• #3
    Know your source.

    The problem of bee death and subsequent colony collapse is not a trivial issue.

    Right now, bees are dying off in numbers that will result in a loss of apian services if the current trend continues.

    If that doesn't scare you, then you should find out for yourself that the loss of bees means a collapse of the world food production system.

    It would be bad especially in the US, where so many of the crops we come to think of as commodities are bee pollinated.

    I suspect that before long we will have laws that make it a crime to willfully harm bees.
    It will be another loss of freedom, but as pesticides get more potent, and our dependence on bees becomes apparent, it will be seen as necessary to our food security, which is already under pressure from drought and heat.
  • #9
    Good post. It's hard for the average person to understand the complexity of the business or the science involved.
    Education is the key.
  • #16
    darn that was rough voting you up.

    we do need bees,yet most products if used as directed will not be around the bee colonies.
  • #42
    @harold_lloyd I think we will see that the genetic modified seeds that have a pesticide incorporated into there DNA will prove to be the primary cause of the bee die off.

    Your comment about the water having problems is an equally dangerous condition here in America.

    People do not realize that with no bees we will have no food; but the drug producers will report big profits.
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  • #6
    Well, I wonder what kind of person they had overseeing the spraying of the trees. I know that city slikkers know little about such things, but then you would think a qualified person would do the spraying. Most every one of us who grew up in the country with gardens and fields know better than this silly act. That's why certain insecticides require a license to purchase and use. But, READ THE DIRECTIONS ON EVERY INSECTICIDE BOTTLE before you use it. Even something a common as Seven Dust can be deadly to the bees that pollinate your crops.
  • #26
    Target likely has a pest control contract with some local company that calls for spraying the trees a specified number of times.
    Someone in an office, who never looks at what's going on in nature, gave the crew a work order.
    The crew boss didn't notice or didn't care that the trees were blooming, and just wanted to get the job done.
  • #53
    @harold_lloyd of the low-bidding contractors who uses illegal alien labor just handed it to his foreman, Jorge, who stopped at the end of the day and did the job for extra pay.
  • #4
    The destruction of bee's is a serious threat and precautions need to be taken.With out the bee's for pollination the food supply will be in serious trouble .That is what all the buzz is about.(pun intended)
  • #24
    @harold_lloyd - That topic actually bridges the partisan ranks like gun control. It's an environmental, existence, farmer, thing. Go Organic!!!
  • #28

    I wish we could just all go organic, but we can't.

    Organic practices give us better food, but not enough of it.

    Unless we want to start reducing the population, we have no choice but to use factory farming methods.

    Will we divide society into those who can afford organic food and those who can't? Organic veggies vs McDonalds?
  • #30
    We can live without politicians but we can't live without honeybees!
    Nice to see politix bring up national issues of relevancy and urgency.
  • #40
    @harold_lloyd - I have to start at the start. I use very little pasture additives. From there we use the 'Moo Poo' on gardens. A good cheap insect repellent is cucumber peelings. Veggie waste is turned right back to the Moo Cows.
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  • #5
    Whole heartedly agree.
    Beekeepers are the backbone of the agricultural community. They face many problems from tracheal and varroa mites, American and European foulbrood, and many other nature related woes. Events like this one are irresponsible. This has always been a huge problem in this nation.

    Today's American bee population is only half of what is was ten years ago. Pollination contracts have soared from $35/hive to $145/hive in some locales.
    This op-Ed hits home for me.
    Although I'm down to hobbiest class today, at one time I ran 110 hives.
    USDA will only through token research into the devastating causal factors, while they are ultimately responsible for allowing the trucking of colonies across the border into Mexico and back into the US knowing the mite infestation was rampant in Mexico.
    Education is needed.
    Beekeeping is complex.
    Pesticides are only part of the issue.
    In general, herbicides kill more bees.
    Bees work many so called "weeds".
  • #77
    Mr Stier - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You evidently know nothing about neonicotinoid pesticides. Your entire argument is that:
    "there was nothing wrong with the pesticide, just the time of application"
    Plausible but 100% wrong.
    Neonics are nerve-gas-derived brain poisons which are SYSTEMIC. They may be sprayed ONTO the plant but they are absorbed INTO the entire living structure of the plant: cells, sap, stem, leaves, flowers, fruit. Since they are absorbed SYSTEMICALLY, they are also present in the pollen and nectar of the flowers, so the poison kills any bee that visits the flower for the entire life cycle of the plant.

    Your second lacuna of ignorance, is that you do not understand that SYSTEMIC insecticides can be applied months or even years before the actual insect-kill occurs. Neonics are often applied as a SEED-COATING, whereby the poison is absorbed by the growing plant - and it may only emerge in the flowers weeks or even months after the seed was planted. The flower is still POISON - even though the flower was never sprayed with any poison.

