Saturday 20th of April 2019

save the bees...

bees pollinating a lime tree flower

A contentious French ban on a popular type of pesticide that is decimating bee populations goes into effect on September 1, as new findings are published showing bumblebees get addicted to the harmful chemical.

Neonicotinoids were once hailed as the future of pesticides. Billed in the 1990s as less harmful than traditional poisons, the lab-created, nicotine-based chemical produced by Bayer Monsanto and Syngenta gets absorbed by plants instead of sitting on the surface, and attacks the central nervous system of insects that land or prey upon them. They quickly became among the most popular pesticides, being applied to all manner of flowering crops, Channel News Asia noted.

 

Read more:

https://sputniknews.com/environment/201808311067617816-France-Bans-Bee-K...

 

Picture of bee above by Gus Leoniksy

slow maturation and decreased longevity...

POLLINIS is concerned about the lack of regulatory studies regarding the cocktail effects of pesticides on pollinating insects. Now, a new article, just published in the journal Royal Society, reveals the devastating impact of mixtures between neonicotinoid pesticides and fungicides on solitary bees.

The study - entitled Combined exposure to sublethal concentrations of an insecticide and a fungicide affecting feeding, and the development and longevity in a solitary bee conducted under the direction of Dr. Fabio Sgolastra, University of Bologna, Italy - reveals the effect synergistic between a neonicotinoid insecticide, clothianidin, and a fungicide, propiconazole. This pesticide cocktail affects fertility (delaying ovarian development) and the lifespan of solitary bees exposed to mixing, even at low doses.

However, current legislation does not require testing of pesticide mixtures prior to authorization. Plant protection products are studied individually but never in combination. However, in the field, pollinating insects are well exposed to pesticide mixtures, not to a particular product. That's the whole system of risk assessment and pesticide registration that needs to be reviewed.

This study shows the devastating impact of pesticides on wild bees. However, the current tests only concern honeybees. POLLINIS therefore requests tests on several species of pollinating insects and not only on honeybees, which can not be representative of all pollinating species.

 

Read more:

Bees in trouble

study...

france bans all five pesticides...

France will take a radical step towards protecting its dwindling bee population on Saturday by becoming the first country in Europe to ban all five pesticides researchers believe are killing off the insects. 

The move to ban the five so-called neonicotinoids has been hailed by beekeepers and environmentalists, but cereal and sugar beet farmers warn it could leave them all but defenceless in protecting valuable crops against other harmful insects.

By enforcing the blanket ban, France is going further than the European Union, which voted to outlaw the use of three neonicotinoids - clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam - in crop fields starting on December 19.

France has banned these three, along with thiacloprid and acetamiprid, not only outdoors but in greenhouses too.

Initially opposed, Britain now backs the less comprehensive EU bandue to evidence supporting claims the chemicals contribute to “colony collapse disorder”, a mysterious phenomenon that has seen bee populations plummet by up to 90 per cent in some cases. Other potential causes are mites, viruses and fungi.

 

Read more:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/31/france-first-ban-five-pestic...

fake honey...

Australia's biggest listed honey company and some of the country's largest supermarket chains face accusations of unwittingly selling "fake" honey.

Testing at a leading international scientific lab that specialises in honey fraud detection has found that almost half the honey samples selected from supermarket shelves were "adulterated", meaning it has been mixed with something other than nectar from bees.

The adulterated samples were all products that blend local and imported honey.

ASX-listed Capilano's Allowrie-branded Mixed Blossom Honey, which sources honey from Australia and overseas, and markets itself as 100 per cent honey, showed up as "adulterated" in the majority of samples tested.

Capilano strongly denied any issues with its products and criticised the type of test — known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) — used to detect the impurities, pointing out that it differed from the official Australian test.

There is no suggestion that Capilano's eponymous brand of Australian-sourced honey has any issue or that Capilano or other brands were aware of the adulteration.

