Jan 10

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EPA Releases Study on Pesticides Killing Bees, Gets Sued Immediately by Beekeepers:

“A single seed coated with a neonicotinoid insecticide is enough to kill a songbird.”

United States — A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency has found evidence through a study that backs what activists and environmentalists have asserted for years: one of the most widely used neonicotinoid pesticides can, indeed, cause declines in honeybee populations. But the agency’s findings are too little, too late for many farmers and food safety advocates, who consider the EPA neglectfully responsible for widespread employment of neonicotinoids.Driving the urgency of the point even further, researchers with Sussex University discovered something far more alarming: wildflowers growing near neonicotinoid-treated crops play host to a “chemical cocktail” which has an impact on bees 1,000 times more potent than previously believed. Continue reading »

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Jul 12


One of many dead hives at Schuit’s Saugeen Honey, in Elmwood.

Bees Dying by the Millions (The Post, June 19, 2013):

ThePost (Hanover, Ontario)
By Jon Radojkovic

ELMWOOD – Local beekeepers are finding millions of their bees dead just after corn was planted here in the last few weeks. Dave Schuit, who has a honey operation in Elmwood, lost 600 hives, a total of 37 million bees.

“Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. He and many others, including the European Union, are pointing the finger at a class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc. used in planting corn and some other crops. The European Union just recently voted to ban these insecticides for two years, beginning December 1, 2013, to be able to study how it relates to the large bee kill they are experiencing there also.

Local grower Nathan Carey from the Neustadt, and National Farmers Union Local 344 member, says he noticed this spring the lack of bees and bumblebees on his farm. He believes that there is a strong connection between the insecticide use and the death of pollinators.

Continue reading »

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Oct 02

Flashback:

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)


Millions of Bees Mysteriously Die in Florida (CBS Tampa, Sep. 30, 2011):

MICCO, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) – Florida officials are abuzz as to how millions of honey bees were killed in Brevard County.

Several beekeepers in the county have reported lost colonies this week. Charles Smith of Smith Family Honey Company told Stuart News Thursday he lost 400 beehives. He says the bees appeared to have been poisoned.

“I’ll never get completely compensated for this unless someone handed me 400 beehives,” Smith told Stuart News. “I lost the bees, the ability to make honey and the ability to sell the bees.”

Smith told Florida Today that he lost $150,000 from the incident.

Continue reading »

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Jul 30

Flashback:

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)


Amid bee die-off, healthy hives thrive in cities (AP, July 29, 2011):

CHICAGO (AP) — Among the wildflowers and native grasses in the garden atop Chicago’s City Hall stand two beehives where more than 100,000 bees come and go in patterns more graceful, but just as busy, as the traffic on the street 11 stories below.

The bees are storing honey that will sustain them through the bitter winter and be sold in a gift shop just blocks away.

“Already this season, one hive has produced 200 pounds of surplus honey, which is really a huge amount of honey,” said beekeeper Michael Thompson after checking the hives one July morning. “The state average is 40 pounds of surplus honey per hive.”

The Chicago bees’ success could be due to the city’s abundant and mostly pesticide-free flowers. Many bee experts believe city bees have a leg up on country bees these days because of a longer nectar flow, with people planting flowers that bloom from spring to fall, and organic gardening practices. Not to mention the urban residents who are building hives at a brisk pace.

Beekeeping is thriving in cities across the nation, driven by young hobbyists and green entrepreneurs. Honey from city hives makes its way into swanky restaurant kitchens and behind the bar, where it’s mixed into cocktails or stars as an ingredient in honey wine.

Membership in beekeeping clubs is skewing younger and growing. The White House garden has beehives. The city of Chicago’s hives — nine in all, on rooftops and other government property — are just part of the boom.

“I’ve seen hives set up on balconies and in very, very small backyards,” said Russell Bates, a TV commercial director and co-founder of Backwards Beekeepers, a 3-year-old group that draws up to 100 mostly newcomers to its monthly meetings in Los Angeles.

The group is “backwards” because its members rely on natural, non-chemical beekeeping practices. All their hives are populated by local bees they’ve captured — or “rescued” as the group’s members like to say — from places they’re not wanted.

