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another possible factor in honey bee CCD

Posted by arktrees 6b NW Arkansas (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 22, 13 at 11:53

Seems that some insecticides MAY (not yet conclusive) affect the bee immune system. The pesticide in this article is a neonicotinoid compound similar to imidacloprid which is already being banned for effects on honey bees in some countries.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bee Immune System

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

In a way, go figure. Insecticides are killing bugs very well.

On the other hand, the persistance in the environment is troublesome. Even the most selfish person should be worried about their own intake.

I am thinking outloud about Altheimers and ADD cases.

Then again, ya gotta die of something and folks are living longer and longer...

I think its time for me to do some light reading later.

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

The systemic neonicotinoid insecticides are very scary to me. They are taken up into all the plants' tissues. Studies have shown that they are present at sub-lethal levels in the pollen and nectar and at lethal levels in the guttation drops, which is the liquid that is excreted by plants overnight. Insects will drink these drops to hydrate in the morning. How can the insects that pollinate the plants or drink these drops NOT be poisoned by these pesticides? If it's not enough to kill them, perhaps it's enough to affect their neurology, or their immune systems.

What's more, wouldn't some level of these systemic pesticides be present in the fruits of these plants that we eat too???

All I know is since learning about these pesticides I try to buy even more organic products than I used to (i.e. mostly buy organic wines).

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

Another source of problems for all of the beneficial insects, is free use of insecticide and similar poisons that people liberally applied to their lawns and plants.

You can not kill everything and expect to have butterflies and bees.

It you have fire ant, do not try to control them by applying a general poison to your entire yard, use poisons that you apply directly to the mounds.

The fact that bees are dying is not surprising the way we apply poisons.

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

I think its safe to say that most of our agricultural practices are the cause of CCD, including pesticides, herbiscides and fungiscides, deforestation/habitat loss, and a fractured food web.

THe latest study shows bees showing up to the hive carrying a "cocktail" of chemicals, namely a very common fungusscide

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 13:09

No surprise here but I can't recalling seeing more than A honey bee or two in years yet the hornets and wasps are EVERYWHERE.

Saw quite a few bumble bees this year as well.

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 24, 13 at 13:12

As a side note the more interesting critters I find in my yard the more and more I stop using chemicals of any sort.

Found a walking stick, a blue winged moth almost the size of my wife's hand and a salamander of some sort this year.

My daughter has gone from being frightened of insects to loving them this year.

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

I plant lots of Russian Sage for Honey Bees, Milkweed for Monarchs and only use weed killer on my grass in very early spring and late fall when lots of insects have reached their lifespan. I do not insecticides with the exception of neem oil on fruit trees.

I have hundreds of bees everyday on the Russian Sage, late runs of Monarchs this year, I hope they make it to Mexico, I even seen 2 yesterday which is crazy. Down to about 80 million monarchs from the previous year of 300 million. Drought, pesticides loss of milkweed habitat just devastating these butterflies - help out and plant milkweed and butterfly bush for these little guys.

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

I have 1.25 acres chock full of life. Pesticides are generally not part of this picture, except for an occasional organic spray, and occasional herbicide use on invasive plants, which I have been battling for years.

My neighbors use them though and it drives me CRAZY. It's appalling to me how carelessly people poison the earth for the purpose of something like grass (the green desert). One next-door neighbor just put down the 5th or 6th application of weed & feed this year, this time it's some ridiculous light blue color, and his lawn looks like crap! He has huge spots of bare earth throughout, regardless of sun or shade. If we didn't have totally flat and well-drained lots, his lot would be susceptible to significant erosion. My lawn is organic, it does have some broadleaf weeds and crabgrass, but the established grass is thick and green even after a fairly dry summer and fall.

People don't realize what an integral part insects play in the ecosystem. Without insects, we wouldn't have many species of birds, because 98% of terrestrial birds raise their young on insects. NOT bird seed (most bird species don't even frequent feeders).

And besides, bugs are fascinating, the more you learn about them!

RE: another possible factor in honey bee CCD

Its all too easy to demonize chemicals. Its harder for each of us to take responsibility for what we put into our yards.

The kicker that I get, is that when we are taught to use said chemicals, we are told NOT to spray during bloom specifically due to the fact you may spray bees. There are many other pollinators then bees that we need to watch out for, and all are present and a different time. The sprays are NOT species specific and you wipe out all insects in the sprayed area. There would more then likely be residue all over the place which bees pick up, bring to their colonies and spread it around in their honey and to each other.

There are also over spray issues. Even with the recommended spray regime you get overspray that blows away. There arent too many places where the wind doesnt blow when you want it to.

Most pest and disease problems usually stem from monoculture, or improper planting/plant choice for any climate. Why plant an apple orchard on the east coast, where fungus are abound due to the relatively moist humid climate? Is it really worth it to plant 2 species of ash in a city as the primary tree? The city here was almost completely treeless after dutch elm wiped out the elms, leaving a few other trees, which were replaced by ash. Now there is emerald ash borer.

There is also the problem of fragmented forests. Farmland mostly planted as monoculture, which is sprayed against insects, and protected against birds (the Dept of agro wipes out tens of millions of birds a year stricktly to "protect crops") Now there is a problem of lack of ability to let many species survive in the wild because it cant support them due to size. Lack of food and territory is a problem, so they come into the city, which is polluted and still has gardens sprayed just as religiously as farms.

Any ecosystem has a certain balance of species dependent on size. A jaguar in S america needs 130-300 square miles of pure rainforest. Grizzly bears need the general same large area. Insects, including bees need a certain number of species and sources of pollen in which to be able to live in any given area.

Lawns are a problem too. CLover and dandelion in fact create a nicer thicker lawn that doesnt need chemicals to keep it fertlilized. They also are excellent sources of pollen for insects.

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