Africanized bees. They seem to be spreading throughout the states and continue their attacks. It would make a great study.
The Africanised Bees seem to be doing fine, although they are known to be lethal (however all bees can be lethal to those few unlucky enough to be allergic to them).
It will be interesting to see how far this whole bee issue goes, whether it will be a decline in all factory (hived) farming of them or natural colonies. Providing we don't all start starving to death before anything is done!
Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation
Alison Benjamin, guardian.co.uk, Friday May 23 2008
Germany has banned a family of pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The German Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) has suspended the registration for eight pesticide seed treatment products used in rapeseed oil and sweetcorn.
The move follows reports from German beekeepers in the Baden-Württemberg region that two thirds of their bees died earlier this month following the application of a pesticide called clothianidin.
"It's a real bee emergency," said Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeepers' Association. "50-60% of the bees have died on average and some beekeepers have lost all their hives."
Tests on dead bees showed that 99% of those examined had a build-up of clothianidin. The chemical, produced by Bayer CropScience, a subsidiary of the German chemical giant Bayer, is sold in Europe under the trade name Poncho. It was applied to the seeds of sweetcorn planted along the Rhine this spring. The seeds are treated in advance of being planted or are sprayed while in the field.
Full article at above link. _________________ "The conflict between corporations and activists is that of narcolepsy versus remembrance. The corporations have money, power and influence. Our sole influence is public outrage. Extract from "Cloud Atlas (page 125) by David Mitchell.
Joined: 27 May 2008 Posts: 25 Location: Bartertown
Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 10:47 am Post subject:
Why are major environmental groups and lobbyists ignoring this mammoth threat to our very existence? Where is Greenpeace?
Anyone here still think any of those organisations are on our side?
The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, founded in 1948, is a Paris-based, specialized UN organization that was designed by Sir Julian Huxley, one of the leading figures of war-time British intelligence. Huxley was also its first director general. In his 1946 document which called for the group's creation, Huxley defines Unesco's two main aims as popularizing the need for eugenics, and protecting wildlife through the creation of national parks, especially in Africa. With a $550 million annual budget, Unesco funds a vast network of conservation groups; it defines protection of the environment as one of its three main goals.
IUCN: The Swiss-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature was formed in 1948 by Sir Julian Huxley. Its constitution was written by the British Foreign Office. It brings together 60 nations, 95 government agencies, and 568 non-governmental organizations. Together with the UNEP and the World Resources Institute (see below), the IUCN launched the ``Global Biodiversity Strategy,'' which guides the conservation planning of many nations. Today, its staff directly plans the conservation strategies and administers the national parks systems of many former colonies. It sees the preservation of biodiversity as its main mission. The IUCN president is Sir Shridath Ramphal, the former secretary general of the British Commonwealth, 1975-90; its director general, Martin Holdgate, was a senior official of the United Kingdom's Department of the Environment.
The Nature Conservancy: Founded by royal charter in 1949, the Nature Conservancy is one of the four official research bodies under the British royalty's Privy Council. Known as the ``world's first statutory conservation body,'' it became one of the most powerful postwar covert operations of the Crown. Max Nicholson, the permanent secretary to the deputy prime minister, wrote the legislation for the Conservancy, then left his government post to head it. Nicholson personally developed most of the major strategies and tactics of the world environmentalist movement for the next decades. The group started the campaign against DDT, drafted the constitution for the IUCN, and set up the committee which established the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1961. The subtitle of Nicholson's 1970 history of the postwar environmental movement is ``A Guide for the New Masters of the Earth.''
Conservation Foundation: This group was established in Washington, D.C. in 1949, as the U.S. arm of the Nature Conservancy Society of Europe. The first director of the foundation was Henry Fairfield Osborne, an outspoken advocate of eugenics and depopulation. The group took credit for the 1969 national Environmental Policy Act, and the 1985 National Resources Conservation Act, which locks up farmland into non-agricultural use.
Sierra Club: Founded in the 1890s in the United States by preservationist John Muir, the Sierra Club was mostly an outing club until the 1950s. At that time, it became a radical environmentalist lobbying organization, dedicated to preventing all commercial uses of public lands in the United States. Its executive director, David Brower, who oversaw this transformation, left the group in 1969, to former the more radical Friends of the Earth (see below). In 1971, leaders of the Sierra Club in Canada created the eco-terrorist Greenpeace (see below).
