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  • Swing & a miss on bee-harming pesticides | Honey Bee Haven
    honey bee losses and calls for state plans to increase habitat for pollinators it fails to directly address the impact of neonicotinoids and other insecticides despite crystal clear science that these chemicals are impacting pollinators The creation of this inter agency task force led jointly by USDA and EPA signaled a renewed commitment at the federal level to address the crisis facing bees and other pollinators And while regulators were formulating their new strategy more than four million beekeepers farmers scientists and concerned advocates across the country urged them to directly and meaningfully address the issue of bee toxic pesticides Unfortunately the plan falls short Goals without a plan The task force strategy focuses on three goals Reduce honey bee colony losses to economically sustainable levels Increase monarch butterfly numbers to protect the annual migration and Restore or enhance millions of acres of land for pollinators through combined public and private action All important certainly But it s unclear how regulators intend to meet their goal of reducing annual honey bee losses to an economically sustainable average of 15 commonplace for healthy hives when losses in recent years have hovered around 30 40 or more Recent reports show that last

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/swing-miss-bee-harming-pesticides (2016-02-12)
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  • Newest news on bee-harming neonics | Honey Bee Haven
    impacts on wild bees Wild pollinators make a significant contribution to ecosystems and pollination in certain cases wild bees alone have been known to fully pollinate crops The funny thing about these seed coatings is that they are used prophylactically This means if you re a farmer you plant seeds pre coated with neonics without knowing whether the pests these seed coatings intend to kill are even in your field So you re basically buying the treatment without even knowing if you need the treatment The other not so funny thing is that the use of seed coatings has driven a major increase in the use of neonics To quote a recent study 34 44 of soybean fields and 79 100 of maize acreage in the U S were planted with pre treated seeds in 2011 Bees may prefer a side of neonics The other recent study tested how neonics influence the feeding habits of honey bees and bumblebees using sugar water spiked with one of three commonly used neonicotinoids Both species of bee preferred sugar water spiked with the neonics thiamethoxam or imidacloprid even though bees didn t taste the neonics and even though they ate less when feeding on the neonic sugar solutions The authors hypothesized that bees might prefer the neonic laced sugar water because of pharmacological action on receptors in bees brains basically the bees may have gotten a buzz Based on these results it looks like bees can t control exposure to neonics in their food And because there s ample evidence that neonics have adverse effects on bees at sublethal doses this is again bad news for bees What s an ecosystem service and why should I care And finally the European report Conducted by an expert committee of 13 scientists this study reviewed

    Original URL path: http://www.honeybeehaven.org/content/newest-news-bee-harming-neonics (2016-02-12)
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