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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.