Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Mikko-kun

Bees in danger - it's not just one chemical

128 posts in this topic

From sott.net article:

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:

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:

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.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no not the bees!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

[...]But besides that point, how many bio farms do you know that use copper sulfate?[...]

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

[...] 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).

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[...] 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"?

[...] 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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For perennial crops, right?

Lets look further - Pyrethrins:

(link)

I am afraid that you are putting organic agriculture in the same pot as conventional agriculture.

And, accoirding to your own link:

(6)

The use of pesticides, which may have detrimental effects

on the environment or result in the presence of residues in

agricultural products, should be significantly restricted.

Preference should be given to the application of preventive

measures in pest, disease and weed control. In addition,

conditions for the use of certain plant protection products

should be laid down

Or in plain English: If yopu do it in a concentration that harms bees you are not authorized to use a label with "bio" as preposition.

And the law governing this is not 889/2008 but (EC) 834/2007 which states in its preamble:

1)

Organic production is an overall system of farm manage-

ment and food production that combines best environ-

mental practices, a high level of biodiversity, the

preservation of natural resources, the application of high

animal welfare standards and a production method in line

with the preference of certain consumers for products

produced using natural substances and processes. The

organic production method thus plays a dual societal role,

where it on the one hand provides for a specific market

responding to a consumer demand for organic products,

and on the other hand delivers public goods contributing to

the protection of the environment and animal welfare, as

well as to rural development.

and in article 5

(f) the maintenance of plant health by preventative measures,

such as the choice of appropriate species and varieties

resistant to pests and diseases, appropriate crop rotations,

mechanical and physical methods and the protection of

natural enemies of pests;

That makes it clear that any type of non-natural production method is only allowed as exception, not as a rule.

Source

And Pyrethrins are a total No-No on Biofarming, which as I pointed out above you seem to confuse with conventional non-GMO farming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[...] 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. [...]

I recall it was in Gaia's Garden (Hemenway) and Permaculture (Mollison) books. Ask yourself mate, why do the plants in nature keep growing even though we dont poison them, and are infact even healthier more often, than the ones that are on our fields. Do you have an explanation for that? Oh right, not edible plants, right... I bet you've not tried to eat them. The wheat that's on the riverside, untended by us, pushing bigger seeds than the one on the fields, for example.

When you turn the soil it's nutrients become more readily available because the soil is more loose, easier for worms to penetrate and do their thing. But you know what's the consequence? You exhaust the soil you turn like that, it gets burned out faster than it regenerates, and you also strip it of whatever regeneration mechanisms it might've had in it's less touched state. Your rich soil quickly becomes not so rich, and thus we fertilize. Try not to fertilize but keep plowing every year for ten years, see what happens. The more you exhaust the soil of it's natural regenerative resources, the more you need to fertilize.

And plowing itself... have you ever tried someone plowing over you? Dragging that heavy metal blunt blade over your body? It would really really hurt, you wouldn't be too healthy after that. It both cuts and squashes. This of course leaves you wondering why there's so much nutrients available in the soil after the plow, more than there was before, and it's I'd say because the organisms have their alarm clocks ringing the moment you start going violent on them with your plow. They release their reserves, breaking themselves sacrificing their regenerative qualities in exchange for a kickstart to grow stronger after a catastrophe. That's what I think is on the work there, a survival or adaptation mechanism that's triggered.

If you're really interested again, try look at the sources instead of asking me. There's a good reason why permaculture hasn't died out. I'm tired of the exchange between us two that goes nowhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bees are indeed in danger. I don't think it's just one chemical, it's the effect of all the chemicals. Some chemicals might be less harmful, but I don't think any are actually good for bees.

I think it's also other agricultural practices that hurt bees too. Like moving their hives around too much to get them from crop to crop, and forcing them into a diet of only one crop- no wonder they like to hit up the other weeds and plants, bees like variety too.

I got problems with a lot of commercial agriculture practices, but this thread is about bees. So I probably better stop here.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bees are indeed in danger. I don't think it's just one chemical, it's the effect of all the chemicals. Some chemicals might be less harmful, but I don't think any are actually good for bees.

I think it's also other agricultural practices that hurt bees too. Like moving their hives around too much to get them from crop to crop, and forcing them into a diet of only one crop- no wonder they like to hit up the other weeds and plants, bees like variety too.

I got problems with a lot of commercial agriculture practices, but this thread is about bees. So I probably better stop here.

When it finally came to pass that i would end up back in the States, for a short while I thought about abandoning my Greek farm and take my bees with me. Analysis showed that there were so many pesticides and insecticides left in the environment from decades past, even in areas with so little agriculture as the Northern Peninsula of Michigan that I decided to keep the farm on the island and leave the bees there.

It is not just a combination of current chemicals, it is the concentration of residues from the past and present that make the situation so desperate. And no end in sight.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good point Questionmark. You have to wonder where do all those chemicals end up eventually, what happens to them over time. It's a matter of time before they break into more benign compounds, but how much time, I wouldn't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it finally came to pass that i would end up back in the States, for a short while I thought about abandoning my Greek farm and take my bees with me. Analysis showed that there were so many pesticides and insecticides left in the environment from decades past, even in areas with so little agriculture as the Northern Peninsula of Michigan that I decided to keep the farm on the island and leave the bees there.

