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[BEES!] All the buzz about bees

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[BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:08 pm

Guardian
Why have neonicotinoids been banned?

An increasing number of high-quality scientific studies in the last year have linked neonicotinoids to serious harm in bees. This has raised fears that the pesticides are an important factor in the plummeting populations of bees, along with diseases and widespread loss of habitat.

Is the science conclusive?

No, partly because it's hard to conduct field experiments when neonicotinoids are nearly ubiquitous in farmland. A recent UK government study failed after the control hives that were meant to be free of the pesticides were contaminated by a nearby field. But the studies that have been done have persuaded most European governments that the risk is serious enough to justify a precautionary suspension for two years across the European Union. Chemical companies have not helped their cause by keeping most of their data secret.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Fireball » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:30 pm

Good. I hope it works. Something has to. Colony Collapse Syndrome is an existential threat to our species.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:40 pm

I'm listening to Aussie radio, and their response has been, 'We'll see how it works, we don't have any issues down here, and we have been using the same stuff as they have.'
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Fireball » Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:59 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:I'm listening to Aussie radio, and their response has been, 'We'll see how it works, we don't have any issues down here, and we have been using the same stuff as they have.'
Perhaps a genetic difference in their bees? If so, that could be a way out for the rest of us.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:04 pm

Apparently bees were introduces less than 200 years ago, and the mite causing the issues doesn't exist there ... yet.
And yet this diligent little insect – first brought here in 1822 – kills one or two Australians a year.
...
Despite the potential danger, no-one is celebrating the anticipated arrival in Australia of a tiny invader that’s expected to decimate the nation’s European honey bee population. Identified, described and assigned the Latin name of Varroa ­destructor in 2000 by CSIRO scientist and international mite expert Dr Denis Anderson, the parasite is blamed for many billions of dollars of lost agricultural production worldwide since the 1980s. Although mites are common bee parasites, none is as debilitating to the European honey bee as V. destructor, which Denis and his co-workers believe is a mutation of a Korean mite strain that first appeared during the 1960s and began spreading worldwide two decades later.

It’s now causing havoc for agriculture on every populated continent except Australia and recently became established in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. “There is no longer a question of if it arrives here but when,” Denis says.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by silverjon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:05 am

Fireball1244 wrote:Good. I hope it works. Something has to. Colony Collapse Syndrome is an existential threat to our species.
Not as much as you might think. The European honeybee has been hit hard, and conventional agriculture is pretty heavily reliant on that one species, which has been introduced worldwide. More than anything, it's a testament to the vulnerability of monocultures (as are so frickin many agri-crises).

Native bees and other pollinating insect populations are subject to various environmental pressures (and have even been threatened by competition from honeybees), but they're still around to fill the niche where they belong.

Declining honeybee populations are a threat to honey production, but it doesn't mean all the plants are going to die. It's an alarming trend and it should be a wake-up call that something is broken, but it's far from the end of the world.

I'm not entomologically inclined enough to identify the specific species of bees I get in my yard, but I recognize that there are at least 4-5 different ones I can tell apart by the distinctness of their stripe patterns. Tons of them, just doing what they do... gathering pollen and spreading it around.

Some of my bee resources
http://www.edmontonhort.com/resources/a ... g_bees.php" target="_blank
http://homebuggarden.blogspot.ca/" target="_blank
wot?

To be fair, adolescent power fantasy tripe is way easier to write than absurd existential horror, and every community has got to start somewhere... right?

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by malchior » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:51 am

And another theory sprouts up -- It's high-fructose corn syrup! They are getting fat and lazy and don't feel like maintaining the hive anymore. ;)

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by silverjon » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:10 pm

Interesting. Everything I've ever read about beekeeping relates to the practicalities of it on a small scale (not very much reading because it's not permitted in my city), in which you leave your bees about a third of their honey so that they can survive the winter.

Of course, that wouldn't be acceptable for profit-motivated agribusiness. Feh.

Not that this explains the crashing populations of wild honeybees (which are descended from the imported domestics).
wot?

