Agronomist posts tweet showing neonic effectiveness; then the fun really began

From: The Western Producer

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So my initial reaction was to postpone judgment when Gregory Sekullic tweeted a picture of a canola field, where half the picture is of canola treated with neonicotinoids and the other half of the picture is of canola not treated with neonicotinoids.

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I don’t know for certain whether neonicotinoids are as effective at combating flea beetle infestations as Sekullic’s picture suggests. However, I’m definitely leaning in that direction after seeing Sekullic’s tweet, as well as the reactions that producers and other agronomists had to it.

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Leave a Comment August 3, 2015

Beepocalypse Myth Handbook: Dissecting claims of pollinator collapse

From: Genetic Literacy Project

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Furthermore, the worldwide trajectory for bee colonies has been upward for over half a century. Honeybees are not on the verge of extinction or irreversible decline and the world will not face mass starvation. That’s just scare rhetoric.

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Lab vs. Field: Realistic studies and real-life experience demonstrate pesticides and bees co-exist 

Large-scale field studies – four in Canada, one in the UK, four in Europe, most done under Good Lab Practices — have reached the same conclusion: there is no observable adverse effect on bees at the colony level from field-realistic exposure to neonicotinoid-treated crops.

Leave a Comment July 31, 2015

We May Be on the Outs from the Catastrophic Beemageddon

From: RYOT.org

Alex Smith

Nine years ago beekeepers were worried a “Beemageddon” was on the way with hives everywhere collapsing. The loss of honey bees was putting $15 billion in crops US honey bees pollinate on the line. In a slice of good news, it looks like honey bees are on the up.

This month the USDA reported that the bee colony count in the States went from 2.4 million back when “colony collapse disorder” (or CCD) started in 2006 to 2.7 million last year. This is the most hives they seen since 1994.

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Leave a Comment July 29, 2015

US EPA extends comment period on proposal to protect bees from pesticides

From: EPA via AgroNews

The U.S. EPA is extending the comment period on its proposed plan to prohibit the use of all highly toxic pesticides when crops are in bloom and bees are present under contract for pollination services. Initially released on May 29, 2015, the plan also recommends that states and tribes develop pollinator protection plans and best management practices.

The 30-day extension ends on August 28 and will be announced in the Federal Register.

1 Comment July 27, 2015

Call off the bee-pocalypse: U.S. honeybee colonies hit a 20-year high

From: The Washington Post | Wonkblog

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As you can see, the number of honeybee colonies has actually risen since 2006, from 2.4 million to 2.7 million in 2014, according to data tracked by the USDA. The 2014 numbers, which came out earlier this year, show that the number of managed colonies — that is, commercial honey-producing bee colonies managed by human beekeepers — is now the highest it’s been in 20 years.

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Leave a Comment July 24, 2015

NFU granted autumn emergency use neonicotinoid derogation

From: FG Insight

BY Alistair Driver

Farmers in limited parts of the country will be able use neonicotinoid seed treatments this autumn after the Government accepted an emergency application by the NFU.

The NFU has secured the emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments this autumn over a limited area of around 30,000ha where the pest cabbage stem flea beetle poses the biggest threat.

Following a second submission by the NFU to the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD), the Government has agreed to allow farmers to use neonicotinoid seeds over five per cent of the oilseed rape (OSR) crop.

Leave a Comment July 23, 2015

Nota Bene: Bee battles

From: Financial Post

Special to Financial Post

From Beemageddon? As hysteria over honey bees recedes, anti-neonic narrative refocuses on wild bees,” July 16, 2015, by Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project and senior fellow at the World Food Center Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, University of California-Davis.

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The flood of recent studies challenging the “neonics kill bees” hypothesis may have delayed the release of the long-awaited White House Pollinator Task Force report, which activists thought might endorse a ban on neonicotinoids. But with commercial honeybee colonies stabilized and growing, the May report recommended a more measured approach, committing funds to increase pollinator habitats while ordering the EPA to review the effects of pesticides on pollinators over the next two years.

Leave a Comment July 22, 2015

Bee scientists track spread of new parasite

From: Radio New Zealand News

Bee scientists want beekeepers’ help in tracking a newly identified honey bee parasite that may be contributing to colony collapses

The gut parasite Lotmaria passim has been found in beehives on the Coromandel Peninsula and in the southern North Island.

Plant and Food Research’s bee unit head Mark Goodwin said its presence in New Zealand was only confirmed a few months ago.

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“There’s a paper that was published about six months or so [ago] in Belgium, where they linked this organism, Lotmaria, with Nosema ceranae – another new gut parasite – as being contributing [to], or at least the cause, of colony collapse disorder.

Leave a Comment July 21, 2015

US: Pollinator website launched

Editor’s Note: The Horticultural Research Institute’s pollinator website is here.

From: Floral Daily

A website that will help guide industry members’ efforts to safeguard pollinators launched last week. The interactive site includes new materials and information available to any industry member who wants to show how the plants and flowers grown by the floral industry contribute to bee and other pollinator health, said Lin Schmale, SAF’s senior director of government relations.

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Leave a Comment July 20, 2015

NFU makes second ‘emergency’ request for neonicotinoids

From: Farmers Weekly (UK)

Farm leaders have submitted a second request to Defra for growers to use neonicotinoid-treated oilseed rape seed this autumn – after their first application was rejected.

The NFU said its application was for the emergency use of neonicotinoid seed treatments in areas under the very highest threat of flea beetle damage for autumn drilling.

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“Without this treatment, growing one of the most important crops in the UK sustainably is becoming nearly impossible for many farmers,” said Mr Hambly.

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Leave a Comment July 17, 2015

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