It is not just a combination of current chemicals, it is the concentration of residues from the past and present that make the situation so desperate. And no end in sight.

Yep, this is part of my problem with commercial agriculture in general. We have already dumped a lot of crap into the soil that sits around for heavens knows how long... And we just keep chugging along with it. Honeybees are a canary in the coal mine.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am afraid that you are putting organic agriculture in the same pot as conventional agriculture.

And, accoirding to your own link:

Or in plain English: If yopu do it in a concentration that harms bees you are not authorized to use a label with "bio" as preposition.

And the law governing this is not 889/2008 but (EC) 834/2007 which states in its preamble:

and in article 5

That makes it clear that any type of non-natural production method is only allowed as exception, not as a rule.

[...]

Are you saying farmer will rather see his all crops being decimated by pests than overuse allowed substances? Don't think so.

[...]And Pyrethrins are a total No-No on Biofarming, which as I pointed out above you seem to confuse with conventional non-GMO farming.

Are you saying table "Substances of crop or animal origin" on the page 36 is incorrect?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you saying table "Substances of crop or animal origin" on the page 36 is incorrect?

No, but as it refers to article 5, and that says

(5)

Organic plant production involves varied cultivation

practices and limited use of fertilisers and conditioners of

low solubility, therefore these practices should be specified.

In particular, conditions for the use of certain non-synthetic

products should be laid down

as I pointed out before it does not constitute an authorization to use these but in limited special cases, as I claimed all along. If you want to quote read the whole thing, not just the part you can play polemics with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recall it was in Gaia's Garden (Hemenway) and Permaculture (Mollison) books. Ask yourself mate, why do the plants in nature keep growing even though we dont poison them, and are infact even healthier more often, than the ones that are on our fields. Do you have an explanation for that? Oh right, not edible plants, right... I bet you've not tried to eat them. The wheat that's on the riverside, untended by us, pushing bigger seeds than the one on the fields, for example.[...]

I would try to eat Amanita phalloides, but someone in my head says it would happen just once.

[...]

When you turn the soil it's nutrients become more readily available because the soil is more loose, easier for worms to penetrate and do their thing. But you know what's the consequence? You exhaust the soil you turn like that, it gets burned out faster than it regenerates, and you also strip it of whatever regeneration mechanisms it might've had in it's less touched state. Your rich soil quickly becomes not so rich, and thus we fertilize. Try not to fertilize but keep plowing every year for ten years, see what happens. The more you exhaust the soil of it's natural regenerative resources, the more you need to fertilize.

And plowing itself... have you ever tried someone plowing over you? Dragging that heavy metal blunt blade over your body? It would really really hurt, you wouldn't be too healthy after that. It both cuts and squashes. This of course leaves you wondering why there's so much nutrients available in the soil after the plow, more than there was before, and it's I'd say because the organisms have their alarm clocks ringing the moment you start going violent on them with your plow. They release their reserves, breaking themselves sacrificing their regenerative qualities in exchange for a kickstart to grow stronger after a catastrophe. That's what I think is on the work there, a survival or adaptation mechanism that's triggered.

[...]

Ok, may I suggest experiment:

1) for starters - drop seeds in your warmhouse in random order - using shovel/pitchfork - VERBOTEN! (have you ever tried someone shoveling, or poking you with pitchfork?);

2) put only as much organic fertilizer as you eat (1kg of your waste (ok you can substitute it with the same amount of manure) for 1kg of, say, tomatoes; no dispersing), or only what falls on the ground naturally - leaves (here you can rake as much leaves from outside area which is equal to area of your warmhouse);

3) no weeding out (picking out weeds in nature does not exists) - VERBOTEN!

4) next year you aren't allowed to seed deliberately (only what falls from the plants, or grows from tubers left in the ground, or from your back end) - throwing seeds on the ground - VERBOTEN!

5) continue this experiment for, say, five years;

6) tell the whole world about your amazing success.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, but as it refers to article 5, and that says

(5)

Organic plant production involves varied cultivation

practices and limited use of fertilisers and conditioners of

low solubility, therefore these practices should be specified.

In particular, conditions for the use of certain non-synthetic

products should be laid down

as I pointed out before it does not constitute an authorization to use these but in limited special cases, as I claimed all along. If you want to quote read the whole thing, not just the part you can play polemics with.

Again: Are you saying organic farmer will rather see his all crops being decimated by pests than overuse allowed substances, and then put different amount (number) on the paper? Nevertheless, pesticides (and some more harmful than synthetic) are being used in organic farming - thats a FACT.

Another thing: I have sneaking suspicion (though have no proof, but tried to find some studies), that organic farmers are benefiting from pesticides used on surrounding conventional fields, i.e. pests don't spread across large areas. If we would have only farming without use of modern pesticides and fertilizers, or overuse of less potent "organic" pesticides, I'm almost 100% sure - inside your fridge would be desert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.