Continue reading »

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May 17

Cellphone transmissions may be responsible for a mysterious, worldwide die off in bees that has mystified scientists.

Dr. Daniel Favre, a former biologist with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, carefully placed a mobile phone underneath a beehive and then monitored the reaction of the workers.

According to a story in The Daily Mail, the bees were able to tell when the handsets were making and receiving calls. They responded by making the high pitched squeaks that usually signal the start of swarming.

“This study shows that the presence of an active mobile phone disturbs bees — and has a dramatic effect,” Favre told the Daily Mail.

Favre believes this to be evidence of something other scientists have suggested: Signals from mobile phones are contributing to the decline of honeybees. Favre thinks more research could help confirm the link between cell signals and “colony collapse disorder” — the sudden disappearance of entire colonies over winter — which has halved the bee population, according to some estimates.

Continue reading »

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Apr 28

Related info:

U.N.: Decline of Honey Bees Now A Global Phenomenon

Study: Pesticides Are ‘Killing Honeybee Population Worldwide’

BBKA Betrayed Bee Keepers To Pesticide Lobby, Endorsed The Most Deadly Substances For Bees Existing On The Planet As ‘Bee-Friendly’ Or ‘Bee-Safe’ (!)

Bumblebees in Freefall, Study Shows 96 Percent Decline

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees, Leaked Document Shows (!!!)

Billons Of Bee Colonies Die Worldwide

Heavy Honeybee Die-Off Continues; New Study Shows Pollen And Hives Laden With Pesticides

Study: ‘High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee’

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) (!!!)

Yes, organic bees survive CCD, which almost proves that a pesticide (or maybe GM plants) must be responsible for CCD.

Also living on refined white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in winter certainly can kill any advanced life-form.


By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive


‘Entombed’ pollen is identified as having sunken, wax-covered cells amid ‘normal’, uncapped cells. Photograph: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology

Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert.

Scientists have found numerous examples of a new phenomenon – bees “entombing” or sealing up hive cells full of pollen to put them out of use, and protect the rest of the hive from their contents. The pollen stored in the sealed-up cells has been found to contain dramatically higher levels of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals than the pollen stored in neighbouring cells, which is used to feed growing young bees.

Continue reading »

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Jan 14

Related information:

Bumblebees in Freefall, Study Shows 96 Percent Decline

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees, Leaked Document Shows (!)

Billons Of Bee Colonies Die Worldwide

Heavy Honeybee Die-Off Continues; New Study Shows Pollen And Hives Laden With Pesticides

Study: ‘High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee’

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) (!)

Yes, organic bees survive CCD, which almost proves that a pesticide (or maybe GM plants) must be responsible for CCD.

Also living on refined white sugar and high-fructose corn syrup in winter certainly can kill any advanced life-form.


The saga of the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) and its long-term pesticide endorsements is quite extraordinary. For 10 years, the BBKA has been giving its official blessing to four insecticides as “bee-friendly” or “bee-safe” – for example, the May 2001 newsletter BBKA News referred to “the BBKA’s endorsement of Fury as a bee-safe product”, while another piece in August 2005 said “the products we endorse are bee-friendly when used properly”.

Yet the active ingredients of these products, as shown above, are among the most deadly substances for bees existing on the planet.

Most rational people, with no axe to grind one way or another about bees or pesticides or anything else, would surely find this counter-intuitive as best; at worst, simply bonkers. Good old bee-safe Fury, eh, which contains cypermethrin, the second most toxic insecticide to honey bees out of 100 tested. No wonder it has produced fury among some beekeepers. What has been going on?

The more one goes into it, the more it becomes clear that there is a very comfortable relationship – the old word used to be “cosy” – between the fairly small group of senior beekeeping figures who run the BBKA as a self-perpetuating oligarchy, and the pesticide lobby, or as they would prefer to call it, the crop protection industry.

This is something which may skew judgement. One of the claims in the open letter sent to the association by independent beekeepers is that “the BBKA appears never to have issued any public statement that is critical of any pesticides or pesticide manufacturer”. That’s a sweeping statement, but it’s certainly the case, if you leaf through BBKA News, that pesticides are not viewed as a major problem.