World Wildlife Fund: Founded in 1961 by Prince Philip of Britain and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, the WWF (now called World Wide Fund for Nature) functions as the leading European oligarchical families' intelligence arm. It is the single most important ``environmentalist organization'' operating in the world today, and is responsible for overseeing all of the operations of the global environmentalist movement, including fostering terrorism, insurrections, and civil wars.
The professed concern of the group is to protect ``endangered species'' threatened by industrial development, particularly in former British colonies. It has done this, in part, through setting up ``national parks'' and ``ecological reserves'' outside the control of national governments, in targetted regions. These parks, in turn, serve as training grounds and safe-havens for British-backed terrorist organizations. Exemplary is the use of the national parks in Africa, to train and protect all the ``liberation fronts'' under British control.
The WWF's ``1001 Club,'' made up of 1,001 individuals hand-picked by Prince Philip, is the ruling body of the group. It is dominated by members of the oligarchical families of Europe, and includes some of their leading operatives within government and industry. The WWF works closely with the Royal Geographical Society, and The Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, both patronized by Queen Elizabeth.
UN Development Program: Formed in 1966, the UNDP's purpose was to propagandize in favor of the doctrine of ``sustainable development,'' which labels physical economic growth and industrialization as contrary to development. Under this doctrine, the UNDP has given extensive funding to indigenous and ecological programs against national governments.
Friends of the Earth: Founded 1969 by the former executive director of Sierra Club, David Brower, it moved to England in 1970, with financing from the Goldsmith interests (see below). It engages in direct action and other activities, particularly targetting nuclear power plants. Its U.K. director during the 1980s was Jonathan Porritt, son of the ex-governor general of New Zealand.
Survival International: It was founded in London in 1969, with the sponsorship of WWF Chairman Sir Peter Scott, to provide funding to ``help tribal peoples protect their lands, environment and way of life.'' Originally named Primitive Peoples Fund, it continues close collaboration with the WWF and the Royal Geographic Society. Other founding members include Edward Goldsmith and Royal Geographic Society director John Hemming. South American Indians were initial targets of its operations.
Earth Day: Hundreds of millions of dollars went into ``Earth Day'' 1970, a vast public relations stunt to get the ``green movement,'' earlier prepared by the WWF and allied agencies, off the ground. Earth Day was bankrolled by the UN, Atlantic Richfield, and the Ford and Rockefeller foundations; it was directed by the British intelligence-sponsored Aspen Institute of Humanistic Studies.
Goldsmith/the Ecologist: In 1970, Sir James Goldsmith, a top official in British intelligence, and his older brother Edward (``Teddy'') Goldsmith, launched the Ecologist magazine, the organ of what became the most radical wing of the environmentalist movement. The Goldsmiths also published a call for the creation of a Movement of Survival, which was founded under the name Peoples Party, later renamed the Green Party. Green parties, all mobilized against industry, then spread to Germany, France, and, eventually, every nation in the European Community.
Greenpeace: Greenpeace was founded in 1971 out of the Don't Make a Wave Committee, by a coalition of Maoists, Trotskyists, and Canadian members of the Sierra Club. Its first head, Ben Metcalfe, had worked for British Intelligence in postwar Germany. The idea was to create a ``direct action'' terrorist arm of the WWF. It now has branches in 24 countries, including Russia, with headquarters in the Netherlands and an annual budget of $157 million. Its current director is Lord Peter Melchett, heir to the Imperial Chemical Industries fortune.
UNEP: The United Nations Environment Program was formed at the 1972 UN Conference on the Environment, which was organized by WWF co-founder Maurice Strong. Based in Kenya, the UNEP works closely with Unesco, the IUCN, and the WWF in diverse ventures. Its World Conservation Monitoring Center in Cambridge, England, which it jointly sponsors along with the IUCN and the WWF, is the central intelligence agency of the conservation movement.
Worldwatch Institute: This group was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1974, with Lester Russell Brown as director. It maintains that the Earth's carrying capacity has been exceeded. Brown is, or has been, affiliated with many groups including Zero Population Growth, the Population Reference Bureau, and the New York Council on Foreign Relations. He is on the advisory committee of the ``2020 Vision'' program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which is connected to the World Bank; and of the Institute of International Economics, run by C. Fred Bergsten, of the Trilateral Commission, which acts in close association with the International Monetary Fund. Money to found Worldwatch came from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
International Food Policy Research Institute: IFPRI was founded in 1975, for the stated purpose of identifying ``alternative national and international strategies and policies for meeting food needs of the developing world on a sustainable basis,'' in terms of protecting the environment. It became a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (founded in 1971), and is associated with the World Bank and various UN agencies, including the Environment Program and Population Program. It specializes in propaganda that large-scale infrastructure is bad for the environment, and that resources, such as soil and water, are finite.
