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cam bishop
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Unread post by cam bishop »

I agree with Walter...

Beekeeper blames fellow beekeepers for losses
Says poor management, not neonicotiniod pesticides to blame for deaths
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Grimsby Lincoln News
By Amanda Moore

GRIMSBY — Whether neonicotiniod pesticides are toxic to bees is not up for debate.

Researchers agree on that fact. When bees are exposed to the chemical, their lives are threatened. What is up for debate, according to a top University of Guelph researcher who has spent years researching the impacts of neonics on honey bees, is whether or not their use presents an "unacceptable risk" to hives.

"The fact that neonics are toxic to bess is not debatable," said Dr. Cynthia Scott-Dupree, who is the environmental chair in the department of environmental science at the University of Guelph. "Neonicotiniod is an insecticide and bees are insects. The question is whether or not neonics will cause the demise of bees."

According to Scott-Dupree and a West Lincoln beekeeper, the answer to that question is no, despite a $400-million lawsuit recently filed by Sun Parlor Honey Ltd. and Munro Honey, two of Ontario's largest honey producers, on behalf of all Canadian beekeepers, against Bayer Cropscience Inc. and Syngenta Canada. The lawsuit alleges that Bayer, Syngenta and their parent companies were negligent in their design, manufacture, sale and distribution of neonicotiniod pesticides. The claimants are seeking $400 million in damages alleging that the use of these pesticides in agriculture is causing bee colonies to collapse.

Neonicotiniod pesticides protect seed from worms and other insects that could otherwise destroy a crop. Bees and other insects are exposed to the pesticides in two ways: by consuming the pollen on treated crops of by ingesting pesticide-laden dust stirred up during the planting process. Several studies have linked the use of neonics to widespread bee losses. An evaluation by Health Canada in 2012, a year when bee loss was reported at 242 different bee yards in the province, found that neonicotiniod-treated corn contributed to the majority of the bee mortalities.

A West Lincoln beekeeper has a very different opinion on the matter. Walter Zimmermann of Little Wolf Apiaries says that poor management practices are to blame for bee deaths in this province. In the past three years the Caistor Centre farmer and beekeeper has not lost a single hive, which he credits to his stringent management practices.

"There are as many management styles as there are bee keepers in Canada," said Zimmermann. "Things will go wrong for people."

Zimmemann credits his hive health to his own management system which looks at factors like genetics, hygiene, disease and pest control.

"Management is a clock," said Zimmermann, "and beekeeping is all about timing.

"What the beekeepers are experiencing, they've brought on themselves."

Zimmermann grows corn treated with neonicotiniods next to hives. In the past three years he's had a bumper crop of corn and no impact on his hives. He said the Ontario government's intentions of regulating the use of neonicotiniod pesticides will have negative impacts on the farming world.

"Harm will come from this," he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture announced it the summer that it would hold stakeholder meetings with farmers, beekeepers and pesticide makers with the intent of developing a licensing system to be in place by next fall when seed orders are placed by farmers.

Scott-Dupree said despite reports from the United States and Europe there have been no cases of colony collapse disorder in Canada and that bee losses are actually on the decline. She said other causes blamed for the losses such as genetically modified crops, wifi signals and chemical trails are all unlikely causes of bee losses.

Scott-Dupree said a lack of crop diversity in Ontario could be one reason.

"Monoculture is very problematic," said Scott-Dupree, noting the majority of Ontario's farm lands have been planted with three main crops: corn, soy and wheat. "Bees like diversity in what they eat," she added noting the big three offer little by way of nutrition for bees.

Scott-Dupree said other factors such as parasitic varroa mites and viruses are also likely contributors to bee losses.

