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Bees in danger - it's not just one chemical

bee deaths chemicals studies

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#1    Mikko-kun

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:43 PM

From sott.net article:

Quote

As we've written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America's apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

...

But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have indentified a witch's brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

...

The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

Also from the first link in the article:

Quote

But scientists increasingly believe several interacting factors—from disease-carrying parasites to poor nutrition to pesticides—are responsible for the mass die-off. For instance, the report says, studies have shown that exposure to even non-fatal levels of neonicotinoids may make bees more susceptible to disease.

And finally the solution the article offers:

Quote

So how to save the bees? One answer: Breed better bees. The report recommends stepping up efforts to identify genetic traits in particular bees that make them resistance to suspected causes of CCD. Some honey bees, it turns out, take “suicidal risks” when infected with disease to prevent spreading the contagion to the colony.

I dont know if any of you see anything wrong with that, but I do. How about we stop using toxins on our fields? Plants produce their own toxins and have their own immune system, that how they survive together in nature. And though you might not see nature itself always offering us an abundant harvest like our field seems to do, that's just a matter of rearranging the way nature places the species together.

Toxin-free natural farming could give us a break from bee-deaths. Only you'd need more people work on it, though it ain't said to be that heavy work after your farm is mature and working properly, mostly just picking up the harvest. Also supporting community gardens and growing of your own food, but those seem to be less-heard ideas in general. Why, I truly dont know, maybe because many people dont seem to talk about it. I'm pushing my own agenda here, but the way I see it, there's not much more important things to humanity right now than this. Proven threat, and we have means with which to repair this, and it's pretty large-scale.

Preserving nature and producing foods can be a parallel thing without losing efficiency apart from needing more labor force according to 'A Farm for the Future' document (look it up on youtube or a documentary vid pages), but seems they're not parallel when you use toxins we now have. Not according to all this.

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#2    brlesq1

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:07 AM

I read about that study. Toxin-free farming is all well and good, but you're going up against huge, powerful corporations who have a vested interest in keeping our fields poisoned, and d*** the bees.

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#3    Rafterman

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:56 AM

View PostMikko-kun, on 27 July 2013 - 05:43 PM, said:

From sott.net article:



Also from the first link in the article:



And finally the solution the article offers:



I dont know if any of you see anything wrong with that, but I do. How about we stop using toxins on our fields? Plants produce their own toxins and have their own immune system, that how they survive together in nature. And though you might not see nature itself always offering us an abundant harvest like our field seems to do, that's just a matter of rearranging the way nature places the species together.

Toxin-free natural farming could give us a break from bee-deaths. Only you'd need more people work on it, though it ain't said to be that heavy work after your farm is mature and working properly, mostly just picking up the harvest. Also supporting community gardens and growing of your own food, but those seem to be less-heard ideas in general. Why, I truly dont know, maybe because many people dont seem to talk about it. I'm pushing my own agenda here, but the way I see it, there's not much more important things to humanity right now than this. Proven threat, and we have means with which to repair this, and it's pretty large-scale.

Preserving nature and producing foods can be a parallel thing without losing efficiency apart from needing more labor force according to 'A Farm for the Future' document (look it up on youtube or a documentary vid pages), but seems they're not parallel when you use toxins we now have. Not according to all this.

What gives you the impression that natural and organic farming doesn't use pesticides and fungicides?



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#4    Rlyeh

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 11:01 AM

Oh no not the bees!


#5    questionmark

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 12:11 PM

View PostRafterman, on 20 August 2013 - 09:56 AM, said:

What gives you the impression that natural and organic farming doesn't use pesticides and fungicides?

Could you point out what pesticides and fungicides (if we exclude nettle tea, innocuous to bees) is used by biological farming that conforms to the set norm to merit that adjective?

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#6    Rafterman

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 20 August 2013 - 12:11 PM, said:



Could you point out what pesticides and fungicides (if we exclude nettle tea, innocuous to bees) is used by biological farming that conforms to the set norm to merit that adjective?

Here's a little start:

http://www.ocf.berke...rganictext.html

With the important point being, many "organic" pesticides were used when we had nothing better and are much more highly toxic than many of the current synthetic pesticides in use today.  The problem with the natural movement is that, in essence, they want to turn back 100+ years of agricultural innovation.  And while this may seem all well and good to the "natural types" out there, folks seem to forget that a lot of people used to starve due to things like crop failure, insects, etc.



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#7    questionmark

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 08:49 PM

View PostRafterman, on 20 August 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

Here's a little start:

http://www.ocf.berke...rganictext.html

With the important point being, many "organic" pesticides were used when we had nothing better and are much more highly toxic than many of the current synthetic pesticides in use today.  The problem with the natural movement is that, in essence, they want to turn back 100+ years of agricultural innovation.  And while this may seem all well and good to the "natural types" out there, folks seem to forget that a lot of people used to starve due to things like crop failure, insects, etc.

You should read your own links, as you will find that it says nowhere that any of those nettle teas are more toxic, it says that they are not as effective. But that is something we all knew. We are not discussing effectiveness, we are discussing ecological impact. Or in plain English: That for the short term gain we are incurring in the long term destruction of the soils and through the residue in the produce the medium term endangering of human and animal health.

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#8    bmk1245

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:03 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 20 August 2013 - 12:11 PM, said:

Could you point out what pesticides and fungicides (if we exclude nettle tea, innocuous to bees) is used by biological farming that conforms to the set norm to merit that adjective?
Bordeaux mixture:

Quote

Bees are endangered by Bordeaux mixture [1]
(link)

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#9    Spacenut56

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:11 PM

I also was just reading a story about this in a local newspaper, and fungicides were also mentioned.