Earth First! Founded by David Foreman, formerly of the Sierra Club, in 1979, Earth First! has been involved in hundreds of attacks against farmers, loggers, and cattlemen, each year. The self-professed terrorist group has regularly driven spikes into trees, to injure loggers and woodworkers, and has engaged in arson and bombings of buildings used to sell livestock, or conduct scientific research using animals.
World Resources Institute: WRI was founded in 1982 under the guidance of then WWF-U.S. President Russell Train, with generous grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the MacArthur Foundation. James Gustave Speth was appointed its president. Speth was a co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council. After 11 years at WRI, Speth was made head of the United Nations Development Program in 1993. WRI is the main think-tank for U.S. environmental groups, putting forward study after study promoting the ``new world order'' and the global biodiversity strategy. WRI is affiliated with the International Institute for Environment and Development in London, formerly headed by Lady Jackson (Barbara Ward), a British Socialist Party think-tank.
A 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment: This program was created in 1993 by the International Food Policy Research Institute. Uganda President Yoweri Museveni is its figurehead chairman. ``2020 Vision'' stresses small-scale, pick-and-hoe agriculture, and free trade. In June 1995, IFPRI hosted an international conference on future food supplies. IFPRI Director Per Pinstrup-Andersen predicts that, in particular, struggles for water will be the battleground of the future. The advisory board of ``2020 Vision'' includes leaders of Worldwatch Institute, World Wildlife Fund, UN Development Program, World Bank, the Population Council, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the UN Environment Program.
...The document http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/Memo_Nov2010_Clothianidin.pdf [PDF], leaked to Colorado beekeeper Tom Theobald, reveals that EPA scientists have declared essentially rejected the findings of a study conducted on behalf of Bayer that the agency had used to justify the registration of clothianidin. And they reiterated concerns that widespread use of clothianidin imperils the health of the nation's honeybees.
On Thursday, I asked an EPA press spokesperson via email if the scientists' opinion would inspire the agency to remove clothianidin from the market. The spokesperson, who asked not to be named but who communicated on the record on behalf of the agency, replied that clothianidin would retain its registration and be available for use in the spring. _________________ 'Come and see the violence inherent in the system.
Help, help, I'm being repressed!'
“The more you tighten your grip, the more Star Systems will slip through your fingers.”
“Commonly used pesticides may be a primary driver of the collapsing bee populations, finds two new studies in Science. The studies, one focused on honeybees and the other on bumblebees, found that even small doses of these pesticides, which target insect’s central nervous system, impact bee behavior and, ultimately, their survival. The studies may have far-reaching repercussions for the regulation of agricultural chemicals, known as neonicotinoid insecticides, that have been in use since the 1990s.” — Jeremy Hance
The impacts of imidacloprid on reproduction of wild bumble bee colonies are likely to be widespread and significant, particularly as this chemical is registered for use on over 140 crops in over 120 countries
“There is no question that neonicotinoids put a huge stress on the survival of honey bees in the environment. The evidence is clear that imidacloprid is likely the culprit for Colony Collapse Disorder via a very unique mechanism that has not been reported until our study,” — Chensheng (Alex) Lu, lead author, an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health
“Scientists with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have re-created the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder in several honeybee hives simply by giving them small doses of a popular pesticide, imidacloprid. Bee populations have been dying mysteriously throughout North America and Europe since 2006, but the cause behind the decline, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, has eluded scientists. However, coming on the heels of two studies published last week in Science that linked bee declines to neonicotinoid pesticides, of which imidacloprid is one, the new study adds more evidence that the major player behind Colony Collapse Disorder is not disease, or mites, but pesticides that began to be widely used in the 1990s.” — Jeremy Hance
A leaked document from January of 2011 demonstrates that the US Environmental Protection Agency knew about the pesticide’s dangers, but ignored them. The document says Bayer’s “highly toxic” product is a “major risk concern to non target insects [honey bees]“.