Scott-Dupree carried out field trials in 2012 on canola fields near Guelph, Ont. A total of 10, two-hectare fields were planted with canola — a crop high in bee-attracting pollen — 10 kilometres apart. Half of the fields were treated with neonics, half were not. Bees exposed to clothianidin, a Bayer neonicotiniod, produced virtually the same amount of honey as those in the untreated fields, said Scott-Dupree, who noted there were little effects of exposure visible from the research. Her study was recently published in a peer reviewed journal.
Cam Bishop
Millbury, MA
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Re: neonics & lawsuit

Unread post by WHGANDNORAHG »

Here is what we found recently on a blog ...

An ILL-ADVISED Ontario bee-keeper class-action-lawsuit has been filed by lawyers representing anti-pesticide and litigious bee-keepers to recover alleged damages suffered due to neonicotinoid insecticides used by the agriculture industry since 2006. Observers predict that the litigious bee-keepers will LOSE THIS LAWSUIT, and will NOT RECOVER ANY LOSSES AND DAMAGES. The lawsuit will fail to prove that ONLY neonicotinoid insecticides were to blame for bee losses. According to leading expert Dr Ernesto Guzman, neonicotinoid poisoning is, of course, a factor, but it is NOT the only factor. The bee-keeper lawsuit will also fail to avoid the fact that there is no bee crisis caused by neonicotinoid insecticides, since only a very limited number of bee-keepers have reported losses. The lawsuit will prove that bee-keepers were simply negligent and incompetent with their management practices. It will prove that they failed to perform due diligence to control varroa mites, nosema fungus, tobacco ringspot virus, and other pests that damage bees. The real causes of bee mortality are these pests that bee-keepers appear to be unable or unwilling to properly control. They would rather lay false blame against neonicotinoid insecticides. The bee-keeper lawsuit will fail to prove that there is even a bee crisis with neonicotinoid insecticides. There is no such bee crisis according to leading experts like Dr Ernesto Guzman, who has stated that there is evidence that varroa mites are the primary problem associated to bee losses in southern Ontario, and neonicotinoid insecticides have been associated to only some isolated cases of colony losses. The bee-keeper lawsuit will even fail to prove that there is any bee crisis at all. There is no bee crisis according to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who has stated that many bee-keeping operations have NOT been affected and have been able to maintain strong and healthy bee colonies, as evidenced by hive strength and honey production. There is no bee crisis according to Statistics Canada, which has stated that the number of honey bee colonies are up, and NOT down, in the province of Ontario and across Canada. The bee-keeper lawsuit will be unable to explain that the Canadian Honeybee Industry is actually thriving, with the total number of bee-keepers in Canada actually rising dramatically since 2008. The lawsuit will be unable to explain that Canada’s honey yield is twice the world’s average. It will be unable to explain why Canadian Honey Council actively opposes prohibition against neonicotinoid insecticides. The bee-keeper lawsuit will be unable to contradict the fact that there is no bee crisis caused by neonicotinoid insecticides. The lawsuit will fail to prove that bee-keepers did NOT tamper with the samples provided to Health Canada which measured some detectable insecticide ingredient. It will also fail to prove that the mere ability to measure or detect the presence of insecticide ingredient in a bee colony is NOT an indication that it harmed bees. The lawsuit will also fail to explain why bee-keepers are violating federal law by using illegal and unregistered products to control bee pests. Observers have consistently pointed out to how much profit the anti-pesticide bee-keepers will make if they succeed in a class-action lawsuit. They appear motivated by mere profit and greed. There is NO bee crisis with neonicotinoid insecticides, and THE LAWSUIT WILL FAIL ! However, there IS a bee crisis with negligent and incompetent bee-keepers. Even if the Ontario lawsuit is somehow successful, we would still have bee losses because many bee-keepers are NOT competent to manage their hives.
Allen Dick
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Re: neonics

Unread post by Allen Dick »

Do you have a link to the blog? If so, please post it. Thanks. Google did not turn it up when I searched.
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Re: neonics

Unread post by Countryboy »

I had a little more luck with a Google search. I found this link. The blog post was linked as a reply from Facebook. ... esticides/
B. Farmer Honey
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