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by PLW » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:41 pm

Obligatory:

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:46 pm

:lol: Thanks for picking it up.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Teggy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:49 am

So it looks like some gardeners sprayed these same pesticides on some trees in Oregon and unwittingly killed 50,000 bees.

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-scien ... g-lot.html" target="_blank

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:00 am

We may get what's coming to us:

Although their toxicities against insects are well established, their precise effects on mammalian nAChRs remain to be elucidated. Because of the importance of nAChRs for mammalian brain function, especially brain development, detailed investigation of the neonicotinoids is needed to protect the health of human children. We aimed to determine the effects of neonicotinoids on the nAChRs of developing mammalian neurons and compare their effects with nicotine, a neurotoxin of brain development.

Conclusions/Significance
This study is the first to show that ACE, IMI, and nicotine exert similar excitatory effects on mammalian nAChRs at concentrations greater than 1 µM. Therefore, the neonicotinoids may adversely affect human health, especially the developing brain.
Or more accurately, our kids may.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by msduncan » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:53 pm

I am not exaggerating when I say that I *love* honey. Whatever we need to do to save bees and thus save honey is ok with me.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by msduncan » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:54 pm

Teggy wrote:So it looks like some gardeners sprayed these same pesticides on some trees in Oregon and unwittingly killed 50,000 bees.

http://www.treehugger.com/natural-scien ... g-lot.html" target="_blank

Bumble bees don't produce enough honey for me. Not concerned.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu May 14, 2015 5:32 pm

Over 40% colony loss in the US.
Since April 2014, beekeepers lost 42.1% of their colonies, the second highest loss rate in nine years, according to an annual survey conducted by a bee partnership that includes the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
...
But it's not quite as dire as it sounds. That's because after a colony dies, beekeepers then split their surviving colonies, start new ones, and the numbers go back up again, said Delaplane and study co-author Dennis vanEngelsdorp of the University of Maryland.

What shocked the entomologists is that this is the first time they've noticed bees dying more in the summer than the winter, said vanEngelsdorp. The survey found beekeepers lost 27.4% of their colonies this summer. That's up from 19.8% the previous summer.
...
Oklahoma, Illinois, Iowa, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin all saw more than 60% of their hives die since April 2014, according to the survey.
...
Delaplane and vanEngelsdorp said a combination of mites, poor nutrition and pesticides are to blame for the bee deaths. USDA bee scientist Jeff Pettis said last summer's large die-off included unusual queen loss and seemed worse in colonies that moved more.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee held a hearing about colony collapse disorder earlier this week, but didn't allow testimony about the risks of pesticides on bee colonies.

Dick Rogers, chief beekeeper for pesticide-maker Bayer, said the loss figure is "not unusual at all" and said the survey shows an end result of more colonies now than before: 2.74 million hives in 2015, up from 2.64 million in 2014.

That doesn't mean bee health is improving or stable, vanEngelsdorp said. After they lose colonies, beekeepers are splitting their surviving hives to recover their losses, pushing the bees to their limits, Delaplane said.
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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by AWS260 » Thu May 14, 2015 6:03 pm

PLW wrote:Obligatory:

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by ImLawBoy » Fri May 15, 2015 10:22 am

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri May 15, 2015 2:35 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:
Dick Rogers, chief beekeeper for pesticide-maker Bayer, said the loss figure is "not unusual at all" and said the survey shows an end result of more colonies now than before: 2.74 million hives in 2015, up from 2.64 million in 2014.

That doesn't mean bee health is improving or stable, vanEngelsdorp said. After they lose colonies, beekeepers are splitting their surviving hives to recover their losses, pushing the bees to their limits, Delaplane said.
WTF? :liar: Typical.