Joined: 13 Sep 2006 Posts: 2562 Location: One breath from Glory
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:02 am Post subject:
I have noticed over the past few years a large number of small dead bumble bees in different areas around the same time each year (march /april but also close to a certain shrub type called cotoneaster horizontalis (wall spray). No idea if its related though. _________________ JO911B.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
I've lived in the same house for over 20 years, and loved to sit by the cotoneaster listening to the deep deep buzz of the bees in the spring. It is a plant with thousands of tiny flowers that draw them in to its layers of branches. There's room for many, and birds too when those flowers have become little red fruit in winter.
And in the last few years that is where I'm most likely to find a bee staggering about or standing as though lost, or just plain dead. A mite or two might wander away from the corpse.
I have never thought the plant was to blame. They are there because of the nectar in the flowers. This is an organic garden. The passing bees are sometimes very unwell, sometimes dying.
The noise is not half so loud these days. The buzz.
"for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against wicked spirits in high places " Eph.6 v 12
Quite right Fish. The wicked spirit:
A powerful spiritual being, called "Ahriman" (or "Satan"), will incarnate in a human body. The terms "soul" and "spirit" have clear meanings. Earthly/cosmic evolution is an outcome of the deeds of the Gods. The central event of earth-evolution was the Incarnation of Christ. Spiritual powers of opposition are active: Lucifer, Ahriman, Sorat. Ahriman is the inspirer of materialistic science and commercialism, and permeates modern culture with deadening forces.
http://www.doyletics.com/arj/landarvw.htm _________________ "Soon after the year 2000 has been written, a law will go forth from America whose purpose will be to suppress all individual thinking. This will not be the wording of the law, but it will be the intent" Rudolf Steiner: Gegenwärtiges und Vergangenes in Menschengeiste (The Present and the Past in the Human Spirit)
The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.
According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.
At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.
So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.
Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.
Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.
Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.
To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:
“As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.
“It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns,” said Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the report and Pesticides Program Manager for ABC, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations.
ABC commissioned world renowned environmental toxicologist Dr. Pierre Mineau to conduct the research. The 100-page report, “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds,” reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act. The report evaluates the toxicological risk to birds and aquatic systems and includes extensive comparisons with the older pesticides that the neonicotinoids have replaced. The assessment concludes that the neonicotinoids are lethal to birds and to the aquatic systems on which they depend.
“A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird,” Palmer said. “Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction.”
The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface- and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates.”
Quickly following this damning report, the MRNE says, a large group of group of American beekeepers and environmentalists sued the Obama regime over the continued use of these neonicotinoids stating: “We are taking the EPA to court for its failure to protect bees from pesticides. Despite our best efforts to warn the agency about the problems posed by neonicotinoids, the EPA continued to ignore the clear warning signs of an agricultural system in trouble.”
And to how bad the world’s agricultural system has really become due to these genetically modified plants, pesticides and seeds, this report continues, can be seen by the EC’s proposal this past week, following their ban on neonicotinoids, in which they plan to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with the European Union, and as we can, in part, read:
“Europe is rushing towards the good ol days circa 1939, 40… A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”
It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.”
This MRNE report points out that even though this EC action may appear draconian, it is nevertheless necessary in order to purge the continent from continued contamination of these genetically bred “seed monstrosities.”
Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE says, and which led to Putin’s anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled “US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse” and which, in part, says:
“The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees.”
To the “truer” reason for the Obama regimes protection of these bio-tech giants destroying our world, the MRNE says, can be viewed in the report titled “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?” and which, in part, says:
“After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA: At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.”
Even worse, after Russia suspended the import and use of an Monsanto genetically modified corn following a study suggesting a link to breast cancer and organ damage this past September, the Russia Today News Service reported on the Obama regimes response:
“The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week – including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.
The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.
The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.”
On 26 March, Obama quietly signed this “Monsanto Protection Act” into law thus ensuring the American people have no recourse against this bio-tech giant as they fall ill by the tens of millions, and many millions will surely end up dying in what this MRNE report calls the greatest agricultural apocalypse in human history as over 90% of feral (wild) bee population in the US has already died out, and up to 80% of domestic bees have died out too.
A third of Britain's honeybee colonies perished in the winter following the wettest summer in 100 years last year, according to a new survey.
The losses were more than double last year's toll, with 34 per cent of colonies failing to make it through the winter, compared to 16 per cent the previous year, according to the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).