Phil McCabe, the president of the International Federation of Beekeepers' Association (Apimondia), believes the NMR test is the most accurate available and thinks consumers are not getting what they paid for.

"Adulterated honey isn't honey at all," he told 7.30.

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-03/capilano-and-supermarkets-accused-...

macron is a bee killer...

During the night of September 14 to 15, The "Macron" deputies refused to include a law banning the controversial glyphosate herbicide. The political reaction on the left heavily criticised the "macronites" on this issue.


The debate was long and heated inside the French National Assembly to once more discuss a draft law on agriculture and food. It was only in the early morning that the deputies, mostly from The Republic on the Move (LREM — Macronites), decided to reject all the amendments that included clauses for the president to commit to ban glyphosate, the controversial herbicide, "At the latest within three years".


In May, during the first reading of the text, parliamentarians, including some protesters, had already pleaded unsuccessfully to secure a ban on glyphosate, in law. They did not have the support of former Minister of Ecological Transition, Nicolas Hulot, either. This spring, the Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Travert opposed, during the new debate on this subject, anti-glyphosate amendments. He wished to put forward "his own method" to ban it within three years: "Empowerment of actors (manufacturers and users) plus research on alternative solutions rather than prohibition by law."

 

Read more:

https://francais.rt.com/france/53924-deputes-lrem-rejettent-nouveau-inte...

 

Be sarcastic... Read from top. Stéphane Travert's "idea" will not work and he knows it.

weed killer kills bees...

Locals said they were concerned the bees may have been poisoned, as they say a council worker from the District Council of Peterborough spraying weed killer.

"It's a possibility someone might have poisoned them," Ms Reid said.

She said she had been in touch with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) about the situation.

"The guy that I spoke to said that he wants members of the community to get containers and fill them with bees," Ms Reid said.

Jason O'Connell, a Peterborough local of 13 years, said he had never seen anything like this before.

"At the moment, you might sit out there and there might be a dozen or two dozen bees instead of the normal two hundred bees out in the yard," Mr O'Connell said.

"It could be due to the council having sprayed weeds recently, especially since now the weeds are flowering.

"If they're spraying them the bees get a direct dose of [weedkiller], or it could be colony collapse."

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-25/mystery-surrounds-dying-bees-in-sa/

The use of weed killers is a lazy DANGEROUS way to eliminate weeds...

hanging about around...

A study published in the journal Science found bees exposed to an insecticide called imidacloprid were less likely to feed and care for their larvae, and spent more time hanging out around the edges of the nest.

According to study lead author and Harvard University biologist James Crall, the most surprising and puzzling finding was that the effect on bee behaviour was strongest at night.

"If you look overnight, it's totally striking," Dr Crall said.

"Oftentimes the majority or all of a colony [affected by imidaclorprid] will be immobile — which you never see in healthy colonies.

"That means less nursing overnight." 

Imidacloprid belongs to a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids (also called "neonics", which is a lot easier to say).

Chemically similar to nicotine, these are highly effective insecticides that interfere with an insect's nervous system.

There has been an ongoing and bitter dispute over the evidence that neonic use affects bees badly in the field.

This year the European Union announced it would ban the outdoor use of three insecticides in this class, including imidacloprid.

Bee barcodes

For their study, Dr Crall and team filmed the behaviour of 12 colonies of the Bombus impatiens species of bumblebee in the lab, each for five minutes, 12 times a day for two weeks.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-11-09/neonicotinoid-insecticide...

less honey, honey...

Translated from French by Jules Letambour.

 

Editorial.

The world today is facing tremendous changes in agriculture and food. Natural phenomena and human activity weaken ecosystems and threaten certain animal and plant species that are essential for the survival of our species. The excess mortality of bees must be a wake-up call for all of us. As rightly said Martin Gray, who lived a large part of his life on the hills of Cannes, in his book entitled In the name of all men. Abel and Cain (Editions du Rocher, 2004): "And one day the bees will die. And honey, that old friend of Abel, will disappear. It will be the announcement of the end of the human history of men. This pollinator is a major player in the environment and agriculture and its conservation must be a national goal.