#10    questionmark

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:12 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 20 August 2013 - 09:03 PM, said:

Bordeaux mixture:
(link)

reading the first sentence make you stall:

The information in this profile may be out-of-date. It was last revised in 1996. EXTOXNET no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

But besides that point, how many bio farms do you know that use copper sulfate? I know in the US it is allowed (in most other countries if it has the  adjective "bio" it is not). Besides that it has only two real applications: Potato Blight (crop not frequented by bees) and Tomato Blight (also bee safe as bees don't like nightshade plants).

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#11    bmk1245

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:30 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 20 August 2013 - 09:12 PM, said:

reading the first sentence make you stall:

The information in this profile may be out-of-date. It was last revised in 1996. EXTOXNET no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
[...]
Does it make that stuff innocuous?

View Postquestionmark, on 20 August 2013 - 09:12 PM, said:

[...]But besides that point, how many bio farms do you know that use copper sulfate?[...]
Don't know exact number (percentage), but see below.

View Postquestionmark, on 20 August 2013 - 09:12 PM, said:

[...] I know in the US it is allowed (in most other countries if it has the  adjective "bio" it is not). Besides that it has only two real applications: Potato Blight (crop not frequented by bees) and Tomato Blight (also bee safe as bees don't like nightshade plants).


Quote

In addition to its use to control fungal infection on grape vines, the mixture is also widely used to control potato blight, peach leaf curl and apple scab.[1] It is approved for organic use, so is often used by organic gardeners where nonorganic gardeners would prefer other controls.
(link; bolding mine)
Please note when cited source was published.


Edit: removed duplicates

Edited by bmk1245, 20 August 2013 - 09:31 PM.

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#12    Mikko-kun

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 10:38 PM

View PostRafterman, on 20 August 2013 - 08:41 PM, said:

Here's a little start:

http://www.ocf.berke...rganictext.html

With the important point being, many "organic" pesticides were used when we had nothing better and are much more highly toxic than many of the current synthetic pesticides in use today.  The problem with the natural movement is that, in essence, they want to turn back 100+ years of agricultural innovation.  And while this may seem all well and good to the "natural types" out there, folks seem to forget that a lot of people used to starve due to things like crop failure, insects, etc.

I dont know about what the rest of the natural movement does, I'm not part of any movement except permaculture, and there we dont turn things back 100 years but scrap the plow-farming completely. In plow-farming you must have all toxins to make the plants more resistant to pests, fungi, disease and conditions, because when you plow you wreck their natural resistance. Plow-farming is a product of an aquarian ideal that man-made technology and mechanisms are to be sought-after in this world, combined with control-freakism to subjugate the unpredictable nature. It just hanged around to become a 10 000 year old widespread habit.

And for clarification: in permaculture we dont need to put poisons to nature because we work to preserve and build up their natural immunity system through controlling the whole. Plants actually have immunity systems that work, otherwise they wouldn't had survived without our help.

Edited by Mikko-kun, 20 August 2013 - 10:40 PM.

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#13    bmk1245

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:56 AM

View PostMikko-kun, on 20 August 2013 - 10:38 PM, said:

[...] In plow-farming you must have all toxins to make the plants more resistant to pests, fungi, disease and conditions, because when you plow you wreck their natural resistance. [...]
Where did you get that "pearl of wisdom"?


View PostMikko-kun, on 20 August 2013 - 10:38 PM, said:

[...] Plow-farming is a product of an aquarian ideal that man-made technology and mechanisms are to be sought-after in this world, combined with control-freakism to subjugate the unpredictable nature. It just hanged around to become a 10 000 year old widespread habit.

And for clarification: in permaculture we dont need to put poisons to nature because we work to preserve and build up their natural immunity system through controlling the whole. Plants actually have immunity systems that work, otherwise they wouldn't had survived without our help.
Well then, you have to use varieties that were 10000 years ago (heck, you'd have very scant choices), because what you have on your table do not occur naturally. Selection for taste, flavor, looks, etc does not mean plant will be resistant to pests, diseases, etc., and otherwise - resistant plant might not only be of terrible taste, but also more poisonous for human consumption.

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
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#14    questionmark

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:08 PM

View Postbmk1245, on 20 August 2013 - 09:30 PM, said:

Does it make that stuff innocuous?


Don't know exact number (percentage), but see below.




(link; bolding mine)
Please note when cited source was published.


Edit: removed duplicates

And I stand by my statement that while authorized in the US in Europe it is only applicable in very special cases as you can read here(even in your native language). But I guess you had a slight oversight when reading the whole sentence.

Edited by questionmark, 21 August 2013 - 01:09 PM.

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#15    bmk1245

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 01:40 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 21 August 2013 - 01:08 PM, said:

And I stand by my statement that while authorized in the US in Europe it is only applicable in very special cases as you can read here(even in your native language). But I guess you had a slight oversight when reading the whole sentence.
For perennial crops, right?

Lets look further - Pyrethrins:

Quote

Pyrethrins are “highly toxic” to bees; 0.02 micrograms is sufficient to kill a bee
(link)

Arguing with fool is like playing chess with pigeon: he will scatter pieces, peck King's crown, crap on bishop, and fly away bragging how he won the game... (heard once, author unknown).
Zhoom! What was that? That was your life, Mate! Oh, that was quick. Do I get another? Sorry, Mate. That's your lot. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese).




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