    Finally, you also seem blissfully unaware that these systemic poisons are highly PERSISTENT in soil and water. They have a 'half-life' of one to four years, so regardless of whether they were applied as a seed-coating, as compost-granules, as a soil drench or as a foliar spray - the entire environment - including the soil, water and the plant itself, can remain lethal for four years. Needless to say, if the treatment is applied annually, the poison-burden builds up in the soil and the water table and can travel great distances to other gardens etc.

    All of this is academic however. What your readers need to really understand, is that these brain poisons have been applied to over 240 million acres of American: corn, wheat, barley, canola, soya, cotton and rice - as well as to potatoes, apples, almonds, blueberries, blackcurrants,- you name it. Every seed of wheat, every grain of corn is coated with the deadliest brain0toxin ever devised by the poison manufacturers. And 98% of that poison remains in the soil - only 2% is absorbed into the living plant. the poison on a SINGLE kernel of corn is enough to kill 200,000 bees, and corn is planted at 15,000 kernels to the acre.
    So all of Americans food is internally laced with a neurotoxin - which is designed to kill brains.

    If you are happy with that - so be it - but don't assume you have the right to force brain poisons down the throats of American children in every mouthful of food they eat . Youi may have shares in Bayer, or Dow, or Monsanto or Syngenta - but if you do, you are morally implicated in the death of 10,000,000 American bee colonies since 1994. The number of dead birds, bumblebees and other wildlife is uncounted, since no profit is involved in their demise.
  • #47
    For a lot of us who farm, we know you have certain windows of use when spraying insecticides for exactly this never want to kill you beneficiary insects like the bees. The sellers need to put big idiot signs on the shelf next to products like this...very important ton read the label with this stuff.
  • #27
    Banning DDT in Africa has resulted in 1.1 child deaths a year, and that's only children. Malaria is an unnecessary human tragedy and a very costly one also. There are many safe pesticides,
    my father-in-law sold them, graduated w/ a degree in agriculture and minored in Chemistry.
    If used properly, by professionals, pesticides work well. All third world countries should be using DDT. In my opinion, it would save the lives of millions of people. I am all for 'natural'
    solutions, however on a magnitude scale , like in Africa, etc., it makes sense to me.
  • #62
    @Zazziness ...Yes, and it's better than billions of people in third world country's dying...Only not to a Liberal, they will never 'get'
    it! That's why I think it's a mental illness. H e l l o!
  • #14
    Dinotefuran has been linked to the colony collapse syndrome of great recent concern, and not only when the bees are sprayed with it. There's a growing body of science indicating the stuff is lethal to colonies over large distances.

    Blaming "inept users" for mass bee kills without consideration of the available data is not persuasive.
  • #82
    Should we also stay away from your cigarettes, dioxins, DDTs and leaded gasoline? Stop living with your head in the sand and realize that new research tells us that the things Man creates are deadly to the environment and if the environment dies, so do you and your loved ones.
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  • #34
    @dontmatter Yes it was, but as long as Arumizy keeps up his anti-fat/anti-foodstamp rants while using that as his avatar, a dig here and there is to be expected.
  • #37
    @Real4WheelDrv And if i was fat on food stamps you might have a point, but since i work to earn the money i use to make my money your point is lost. People should not be getting fat on food stamps, its a suppliment not a way of life.
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  • #7
    Ever notice on the product labels that companies apply usually don't address the use while judgement impaired by stupid.

    3 really good consumer products would be a 'Stupid Repellent', a 'Stupid Indicator', and an electronic device one can wear that alarms when one is about to do something stupid.
  • #22
    @harold_lloyd ssh!

    I would add to Rocker's product list a humor indicator, with different colors. Blue for dirty jokes, etc. Nah, the EPA would ban them.
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  • #81
    Poisoning the natural environment is something humans have become very good at in the quest to grow their population to grossly oversized numbers. Rather than living in balance with nature we are literally at war with it. Bees get lots of attention, but the general extinction rate is at least 100 times the natural background rate. Not good.
  • #74
    Being a farmer ... even I am against using pesticides .... some of the stuff causes cancer and God knows how many people and animals have died because of this crap!

    The pesticides used in this country are far safer than what's used elsewhere .... hint hint ... south of the border ... hehe!

    Let's say they banned pesticides in this country. I got news for you folks ... if you eat any kind of vegetable soup from Campbell's .... most of that garbage comes from across the border where it is sprayed with pesticides that have been banned in this country for more than 50+ years! Since it's processed in this country though they can legally label it as "Made in America" .... lol. Bet you didn't know that?

    Corporate America doesn't give a damn about your safety or anything else for that matter ... it's all about the bottom line! These people are like Gordon Gekko ... greed is good ... rotflmao!