The results reflect the poor weather last summer, as the rain frequently prevented honeybees from foraging and gathering pollen. The cool summer and prolonged cold winter also reduced the amount of food available from flowering plants, as nectar production is temperature dependant.
As a result, there was inadequate nutrition for bees, especially during late summer when the specialised bees which take the colony through winter are born.
Andrew Pendleton, Friends of the Earth's Head of Campaigns, said: “This is very bad news - the terrible weather has clearly had a major impact. Ministers much take urgent steps to monitor and safeguard all out bees, not just honey bees, and reduce the other threats they face such as pesticide-use and habitat loss”.
Beekeepers in the south west were the worst hit, with 53 per cent of colonies lost. Furthermore, the situation may have worsened since the survey was completed at the end of March, as bees have continued to face cold weather and the late arrival of spring.
Joined: 25 Jul 2005 Posts: 16806 Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:57 am Post subject:
Great site about bee collapse & looking after nature & creation generally
Bees, beetles, earthworms and myriad other invertebrates provide us with the foundation upon which all life on earth depends, yet, apart from bees (which are fortunate enough to have had their commercial value as human crop pollinators recognised and touted in the press as a good reason to try and save them) these miniscule and mostly microscopic creatures are pretty much ignored. Worse than that, most of us grow up feeling scared, repulsed and/or threatened by these amazing creatures.
Our garden centres sell huge ranges of products suitable to kill any species of bug that dares to compete with us for food, or habitat. These highly toxic pesticides compete for shelf space in garden centres and DIY stores and supermarkets with an ever increasing array of herbicides designed to help us get rid of any stray wild plant that might try to creep in and live amongst the bedding plants and exotic shrubs in our pristine flower boarders.
Have we perhaps been afflicted with some kind of madness? Surely it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that life on Earth cannot be sustained if we continue to systematically wipe out the plants and animals that the planet's food chains and eco-systems depend upon for their very existence? If you were a visitor from another planet you might be forgiven for thinking the human race had declared war on anything with six or more legs....never mind the wild plants they used to thrive on!
In the 'State of Nature' report published earlier this month it was reported that around two thirds of our native flora and fauna is in decline. This is a shocking statistic by anyone's standards and cannot be ignored. We need to act urgently to halt the decline of bees and other invertebrates if we are to avoid their mass extinction....and the longer we wait, the more likely it is that the situation will spiral out of control.
I am very fortunate to have recently become caretaker of a few acres of land which I am in the process of turning into a haven for bees and other wildlife. However, the home I have just moved from only has a tiny little patio, so I am able to say from first hand experience that you don't need lots of land or space to be able to do an enormous amount to help. Even if you only have a window box, you can still make a choice between planting it up with bedding plants like begonias (which are no good to man nor bee) or filling it to the brim with pollen and nectar rich flowers such as mediterranean herbs which will provide a much needed feast for pollinators and take a lot less attention and watering than begonias!
'A federal court has overturned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of sulfoxaflor, a pesticide linked to the mass die-off of honeybees that pollinate a third of the world’s food supply.
The three-judge panel said the EPA green-lit sulfoxaflor even though initial studies showed the product was highly toxic to pollinators such as bees. The chemical compound belongs to a class of insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, that scientific studies have implicated in bee deaths.
“Because the EPA’s decision to unconditionally register sulfoxaflor was based on flawed and limited data, we conclude that the unconditional approval was not supported by substantial evidence,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel wrote in its opinion.
In her opinion, Judge Mary M. Schroeder wrote that the EPA had initially decided to conditionally approve the chemical but ordered more studies done to better understand the effects the systemic insecticide would have on bees.
“A few months later, however, the EPA unconditionally registered the insecticides with certain mitigation measures and a lowering of the maximum application rate,” Schroeder wrote. “It did so without obtaining any further studies.”
The product, sold in the U.S. as Transform or Closer, must be pulled from store shelves by Oct. 18.
Gregory Loarie, lead counsel for environmental group Earthjustice, which represented beekeepers and beekeeping groups in the case, said the ruling could lead to reviews of other EPA-approved pesticides.
“The EPA rarely, if ever, has reliable information regarding the impact that insecticides have on honeybee colonies writ large, as opposed to individual, adult worker bees,” Loarie said in an email. “With the findings in this case, EPA should move quickly to re-examine other registrations for possible flawed and limited data.”
