Press Release, Sept 19, 2008
Coalition against Bayer Dangers (Germany)
Italy bans Pesticides linked to Bee Devastation
Neonicotinoids now suspended in four European countries
The Italian government banned the use of several neonicotinoid pesticides that are blamed for the deaths of millions of honeybees. The Ministero del Lavoro della Salute e delle Politiche Sociali issued an immediate suspension of […]
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Tim Lovett, President of the BBKA, said: “Bees are probably one of the most economically useful creatures on earth, pollinating a third of all we eat. They provide more than 50 per cent of pollination of wild plants on which birds and mammals depend. We must identify what is killing them and that means research.
The losses have been blamed on a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder, a disease that has also severely affected bee populations in America and Europe, along with a resistant form of the parasitic Varroa mite.
But the cost of the disease is not just in lost bees. The decline in honey bees is threatening the sustainability of home grown food. Bees pollinate more than 90 per cent of the flowering crops we rely on for food, thereby contributing more than an estimated £1 billion a year to the economy. The loss of 90,000 bee colonies last winter – each of which makes a £600 contribution to the agricultural economy each year – will have cost £54 million.
“The decline in honey bee numbers could have a catastrophic effect on food production, putting pollination of fruit and vegetables at risk,” said Mr Lovett. “This will have an inevitable knock on effect in the food supply chain.”
Vanishing honeybees mystify scientists
Sunday April 22, 2007
Go to work, come home. Go to work, come home. Go to work — and vanish without a trace.
Billions of bees have done just that, leaving the crop fields they are supposed to pollinate, and scientists are mystified about why.
The phenomenon was first noticed late last year in the United States, where honeybees are used to pollinate $15 billion worth of fruits, nuts and other crops annually. Disappearing bees also have been reported in Europe and Brazil.
Press Release, Sept 19, 2008
Press Release, August 25, 2008
Coalition against BAYER Dangers (Germany)
Pesticides cause mass death of bees
Germany: Charge against Bayer´s Board of Management
The German Coalition against Bayer Dangers today brought a charge against Werner Wenning, chairman of the Bayer Board of Management, with the Public Prosecutor in Freiburg (south-western Germany). The group accuses Bayer of marketing dangerous pesticides […]Neonics
San Francisco Chronicle, August 19, 2008
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to disclose records about a new class of pesticides that could be playing a role in the disappearance of millions of honeybees in the United States, a lawsuit filed Monday charges.
The Natural Resources Defense Council wants to see the studies that the EPA […]
Now take a look at this page, very interesting video too.
Neonics have become widespread, mostly through their frequent use in treating genetically engineered seeds. If neonics were to blame for CCD, it would make bees the first known species to become a casualty of the biotechnology era.
Last March, the Sierra Club called on the U.S. government to fund emergency research into the neonic connection and, if GM crops are found to be responsible for CCD, to ban the plants. “You look at what’s new exposure, and this is the new exposure,” said Laurel Hopwood, the group’s GM campaigner, from her home office in Cleveland, Ohio.
“This is big. We’re talking about the food supply.”
Hackenberg’s claims appear to coincide with the findings of the world’s largest-ever field trial of GM crops, done for the British government in 2003. The three-year study, which involved 4,000 visits to fields and the counting of 1.5 million insects and birds, found that powerful chemicals used in conjunction with GM crops were highly harmful to bees, butterflies, and birds. Fields of biotech canola and sugar beets had dramatically fewer bees than conventional farms.
As well, a U.S. study in 2003 found that chemical use on GM crops had shot up 32 percent per acre in the previous eight years, while it had fallen on conventional farms by 30 percent.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009
In late 2006, something strange began to happen to America’s honeybees. Colonies that were once thriving suddenly went still, almost overnight. The worker bees that make hives run simply disappeared, their bodies never to be found. Over the past couple of years, nearly one-third of all honeybee colonies have collapsed this way, which led to a straightforward name for the phenomenon: colony collapse disorder (CCD).
This might seem like little more than a tantalizing mystery for entomologists, except for one fact: honeybees provide $15 billion worth of value to U.S. farmers, pollinating crops that range from apples to avocados to almonds. Any number of possible causes for CCD have been put forward, from bee viruses to parasites to environmental triggers like pesticides or even cell-phone transmissions. Despite the Department of Agriculture’s allotment of $20 million a year for the next five years to study CCD, it’s still a mystery – and the bees keep dying. (Read “Why We Should Care About Dying Bees.”)
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) shows that the causes of CCD may be more varied than scientists expect. The bees may be dying not from a single toxin or disease but rather from an assault directed by a collection of pathogens. A research team led by entomologist May Berenbaum at the University of Illinois compared the whole genome of honeybees that came from hives that had suffered from CCD with hives that were healthy. The sick bees exhibited genetic damage that could account for the die-off, and that damage indicated that they might be afflicted with multiple viruses simultaneously. This could weaken them enough to trigger CCD. “It’s like a perfect storm,” says Berenbaum.