This matters, because in the great decline of bees we have witnessed in recent years, culminating in the mysterious colony collapse disorder, a new generation of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, may be implicated, some claim. Yet some senior British beekeepers and scientists insist the matter is down to mites like varroa, or viruses like nosema, and say pesticides have nothing to do with it.

Continue reading »

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Dec 16

And those government traitors also approved a pesticide that is used to induce cancer in lab animals:

California Approves One Of The World’s Most Dangerous Cancer Chemicals As Pesticide

And your government finishes off local and organic farming and you won’t be allowed to save your seeds:

And Now: Democrats Pull Fast One With S. 510 Food Safety Bill

Recommended reading:

Heavy Honeybee Die-Off Continues; New Study Shows Pollen And Hives Laden With Pesticides

Study: ‘High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee’

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)

Yes, organic bees survive CCD, which almost proves that a pesticide must be responsible for CCD.


The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined–electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

The leaked document (PDF) was put out in response to Bayer’s request to approve use of the pesticide on cotton and mustard. The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees:

Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn’t enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration.

Continue reading »

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May 03

Recommended reading:

Heavy Honeybee Die-Off Continues; New Study Shows Pollen And Hives Laden With Pesticides

Study: ‘High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee’

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)


bees-billions-of-colonies-die-worldwide
Catastrophic collapse: More than three million colonies in America and billions of bees worldwide have died since 2006

The world faces a future with little meat and no cotton because of a catastrophic collapse in bee colonies, experts have warned.

Many vital crops are dependent on pollination by honeybees, but latest figures show a third failed to survive the winter in the U.S.

More than three million colonies in America and billions of bees worldwide have died since 2006.

Pesticides are believed to be a key cause of a crisis known as Colony Collapse  Disorder (CDD), damaging bee health and making them more susceptible to disease.

But scientists do not know for certain and are at a loss how to prevent the disaster. Other potential factors include bloodsucking parasites and infections.

Some experts believe bees are heading for extinction.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the U.S. fell by 34 per cent last  winter, according to a survey by the country’s Agricultural Research Service,  and some commercial beekeepers have reported losses of more than 60 per cent over a year. Continue reading »

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May 02

Recommended reading:

Heavy Honeybee Die-Off Continues; New Study Shows Pollen And Hives Laden With Pesticides

Study: ‘High-Fructose Corn Syrup and Its Toxicity to the Honey Bee’

Organic Bees Surviving Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)


Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

honey-bee-collecting-pollen

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

The decline of the country’s estimated 2.4 million beehives began in 2006, when a phenomenon dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD) led to the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of colonies. Since then more than three million colonies in the US and billions of honeybees worldwide have died and scientists are no nearer to knowing what is causing the catastrophic fall in numbers.

The number of managed honeybee colonies in the US fell by 33.8% last winter, according to the annual survey by the Apiary Inspectors of America and the US government’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

The collapse in the global honeybee population is a major threat to crops. It is estimated that a third of everything we eat depends upon honeybee pollination, which means that bees contribute some £26bn to the global economy. Continue reading »

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Jun 02

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I know this won’t come as a surprise to many of our readers, nor to the many organic beekeepers that have been commenting on our posts, but there have been several reports of organic bee colonies surviving where the ‘industrial’ bee colonies are collapsing. Here is the latest to come to my attention:

Sharon Labchuk is a longtime environmental activist and part-time organic beekeeper from Prince Edward Island…. 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, where 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… – InformationLiberation

That’s funny – that’s just what I said…

Let’s hear it for the natural/organic beekeepers out there! I hope this CCD incident will reinforce that natural systems respond far better to imitation and cooperation than reductionist arbitrary control. Work within the system, observe and learn. There’s a lot more to nature than meets the eye, or the microscope.

You Tube has removed the VIDEO

Further Reading:

May 15, 2007

Source: Celsias

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May 17

Beekeepers are pointing the finger at a Bayer CropScience pesticide marketed under the name Poncho, but government tests aren’t conclusive

In Germany’s bucolic Baden-Württemburg region, there is a curious silence this week. All up and down the Rhine river, farm fields usually buzzing with bees are quiet. Beginning late last week, helpless beekeepers could only watch as their hives were hit by an unprecedented die-off. Many say one of Germany’s biggest chemical companies is to blame.