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Re: [BEES!] EU approves two year ban on certain pesticides

Post by Alefroth » Fri May 15, 2015 3:17 pm

msduncan wrote:
Teggy wrote:So it looks like some gardeners sprayed these same pesticides on some trees in Oregon and unwittingly killed 50,000 bees.
... g-lot.html

Bumble bees don't produce enough honey for me. Not informed.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 19, 2015 1:27 pm

Federal action
A new federal plan aims to reverse America’s declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations by making millions of acres of federal land more bee-friendly, spending millions of dollars more on research and considering the use of fewer pesticides.

While putting different type of landscapes along highways, federal housing projects and elsewhere may not sound like much in terms of action, several bee scientists told The Associated Press that this a huge move. They say it may help pollinators that are starving because so much of the American landscape has been converted to lawns and corn that don’t provide foraging areas for bees.
...
Scientists say bees — crucial to pollinate many crops — have been hurt by a combination of declining nutrition, mites, disease, and pesticides. The federal plan is an “all hands on deck” strategy that calls on everyone from federal bureaucrats to citizens to do what they can to save bees, which provide more than $15 billion in value to the U.S. economy, according to White House science adviser John Holdren.
...
The plan calls for restoring 7 million acres of bee habitat in the next five years. Numerous federal agencies will have to find ways to grow plants on federal lands that are more varied and better for bees to eat because scientists have worried that large land tracts that grow only one crop have hurt bee nutrition.

The plan is not just for the Department of Interior, which has vast areas of land under its control. Agencies that wouldn’t normally be thought of, such as Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Transportation, will have to include bee-friendly landscaping on their properties and in grant-making.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:05 pm

Ontario restricts pesticides:
The Ontario government has unveiled North America’s first agricultural restrictions on a widely used class of pesticides blamed for the decline in bees and other pollinators.

The controversial regulations aimed at reducing the use of neonicotinoid insecticides made by Bayer AG and Syngenta AG by 80 per cent within two years goes into effect on July 1.

The rules, which are intended to improve the health of insects responsible for pollinating about $900-million worth of crops, require that farmers who use neonic-treated seeds to grow corn and soybeans show they have insect problems, and that seed vendors be licensed.

The province said on Tuesday it wants to reduce the overwintering death rate of honey bees to 15 per cent from an average of 34 per cent by controlling the planting of seeds treated with the three most commonly used neonicotinoids.

Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister of the Environment, said the rules are “highly workable” and address farmers’ concerns while reducing damage from neurotoxic pesticides that are persisting in streams and soil and affecting everything from birds and bees to butterflies and aquatic life.

Vendors of other pesticides require licences, and the new Ontario rules simply add neonics to that regime, he noted.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Carpet_pissr » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:34 am

Isgrimnur wrote:Federal action
Ridiculous. Meddling fucking big government. Just let the market take care of this problem!

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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by em2nought » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:09 am

Carpet_pissr wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:Federal action
Ridiculous. Meddling fucking big government. Just let the market take care of this problem!
http://qz.com/107970/scientists-discove ... u-thought/ I'm all for helping bees, it's people I want to let rot. :mrgreen: Oh, and let the military industrial complex rot too, keep the A-10 flying. :horse: Oh, and thanks Obama!
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Kraken » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:23 am

My tomato plants are flowering in vain as the bees are nowhere to be seen...that's typical until the oregano patch flowers and draws their attention, but every year I bite my nails until that happens. Will they show up after the record-breaking winter we had? Being a gardener brings this topic home.

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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:49 am

Co-worker is an amateur beekeeper. I get all my bee related news from the cube next door.

The honey is good, I'll say that much.

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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Brian » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:49 am

Kurz Gezagt's latest video: The Death Of Bees Explained – Parasites, Poison and Humans

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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:20 pm

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the EPA shouldn’t have signed off on Dow AgroSciences’ sulfoxaflor, which is sold under the brand names Transform and Closer, because it didn’t seek necessary, additional tests on it.

“Because the EPA’s decision to unconditionally register sulfoxaflor was based on flawed and limited data, we conclude that the unconditional approval was not supported by substantial evidence,” the court’s opinion reads. “We therefore vacate the EPA’s registration of sulfoxaflor.”

