No Organic Bee Losses
Sunday, November 23, 2008
May 10, 2008
“Sharon Labchuk is a longtime environmental activist and part-time organic beekeeper from Prince Edward Island. She has twice run for a seat in Ottawa’s House of Commons, making strong showings around 5% for Canada’s fledgling Green Party. She is also leader of the provincial wing of her party. In a widely circulated email, she wrote:
I’m on an organic beekeeping list of about 1,000 people, mostly Americans, and no one in the organic beekeeping world, including commercial beekeepers, is reporting colony collapse on this list. The problem with the big commercial guys is that they put pesticides in their hives to fumigate for varroa mites, and they feed antibiotics to the bees. They also haul the hives by truck all over the place to make more money with pollination services, which stresses the colonies.
Her email recommends a visit to the Bush Bees Web site at Here, Michael Bush felt compelled to put a message to the beekeeping world right on the top page:
Most of us beekeepers are fighting with the Varroa mites. I’m happy to say my biggest problems are things like trying to get nucs through the winter and coming up with hives that won’t hurt my back from lifting or better ways to feed the bees.
This change from fighting the mites is mostly because I’ve gone to natural sized cells. In case you weren’t aware, and I wasn’t for a long time, the foundation in common usage results in much larger bees than what you would find in a natural hive. I’ve measured sections of natural worker brood comb that are 4.6mm in diameter. What most people use for worker brood is foundation that is 5.4mm in diameter. If you translate that into three dimensions instead of one, it produces a bee that is about half as large again as is natural. By letting the bees build natural sized cells, I have virtually eliminated my Varroa and Tracheal mite problems. One cause of this is shorter capping times by one day, and shorter post-capping times by one day. This means less Varroa get into the cells, and less Varroa reproduce in the cells.
Who should be surprised that the major media reports forget to tell us that the dying bees are actually hyper-bred varieties that we coax into a larger than normal body size? It sounds just like the beef industry. And, have we here a solution to the vanishing bee problem? Is it one that the CCD Working Group, or indeed, the scientific world at large, will support? Will media coverage affect government action in dealing with this issue?
These are important questions to ask. It is not an uncommonly held opinion that, although this new pattern of bee colony collapse seems to have struck from out of the blue (which suggests a triggering agent), it is likely that some biological limit in the bees has been crossed. There is no shortage of evidence that we have been fast approaching this limit for some time.
We’ve been pushing them too hard, Dr. Peter Kevan, an associate professor of environmental biology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, told the CBC. And we’re starving them out by feeding them artificially and moving them great distances. Given the stress commercial bees are under, Kevan suggests CCD might be caused by parasitic mites, or long cold winters, or long wet springs, or pesticides, or genetically modified crops. Maybe it’s all of the above…
Colony Collapse Disorder Debunked: Pesticides Cause Bee Deaths
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
(NaturalNews) The great mystery of bee deaths has been solved. Colony Collapse Disorder is poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin. Clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer, has been clearly linked to die offs in Germany and France.
Although the bee die offs that have occurred recently are more severe, there have been many in the past from the same and similar products. In North Dakota, a lawsuit is pending against Bayer for the loss of their bees in 1995, the result of spraying rapeseed with Imidacloprid. In 1999, the same product was banned in France for use as a seed dressing for sunflowers when they lost one-third of their hives after widespread spraying. In 2004, it was banned for use on corn. Recently, France refused to approve Bayer’s request to sell Clothianidin.
Clothianidin and Imidacloprid are both members of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. They are well known as insect neurotoxins, especially with regard to bees. The spokesperson for the Coalition Against Bayer Dangers, based in Germany, stated, “We have been pointing out the risks of neonicotinoids for almost 10 years now. This proves without a doubt that the chemicals can come into contact with bees and kill them. These pesticides shouldn’t be on the market.”
Not a Surprise
That neonicotinoids are potent neurotoxins, especially in insects, is unsurprising. They were developed for precisely that purpose. Bayer says that their use is safe for bees, when used according to instructions. This involves using a glue that keeps the pesticides stuck to the seeds on which they’re used.
