News just in provides compelling evidence that Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticides are a significant cause of bee deaths in Britain and elsewhere, supporting the case that we have been making for years.
The British Bee Keepers Association must now climb down from the fence and clearly state their opposition to the use of these deadly chemicals on agricultural land, or face even more derision and condemnation from beekeepers and other associations both in the UK and abroad.
A key study, published in a respected scientific journal, demonstrates that neonicotinoids are routinely found in lethal doses in samples of dead bees, in seed planter exhaust, in fields where seeds had been planted and in dandelion flowers growing nearby. This shows clear pathways by which bees are being poisoned and removes any last shred of an excuse for the BBKA to continue to toe the pesticide industry line that these substances are 'safe if used correctly'.
If you keep bees within flying distance of agricultural land where maize, oilseed-rape (Canola) or other crops are grown using clothianidin-coated seed, YOUR BEES ARE IN DANGER. Likewise, all other pollinating insects - including endangered bumblebees - that live on or near that land will be poisoned, as will the birds and reptiles that feed on them. There is also growing evidence of possible long-term effects on human health.
Read the paper here - http://tinyurl.com/776y97v
PLEASE write to the BBKA and ask them to put their weight behind efforts to ban these deadly toxins from our countryside, while we still have some bees left.
Send an email to email@example.com asking the BBKA to STOP supporting the pesticide industry and to work to have neonicotinoids banned in the UK. (More BBKA email addresses below)
If you are a BBKA member, pass this email around your local association - the more people who understand what is going on, the better. Make sure this issue is discussed and a resolution is passed to BBKA HQ.
If you are a gardener, look out for neonicotinoids in household sprays and compost: the common ones are Imidacloprid, Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Fipronil (also found in pet flea treatments). Return all such sprays to the shop and tell the manager why you will not buy them. Make sure your local gardening club / allotment association are aware of the dangers.
Gardeners may also be interested to know that Glyphosate (Roundup) has recently been shown to be much more toxic that Monsanto would like you to believe. In this report, Don Huber, Emeritus Professor at Purdue University and senior scientist on USDA’s National Plant Disease Recovery System, links glyphosate to reduced nutrient availability in plants, increasing plant diseases, the emergence of a new pathogen, animal illness and possible effects on human health.
EXTRACT FROM THE PURDUE PESTICIDE RESEARCH PAPER
"Our results demonstrate that bees are exposed to these compounds and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period. During spring, extremely high levels of clothianidin and thiamethoxam were found in planter exhaust material produced during the planting of treated maize seed. We also found neonicotinoids in the soil of each field we sampled, including unplanted fields. Plants visited by foraging bees (dandelions) growing near these fields were found to contain neonicotinoids as well. This indicates deposition of neonicotinoids on the flowers, uptake by the root system, or both. Dead bees collected near hive entrances during the spring sampling period were found to contain clothianidin as well, although whether exposure was oral (consuming pollen) or by contact (soil/planter dust) is unclear. We also detected the insecticide clothianidin in pollen collected by bees and stored in the hive."
"These findings clarify some of the mechanisms by which honey bees may be exposed to agricultural pesticides throughout the growing season. These results have implications for a wide range of large-scale annual cropping systems that utilize neonicotinoid seed treatments."
BBKA EMAIL ADDRESSES
PRESIDENT - Martin Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAIRMAN - Brian Ripley - email@example.com
VICE CHAIRMAN - Dr David Aston - firstname.lastname@example.org
TREASURER - Michael Sheasby - email@example.com
BBKA News and Year Book Editor – Sharon Blake firstname.lastname@example.org
Examinations Board Secretary – Val Francis email@example.com
Public Affairs Director – Tim Lovett firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr David Bancalari - email@example.com
Doug Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Deaves - email@example.com
Brian Dennis - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dawn Girling - email@example.com
John Hendrie - firstname.lastname@example.org
Roger Patterson - email@example.com
Julian Routh - firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Young - email@example.com
Let's make 2012 the year that British bee keepers take positive action to clean up our countryside - for the sake of the bees.