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  • Latest News | Honey Bee Haven
    highly toxic to bees This is a real and important much needed win for pollinators Greg Loarie the lead attorney for the national beekeeper groups that brought the suit Pollinator Stewardship Council American Read more about Court sides with bees says no to pesticide Log in or register to post comments Guest Blog Pollinators the rigged neonic seed market Submitted by panna on Tue 08 11 2015 19 38 Farmers are no different from any buyer they want to know what they re buying how much it costs and its expected performance But in the brave new world of agricultural seeds where multiple traits and technology are stacked like Microsoft s operating system it s becoming more and more difficult for farmers to separate out what is really needed and discover how much each piece is costing them In the case of neonicotinoid neonic seed coatings used as a pesticide both the effectiveness and costs are somewhat of a mystery according to a new paper published by IATP today As farm income is expected to drop more than 30 percent from last year farmers are carefully examining all input costs to see where they can save With their financial cost and actual effectiveness unclear neonic seed coatings may be one of those places to cut costs But the real cost of neonics likely goes well beyond the input price A growing body of science directly implicates neonicotinoid neonic pesticides as a contributor to the significant decline of bees and other pollinators Neonics are applied in multiple ways in agriculture and horticulture but are most prevalent as a seed coating material for commodity crops like corn and soybeans Based on convincing and mounting evidence beekeepers scientists and other individuals concerned about pollinators are working together to spur regulatory action and shifts in the marketplace to reduce the use of neonics In May 2015 the White House issued an interagency National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators The strategy focuses on efforts to restore honey bee loss increase monarch butterfly populations and restore pollinator habitats But the White House plan virtually ignores the on the ground farm economics that directly contribute to rising neonic use in seed coatings specifically the role of a few large companies that have a stranglehold on the seed market This concentrated market power in the seed industry has allowed a few multi billion dollar companies like Bayer Syngenta and Monsanto to significantly limit U S farmers choices around seed coating In most cases the seed is coated with neonics whether wanted or not and our paper found that this lack of choice has made it difficult for farmers and their advisors to assess the actual value of these pesticides in crop production or to understand their true financial and environmental costs Most farmers understand the value of pollinators to plant growth and the food system and would not intentionally harm them However without credible information on the risks or the freedom to

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/latest-news (2016-02-12)
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  • Take the Pledge | Honey Bee Haven
    systemic and other pesticides Policymakers have yet to make pollinator health a top priority and current regulations don t provide adequate protection for bees But a groundswell of concerned citizens gardeners and beekeepers is building to protect bees Join the movement Take the pledge to provide a honey bee haven with access to pesticide free food shelter and water It doesn t take much space a few containers of the right kinds of plants tucked into your garden on a balcony or front stoop will get you started Guiding Principles Protect bees from pesticides Pesticides kill beneficial insects including pollinators and natural enemies that control common pests like aphids Certain pesticides including neonicotinoids are highly toxic to honey bees in particular Instead of using pesticides explore organic ways to grow healthy plants such as using compost for healthy soil and controlling pests with homemade remedies and biocontrols like ladybugs Provide a variety of food for bees Consider clustered plantings with staggered blooming times so there is food throughout the year and particularly in the late summer and fall Native plants are always best and inter planting and hedgerows provide additional forage on farms Provide a year round clean source of

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/take-pledge (2016-02-12)
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  • EPA: Finally connecting the dots? | Honey Bee Haven
    conditional registration for that EPA is supposed to license register pesticides only if they meet standards for protection of the environment and human health But pesticide law allows EPA to waive these requirements and grant a conditional registration of a new pesticide when health and safety data are lacking In other words this loophole allows companies to sell a pesticide before EPA gets safety data And it s a fairly common practice According to research from the National Resources Defense Council as many as 65 of more than 16 000 pesticides have been allowed on the market through this loophole EPA s Jim Jones Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention noted that this is the agency s first time assessing the health of the colony for the neonicotinoid pesticides U S beekeepers started sounding the alarm about dramatic bee declines in 2006 and every year since have reported losing a third or more of their hives Today most scientists agree that there are multiple challenges at play including habitat loss pathogens and pests with pesticides as a compounding factor As we ve noted before a growing body of independent science has highlighted the harmful impacts of neonics on bees and other pollinators ranging from immediate death to disrupted navigation reduced foraging capacity and impaired immunity to common disease The missing pieces In addition to overlooking synergistic effects with other pesticides EPA s piecemeal approach to reviewing the impacts of neonics on pollinators doesn t do enough to look at how bees are exposed to neonics in the field For instance the agency s chronic toxicity measures are still too short 10 days A study that looks at neonic impacts on honey bees for 30 days estimates that much lower doses may cause long term lethal

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/epa-finally-connecting-dots (2016-02-12)
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  • A win for bees | Honey Bee Haven
    populations A close cousin to neonicotinoid pesticides sulfoxaflor is pervasive in treated crops and acts on the same receptors in bee brains It was also one more in the line of new bee toxic chemicals that EPA and manufacturers have been hustling toward approval Pulling sulfoxaflor off the market will mean the product can no longer be applied to nuts fruits and vegetables around the country some of the very crops that rely on bees for pollination While EPA missed an important opportunity to stop the export of this troublesome pesticide it s still a clear win for bees and beekeepers in the U S Focus on the pesticide problem Despite federal officials moving slowly to address the wider spectrum of bee harming pesticides beekeepers are keeping the pressure on Darren Cox a commercial beekeeper from Utah and president of the American Honey Producers Association highlighted the priority and urgency of the pesticide problem at the California convention Our beekeeper members have made it clear that pesticides are their number one issue of concern Despite efforts to blame mites or the practices of beekeepers the reality is that widespread pesticide use particularly systemic pesticides poses a significant threat to our livelihood And that may be why remarks from state officials at the same convention didn t land very well One representative from the CA Department of Food and Agriculture in speaking to convention goers placed virtually all responsibility on beekeepers she encouraged them to register all their hives with local and state officials so they would have a record of hive locations And she told beekeepers to pick up and move bee operations when they encounter a potential threat from nearby pesticide applications a wholly unrealistic option These approaches simply ignore the reality of lingering residues in crops soil and

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/win-bees (2016-02-12)
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