    So banning pesticides drives up cost ... guess what ... Corporate America will buy it from the cheapest seller and re-write the laws to do it so guess where your food will come from then .... that's right ... so unless you want to increase your chances of getting cancer be very careful what you lobby for!

    If your wondering who will pay top dollar for the quality food produced in this country .... the chinese are already buying up most of the commodities in the country .... even they prefer not to eat their own product .... yet they are shipping it over here and you folks are consuming it because it's cheap .... you can thank Wal-Mart for that ... lol!
  • #52
    Some of the commercial pesticides IS linked to colony collapse in bees, runoff poisons the area ecosystems and eventually ends up in the water table. It IS linked to tumours and cancers, male infertility and superweeds are emerging that are resistant to these chemicals. It's funny how a certain big chemical company has a large amount of ex high level employees working in key positions in the government. The FDA, dept of Ag and even a supreme court justice.
    There are other Agriculture techniques that don't involve heavy duty poisons brought to by the same folks that gave us agent orange.
  • #55
    I'm in total agreement with your observations and views.
    Just one note:
    "Colony Collapse", is a specific term
    used to describe the losses from varroa, tracheal mite infestation and more recently " disappearing bee syndrome".
    Losses incurred from pesticides, herbicides and other factors including weather are identifiable and classed as either specific or general losses.
    Most of these losses are preventable with education providing anyone really gives a damn about the future of their food supply.
    It's not easy to stand against the Cargill's, Monsanto's, and ADM's money supply and lobby.
  • #15
    No because they could use a non-patented home remedy to spray blooming plants anytime of the year (to kill aphids and not bees): a mixture of water, vegetable oil and liquid dish soap in a spray device. But done when its not raining outside. This will kill tiny pests but not bees.
    But nobody makes money on home remedies and nobody advertises them in commercial media.
  • #13
    first off these folks braved the heat? crap a lot of us work in it,nothing brave it is just what alot of us do,farmers are out there as well sometimes sunup to sundown.

    from what i have seen over the decades,the farmers at one time could use just about anything they wanted and it did not kill off the bees back then,most would not put something on their produce that would hurt anyone,they do eat what they grow as we do,and they rely on bees so that would be like shooting yourself in the foot.

    all things have to be used as directed or problems start,we had a nut in a crop duster soak our whole job down after being told not to do it while we were on the job,big fine,you bet yet he was not following directions,most things are labeled on their use and how to aply them.
  • #46
    I agree, it couldn't have been that hot there any way. And what about the world wide decline in bees, do they think its all caused by pesticides?
  • #8
    Does anyone in this government know what the hell they are doing? I have known for years we have had a serious problem . When I was young I could never go barefooted in the yard from all the bees on the clover. Now when you see a yard with clover you very seldom see a honey bee. I made my son years ago stop steping on them or catching them in jars and letting them die. This is a serious matter and everyone needs to take it serious.
  • #23
    The govt knows about it, and they working very hard to find a fix. Not just here, but around the world.
    You don't hear politicians talk about it because they don't understand it and they don't know how to fix it.
  • #25
    Most people have no idea how serious its become. It's taken its toll in a stealth but decimating manner as almost all wild colonies have perished, also.
    It's caused northern beekeepers to completely change strategy.
    In years past it was common practice to sacrifice the colonies for financial reasons. In other words to overwinter the bees in those climates about 70 lbs of honey would have to remain in the "supers". These are old figures and prices are much higher today. 70 lbs of honey at 50cents/lb=$35.
    In the spring they purchase a 3lb package from a southern beekeeper for $ 20-25. Net gain,at least $10 hive.
    $10 times 1000 hives=$10,000 in extra revenue. Some outfits run tens of thousands of hives.
    With the advent of the mite infestation, the package industry has all but dwindled because of the two factors of fear of mite transmission to uninfected colonies( it was too late anyway) and the sheer fact so many colonies are lost we spend more time making "nukes" and divisions just to maintain the existing numbers of colonies already in place.
    Now in northern climates, almost all colonies are overwintered.
    I have one yard about 8 miles from my house on 40 acres.
    Things are better today as most farming have ceased there and much of the acreage has been converted back to pasture land.
    Here at my house in town, its the same situation.
    I can sit in the middle of a clover patch all day and not see a honeybee.
    Not a single one.
  • #39
    My bad. I guess I shouldn't be using terminology like
    " yards"= hive locations
    "Nukes"= 3 frame starter hives with a laying queen.
    My mind sometimes takes things for granted.
    Incidentally, as HL mentioned , new info is arriving on the scene. They've isolated a suspected viral infection which is probably spread by the mites themselves.
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  • #99
    Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. 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 identified 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.
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