Because existing tests found that the pesticide — which is part of a broad class of insecticides called neonicotinoids — was toxic to bees, letting sulfoxaflor stay approved would have been dangerous for the environment, Circuit Judge Mary Schroeder said.

“In this case, given the precariousness of bee populations, leaving the EPA’s registration of sulfoxaflor in place risks more potential environmental harm than vacating it,” she wrote.

Sulfoxaflor was approved in 2013 for use on a variety of crops, including citrus, potatoes, soybeans, and strawberries. But soon after, a group of U.S. beekeepers sued the EPA, calling on it to rescind the registration because of the pesticide’s toxicity to bees and other pollinators. This court decision was in response to the case.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:52 am

Shrinking tongues
Why? Not for any of the obvious reasons. "It was not a result of decreasing body size, competition from invaders, or co-evolution with flowers in the area," explains SUNY biologist Nicole E. Miller-Struttmann and her colleagues, who examined data reaching from 1960 to 2014, in a press release.

"Instead, it is a result of warming summers, which reduced numbers of the deep flowers these species preferred, forcing the insects to be general foragers capable of feeding across remaining flowers, including many shallow flowers."

The key? Overspecialization. The longer the tongue, the deeper the flower that the bees drink from and pollinate. As summers warm, shorter-tongued bees that can sip from a variety of flowers are doing better than bees that require flowers with deep tubes, explained the researchers in an article appearing in the latest issue of Science, so the bumble bees' tongues are shrinking and the populations of their short-tongued cousins are growing.

Those increasing temperatures – 2014 was the hottest year on record, and 2015 is on track to top it – are wreaking havoc on the flower populations, say the scientists. Summer temperatures just 3 degrees C (5 degrees F) above average can inhibit flower growth, they found. Between 1960 and 1985, only four summers got hot enough to cause problems for flowers. Since 1985, fully half of the summers are too hot for abundant flowering.
...
"Declines in flowering [affect] the majority of the mountain landscape; in these extensive habitats, millions of flowers were lost. Thus, even with gains of a few thousand flowers on the summit, total food resources for alpine bumble bees on Pennsylvania Mountain have fallen by 60% since the 1970s," they write.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by em2nought » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:19 pm

Maybe more of this would help http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/29/us/29 ... d=all&_r=0 , but then do more bees die in your radiator grill?
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Max Peck » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:27 pm

Beinn Eighe's dark bees could aid fight against virus
Honeybees that were once the stuff of legend among bee enthusiasts are playing a key role in a fight against diseases fatal to the insects. Apis mellifera mellifera, a native subspecies of dark European honeybee, were thought to have been wiped out in the British Isles. Rumours it survived in the Highlands were found to be true in 1992. Scientists are now studying the bees to better understand viruses transmitted by Varroa destructor mites. The chocolate-coloured native dark bees are Varroa-free.

'Foster hives'

Experts involved in a European initiative called SmartBees, including scientists from the University of Aberdeen, hope they can provide previously unattainable insights into the immune system of honeybees. The native dark bees in the study are from colonies reared in a project near Beinn Eighe, a mountain in Wester Ross. These bees originate from eggs that were harvested in 2010 from a location 200 miles (321km) from Beinn Eighe. The original site of the dark bees is kept a secret to protect them from harm. The harvested eggs were put in small boxes which were then taped to the hands of apiarists to keep them warm. Beekeepers later placed the eggs in "foster hives" and then raised them as queens.

Bee plague

Margie Ramsay has been breeding dark bees with help from Scottish Natural Heritage, which runs Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. She said: "These queen mothers founded the bee dynasties that bred true on the isolated mountain of Beinn Eighe. Now after only a few years they've grown to produce a thriving, healthy, native dark bee population in and around the gardens, hills and crofts of Kinlochewe."

Apis mellifera mellifera were thought to have been lost after foreign honeybees were introduced to the British Isles to boost commercial honey production in the 19th Century. A bee plague called Isle of Wight Disease was thought to have decimated surviving populations during World War One.