There are many problems with this. Agribusiness corporations are known to evade anything that costs them money. The glue costs money. The equipment and personnel required to apply it costs money. More careful pesticide application to try to keep it from becoming airborne costs money. Obviously, both unscrupulous agribusiness farmers and unknowing small farmers — not to mention home gardeners — will, at least occasionally, not use the glue.
Even then, it’s impossible to believe that a fair amount of these pesticides won’t become airborne. Further, their residue will poison the soil. It will be passed on into foods, which means that insects will come into contact with it there.
Isn’t it interesting that a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, Bayer, also makes a product that is a poison by design? Bayer is not an exception. Many, if not most, do business in both arenas. That alone should give pause for thought.
Here’s a list of corporations — not expected to be complete — that profit in both pharmaceuticals and pesticides:
* American Home Products
* Astra Zeneca
* Dow Chemical
* Dupont Chemical
Is it an accident that most of Big Pharma also manufactures pesticides? Is there a connection between the two types of products? Do the pharmaceutical arms of these corporations profit on the illness caused by the pesticide arms? These questions are rhetorical. We’ll let the reader decide.
Mike Adams has humorously shown with his Disease-Mongering Engine (http://www.naturalnews.com/disease-mong…), which creates new diseases at the push of a mouse button, how easily phony diseases can be created to sell pharmaceuticals and fatten the pocketbooks of the medical world. The same technique has been used to cloak massive bee die-offs with an air of mystery.
Colony Collapse Disorder is a false name that serves to mislead the public into believing that there’s a new, mystery disorder, probably something very complex, that needs tons of money to be thrown at it so that every possible angle can be studied. The reason is simple. By misdirecting the public, and apparently many professionals too, the real reason for bee die-offs is obscured.
This is very much like the misleading pseudoscience that supposedly debunks global climate change by giving a false impression that there is no consensus among scientists. By stirring pesticides into a mix of other supposedly possible causes, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections, and environmental stress, a false controversy is created. That results in precious time being wasted, while we really do move into a world without bees. At the same time, money is being thrown at scientists, who should know better, but being just as human as the rest of us, they’re tempted.
Eventually, the real cause starts to become obvious, as is happening now in bee die-offs. However, the guilty party, the one making obscene profits by selling neurotoxic poisons that destroy the earth, launches a campaign of disingenuous lies, misdirection, and lawsuits to continue to sell their contaminants as long as possible.
Meanwhile, we’re being told that we must prepare to live in a world without bees, as if it’s inevitable. All because of Colony Collapse Disorder, a cleverly marketed nonexistent disease. We live in fear of the implications of no bees, when the real threat is poisons manufactured for the sole benefit of obscene profits.
How to Avoid These Pesticides
Neonicotinoids are used in agribusiness and home gardens. To help the reader avoid these products, we are providing their generic names, along with as many brand names as could be found.
The neonicotinoids include: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiamethoxam.
Acetamiprid and dinotefuran are manufactured by many companies. Thiamethoxam is made by Syngenta. Only Bayer makes clothianidin and imidacloprid.
Brand names for imidacloprid include: Kohinor, Admire, Advantage, Gaucho, Merit, Confidor, Hachikusan, Premise, Prothor, and Winner.
Brand names for clothianidin include: Gaucho, Titan, Clutch, Belay, Arena.
Brand names for acetamiprid include: Assail, Intruder, Adjust.
Brand names for thiacloprid include: Calypso.
Brand names for thiamethoxam include: Actara, Cruiser, Helix, Platinum, Centric.
Guardian, “Pesticides: Germany bans chemicals linked to honeybee devastation”, by Alison Benjamin, http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2…)
Wikipedia, “Imidacloprid”, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imidacloprid)
University of Florida, “Insect Management on Landscape Plants”, (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IG013)
Crop Protection Monthly, 31 January 2002, Issue 146, ( http://www.crop-protection-monthly.co.u..)
“Poison for Profit — What A Business Plan!”, by Ashley Simmons Hotz
Institute of Science in Society, “Requiem for the Honeybee”, by Professor Joe Cummins