In some parts of the region, hundreds of bees per hive have been dying each day. “It’s an absolute bee emergency,” Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeeper’s Association, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Fifty to 60 percent of the bees have died on average, and some beekeepers have lost all their hives.”

The crisis hit its peak last weekend. Beekeepers from Germany’s Baden-Württemburg reported hives full of thousands of dead bees. The worst-hit region, according to state officials, was along the upper Rhine river between the towns of Rastatt and Lorrach. The Rhine valley is one of Germany’s prime agricultural regions.

Regional officials spent the week testing bees, pollen, honey and plant materials to look for the die-off’s causes. The Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig, a federal research institute dealing with agricultural issues, set up a special hotline for beekeepers to send in dead bees for analysis. Continue reading »

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Apr 15

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Our previous posts on the mysterious bee disappearances (here, here, and here) have been a very interesting exercise. We’ve had great feedback from farmers, amateur and professional beekeepers, scientists, and dozens of other interested/concerned observers. In the meantime, accumulating reports tell us that the problem is not constrained to the U.S. alone – but that, to one degree or another, empty hives are becoming common in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Poland, and now possibly the UK. Canada, so far, seems unsure if they have the problem, or not. We’ve now also had unconfirmed reports from Brazil.

Personally, I believe situations like this are an opportune moment for reflection – a time to humbly consider a few realities, and perhaps learn a few lessons. Of significance to me is the fact that scientists haven’t got this figured out as yet. It begs the question – which is easier, when dealing with the infinitely complex interactions of nature: 1) predicting specific consequences to our ‘tinkering’ before they occur, or 2) understanding how something happened after-the-fact? I would have thought the latter was the easiest – you know the old saying, “hindsight is a wonderful thing”. Looking back at the results, following the trail of clues, is a lot less challenging than postulating over what could happen. Or, to put it into a framework that might be better understood – if Sherlock Holmes, expert in crime scene deductions, were to turn his attention to predicting crimes rather than solving them, how would he have fared? Short of the kind of psychic predictive skills seen in Minority Report-type science fiction movies, I don’t expect he’d fare so well.

What am I on about, you ask? Simply this – too many people hand scientists the keys to the car, as it were, and bid them take it wherever their employer wishes. Our governments do this, and too many either encourage it, or stand by and let it happen. When the PR departments that front these scientists portray a glorious new world where man manages to, with perfect and meticulous coordination, juggle all the intricacies of the natural world in one hand, whilst cashing in on it and providing world peace and equality with the other – we believe it. Yet, how can we have so much confidence in their ability to read the future, when they are unable to decipher the past and present – a task that should be a damned sight simpler, no?

As Australians are benefiting from an export boom in bees to the U.S., and while the best recommendations from the groups that have been tasked with finding solutions to these problems are to advise which chemicals to use and which not to (PDF), I will list some of the possible causes for the present pollination crisis below (I call it a pollination crisis here, rather than a honeybee crisis, because there are other pollinators that would be lending us a hand – if we hadn’t driven them into exile): Continue reading »

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Mar 14

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( Commentary from the Infinite Unknown:
There will be FOOD SHORTAGES very soon !!!

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” – Albert Einstein )

Without a trace, something is causing bees to vanish by the thousands. But a new task force hopes to finger the culprit and save the valuable crops that rely on the insects.

Pennsylvania beekeeper Dave Hackenberg was the first beekeeper to report to bee researchers what’s become known as colony collapse disorder (CCD).

In October Hackenberg had delivered honeybees to a Florida farm to pollinate crops. The bees typically return to their boxed hives when their work is done. But this time was different.”I came to pick up 400 bee colonies and the bees had just flat-out disappeared,” Hackenberg said. “There were no dead bees, no bees on the ground, just empty boxes.”

“In almost 50 years as a beekeeper, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

CCD has spread throughout 24 states and ruined hundreds of thousands of bee colonies.

Hackenberg has lost roughly 1,900 of his 2,900 hives. Other operators have lost up to 90 percent of their hives. Continue reading »

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