Varroa are a parasitic mites blamed for spreading deformed wing virus. Scientists believe the virus has wipe out billions of honeybees throughout the world.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:00 pm

Guardian
The world’s most widely used insecticide is an inadvertent contraceptive for bees, cutting live sperm in males by almost 40%, according to research. The study also showed the neonicotinoid pesticides cut the lifespan of the drones by a third.

The scientists say the discovery provides one possible explanation for the increasing deaths of honeybees in recent years, as well as for the general decline of wild insect pollinators throughout the northern hemisphere.
...
Neonicotinoids were banned from use on flowering crops in the EU in 2013. The UK opposed the ban and allowed a limited “emergency” lifting of the ban in 2015, but has refused further suspensions this year. There is clear scientific evidence that neonicotinoids harm bees, but there is only a little research showing the pesticides harm the overall performance of colonies.

Previous work has shown that neonicotinoids reduce the number of bumblebee queens produced and severely cuts the survival and reproduction of honeybee queens. But the new research, led by Lars Straub at the University of Bern, Switzerland and published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first to test how neonicotinoids affect male bee fertility.

They exposed drones to the levels of two neonicotinoids, thiamethoxam and clothianidin, seen in fields, and found that they had on average 39% less living sperm compared with unexposed bees. “Any influence on sperm quality may have profound consequences for the fitness of the queen, as well as the entire colony,” said the researchers.

Queen bees perform mating flights soon after emerging to collect and store sperm from multiple males, which is then used for reproduction over the queen’s lifetime. The drones reach sexual maturity at 14 days, but the researchers found 32% of the exposed drones were dead by then, and therefore unable to mate, compared to 17% of the unexposed controls.
...
The researchers also found that exposed drones lived for 15 days compared to 22 days for the controls. They concluded: “For the first time, we have demonstrated that frequently employed neonicotinoid insecticides can elicit important lethal and sub-lethal effects on non-target, beneficial male insects; this may have broad population-level implications.”
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Enough » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:10 pm

I'm still waiting for the conservatives to come out and say the bee crisis is a clever and devious manufactured plot by entomologists to get fat grant money. Cause let me tell you, if you are in the natural sciences the grant money is flowing from federal agencies to work on pollinators right now. :ninja: :wink:
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Grifman
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Grifman » Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:30 pm

Enough wrote:I'm still waiting for the conservatives to come out and say the bee crisis is a clever and devious manufactured plot by entomologists to get fat grant money. Cause let me tell you, if you are in the natural sciences the grant money is flowing from federal agencies to work on pollinators right now. :ninja: :wink:
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by msduncan » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:29 pm

Simple solution: Bee Viagra.
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Zarathud » Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:52 pm

Who knew science would need to employ bee fluffers?
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by msduncan » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:05 am

I've got another idea: Let's mate the European honeybee with the much hardier African bee and then put a few colonies in Brazil. It should result in a more resilient bee.
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It's a college football record 61 bowl appearances.
It's 34 bowl victories.
It's 24 Southeastern Conference Championships.
It's 15 National Championships.

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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:08 am

Africanized Zika bees!
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by tgb » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:08 am

Image
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Re: [BEES!] All the buzz about bees

Post by Smoove_B » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:29 pm

From the EPA site on Naled:
10. Is naled harmful to wildlife including honey bees?

Although naled does pose some risk to aquatic invertebrates (such as shrimp and water fleas) and terrestrial wildlife, it dissipates rapidly and does not persist in the environment. Therefore, risks to aquatic and terrestrial wildlife exist for only a short time, and long term exposure from its use for mosquito control is unlikely.

Applications made between dusk and dawn, while bees are not typically foraging, can reduce exposure to honey bees.
Sounds like maybe the pesticide applicators didn't follow the directions or didn't survey the area first that was going to have it applied. We don't use Naled here in NJ (that I'm aware of) on a broad scale, so I'm a bit curious to learn more and find out specifically why this was selected.

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