The winter of 2017-2018 saw a significant collapse in the number of bees in France. The survey conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food reported a colony mortality rate of almost 30%, which is a disastrous figure. It's not just a local problem. Since the late 1990s, beekeepers around the world have been trying to alert the authorities to the risks associated with the disappearance of this vital link in the food chain. Since then, they have noticed an unusual decline in colonies.


We have all been aware of the role of bees in the ecosystem. They are not only important because they produce honey, they play a major role in the production of our food. They promote not only the pollination of wild plants but also cultivated. A third of our food crops are pollinated by insects. Without their intervention, our agricultural productivity would be well diminished and up to 75% of our crops would suffer a decline in yield. Of the 100 plant species that provide 90% of the world's food, 71 depend on bees and their pollination. In Europe, 4,000 varieties of vegetables grown, as well as certain forage plants indispensable to livestock, would not exist without the labor of bees. In France, honey production increased from 35,000 tonnes in the mid-1990s to 9,000 tonnes in 2016, a drop of three-quarters of production.

 

Read more:

https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/12/24/il-faut-promouvoir-la-cr...

 

Read from top.

tasmanian starving bees due to "climate change"...

Tasmanian honey producers are preparing to hold a crisis meeting, after experiencing their worst season in decades.

Key points:
  • The Tasmanian Beekeepers Association says honey producers have been affected by a downturn
  • An industry crisis meeting will be held on March 29 to discuss the future
  • Bushfires and dry conditions have destroyed prime honey harvesting areas

 

One of the state's biggest producers has started laying off staff, with leatherwood honey production at that company down 90 per cent.

Dry conditions are mostly to blame, with many bees now starving to death due to wilting leatherwood flowers and a lack of pollen. 

Recent Tasmanian bushfires have also impacted, destroying prime bee honey harvesting areas.

Shirley Stephens, who has been working at one of Tasmania's oldest honey producers, R. Stephens Apiarists, in the state's north-west for more than 60 years, said this year was the worst she had seen.

"Even last year we produced 280 tonnes of [honey] and this year we'll be lucky to get 20 tonnes," she said. 

"That's a huge loss." 

Beekeepers are now trying to keep starving bees alive with sugar water.


Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-08/tasmanian-honey-industry-in-crisis-as-bees-starve-to-death/10880924

 

Global warming (aka "climate change") is stressing habitats. Add insecticides, viruses, herbicides and other poisons to the mix — and a catastrophe becomes a ten-fold reality.

another poison that had gone under the radar...

Succinate dehydrogenase inhibitors (SDHIs) are now widely used worldwide as fungicides to limit the proliferation of molds in cereal crops, or to better preserve fruits, vegetables, and seeds from these molds, as well as to facilitate the lawn care for public spaces and golf courses. According to the companies that produce them, the SDHIs quite specifically inhibit the activity of the succinate dehydrogenase in the molds. We here establish that these inhibitors readily inhibit the earthworm and the human enzyme, raising a new concern on the danger of their large scale utilization in agriculture. This is all the more worrying as we know that the loss of function, partial or total, of the SDH activity caused by genetic variants causes severe human neurological diseases, or leads to the development of tumors and/or cancers.

 

Read more:

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/289058v2

 

Note this article has not been peer reviewed but other sources strongly coalesce. Read from top.

See also:

 

https://www.pollinis.org/publications/pesticides-sdhi-une-bombe-a-retard...

Utilisés massivement en agriculture depuis 2014, les SDHI bloquent la respiration cellulaire des champignons, mais aussi de tous les êtres vivants. Chez l’Homme, les perturbations de la SDH peuvent provoquer des atteintes neurologiques gravissimes, des cardiopathies sévères, des tumeurs de la tête et du cou, des cancers rénaux et gastriques.

Translation not available. Jules (Letambour) is not contactable.

 

 

 

Read from top.