Sulfoxaflor, created by Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences, is a systemic insecticide. When it’s sprayed on soybean, cotton, citrus, fruit and vegetable crops, it kills bugs on contact and is also absorbed into the plant’s flowers, stems and roots. When insects ingest any part of the plant, they die too.
Paul Towers, spokesperson for advocacy group Pesticide Action Network, said that because sulfoxaflor was only approved in 2013, it hasn’t been widely used. “The prospect of greater use loomed, especially as other neonicotinoids are under increased scrutiny and pressure for phase-out,” Towers said.
That phase-out already has started in Europe; EU member nations banned three neonicotinoids in 2013 for two years after the chemicals were linked to the dramatic decline in bee populations there.
“This is the classic pesticide industry shell game,” Towers said. “As more science underscores the harms of a pesticide, they shift to newer, less studied products. And it takes regulators years to catch up.” _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Supermarket chain Aldi is under pressure to ban toxic neonicotinoid pesticides.
Can you help persuade Aldi to do the right thing for British bees?
The science against neonics continues to stack up.
Aldi in Germany recently banned a range of pesticides from being used in growing it's fruit and veg, including dangerous neonics.
But it doesn’t stretch to Aldi here in the UK, because they operate independently from each other.
Aldi UK has now promised to review its pesticides policy – looking especially at neonics and pollinators.
This is a great step. But if Aldi's review is to do the right thing for bees it needs to know how passionately consumers like you feel about this issue.
Tell Aldi to do the right thing for bees and other pollinators. And keep food produced with bee-harming pesticides off its shelves.
Email Aldi UK today' (Go to website above) _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Most will wonder what I mean when I say Bayer AG, the German chemicals and drug company, the same one that just absorbed Monsanto, makes bee contraceptives. This is precisely what a newly-published, peer-reviewed scientific study confirms. Contraceptives for bees are not good for the world, no better than another product invented in the labs of Bayer, namely heroin. Bayer makes a class of insect killers known as neonicotinides. Their free use worldwide threatens bee pollination and the entire food chain.
A study just published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Biological Sciences), identifies a dramatic reduction in sperm count in bees exposed to two of Bayer AG’s most widely used pesticides—thiamethoxam and clothianidin. They found that those two neonicotinoids, “significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of male honeybees (drones), Apis mellifera. Drones were obtained from colonies exposed to the neonicotinoid insecticides or controls, and subsequently maintained in laboratory cages until they reached sexual maturity…the data clearly showed reduced drone lifespan, as well as reduced sperm viability (percentage living versus dead) and living sperm quantity by 39%.”
The study continues: “Our results demonstrate for the first time that neonicotinoid insecticides can negatively affect male insect reproductive capacity, and provide a possible mechanistic explanation for managed honeybee queen failure and wild insect pollinator decline… As the primary egg layer and an important source of colony cohesion, the queen is intimately connected to colony performance. Increased reports of queen failure have recently been reported in North America and Europe; however, no studies have so far investigated the role of neonicotinoids and male health to explain this phenomenon.”
They conclude, “For the first time, we have demonstrated that frequently employed neonicotinoid insecticides in agro-ecosystems can elicit important lethal (reduced longevity) and sublethal (reduced sperm viability and living sperm quantity) effects on non-target, beneficial male insects; this may have broad population-level implications… Although recent improvements to regulatory requirements for evaluating the environmental impacts of insecticides have been adopted, none so far directly address the reproduction of beneficial insects.”
EU Reviewing its Ban
In 2012 amid an alarming wave of sudden bee colony collapses across the European Union and growing indications that the new class of chemical pesticide—neonicotinoids—promoted primarily by Bayer AG, was responsible for what the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the advisory board to the EU, called an unacceptable risk, the EU Commissioned banned the three most widely used neonicotinoids for three years. The ban affected thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid. The first two, thiamethoxam and clothianidin were the neonicotinoids tested by the new study.
Now the EU Commission, a new commission, has initiated a review of their ban. The scientists today at EFSA have initiated a review of their 2012 assessment on the dangers of neonicotinoid pesticide use to bee colonies. The review is expected to be completed by January 2017. Bayer and the pesticide industry, including Syngenta, are strongly lobbying for a rollback.
Bayer’s neonicotinoids are widely used across the agriculture regions of North America. Despite the growing evidence that the widely-used pesticides cause bee colony death, the US Government has yet to follow the EU ban. In January the US Environmental Protection Agency published first field trials, some ten years after widespread introduction of neonicotinoids in the US agriculture. Their results showed that imidacloprid, one of the three banned in the EU, can cause beehive populations to fall. Despite this, the US Government has yet to take any cautionary action.
The entire food chain
Most of us city slickers, who think food magically grows on the shelves of our local supermarket, have little appreciation of what’s at stake here.
In 2012 in another article after investigation into the alarming wave of bee colony collapse worldwide, I wrote, “In 2003, over the clear warnings of its own scientists, the EPA licensed a neonicotinoid called Clothianidin, patented by the German Bayer AG together with a Japanese company, Takeda. It is sold under the brand name Poncho. It was immediately used on over 88 million acres of US corn in the 2004 crop and since that time, the shocking death of more than one million beehives across the corn prairies of the Midwest has been reported.”
As I noted back then, bees and birds contribute to the essence of life on our planet. A study by the US Department of Agriculture estimated that “…perhaps one-third of our total diet is dependent, directly or indirectly, upon insect-pollinated plants.” The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is the most important pollinator of agricultural crops. Honey bees pollinate over 70 out of 100 crops that in turn provide 90% of the world’s food. They pollinate most fruits and vegetables–including apples, oranges, strawberries, onions and carrots.
Bayer AG is the world’s largest maker of neonicotinoids, making the company an understandable match to takeover Monsanto with its own range of highly toxic glyphosate-based weed-killers such as Roundup. Neonicotinoids are a group of insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. They act on the central nervous system of insects. But also on bees and small song birds. Recent evidence suggests they could also affect human brain development in newborn.
The political appointees at EPA in 2003 allowed Bayer to receive a license for Poncho despite the official judgment of EPA scientists that its substance, clothianidin, was “highly toxic to bees by contact and oral exposure” and that is was “highly mobile in soil and groundwater – very likely to migrate into streams, ponds and other fields, where it would be absorbed by wildflowers” – and go on to kill more bees and non-target insects like butterflies and bumblebees. The warning, from a leaked EPA memo dated September 28, 2005, summarizes the Environmental Fate and Effects Division’s Environmental Risk Assessment for Clothianidin, which it said “will remain toxic to bees for days after a spray application. In honey bees, the effects of this toxic exposure may include lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects to the queen.”
Despite all evidence, to date the US Department of Agriculture refuses to ban neonicotinoids. In the USA 94% of US corn is treated with either imidacloprid or clothianidin pesticides. The US is the world’s biggest corn exporter. In the USA today, according to latest USDA data, as well 94% of all corn planted is GMO corn. Mostof it is Monsanto GMO corn paired with Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup. Most of the US neonicotinoids come from either Bayer AG or the Swiss agrochemical giant, Syngenta, now being taken over by ChinaChem.
Bayer AG spreading bee death via its neonicotinoids, and now in a marriage with Monsanto who is spreading toxic effects harming to human embryo cells and much else? It’s beginning to look like someone is out to dramatically reduce life on our beautiful planet. Oh, but would not that be the most radical form of eugenics, of Nazi “race purification” imaginable?
'Michael Gove: protect our bees
To Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Please commit to protecting the UK's bees by:
Voting to extend the EU ban on bee-killing pesticides (neonicotinoids) to cover all kinds of crops
Voting to make the EU ban on neonicotinoids permanent
Keeping the ban in place after we leave the EU
Why is this important?
Bees pollinate three quarters of the world’s crops - apples, strawberries, onions, carrots and many many more of our fruit and veg. We wouldn’t last long without them.
Right now there's a temporary ban on bee-killing pesticides, called neonicotinoids, across Europe. Over the next few months Environment Secretary Michael Gove has a chance to protect our bees for good by voting to extend the ban to take more of these pesticides of our fields, and by voting to make the ban permanent.
Michael Gove has been talking the talk on how he would like a ‘Green Brexit’ and protect our environment and our bees, but up until now those words have turned into little action. Our bees are too important to lose, Michael Gove and the UK government must do all they can to protect them.' _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
Joined: 30 Jul 2006 Posts: 5888 Location: East London
Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:43 pm Post subject:
'The insect apocalypse DW Documentary':
5G is going to speed up this process, just as present microwave comms has. _________________ 'And he (the devil) said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them'. Luke IV 5-7.
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