View Poll Results: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

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Thread: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

  1. #51
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Mosquitos. But you don't hear a big hue and cry about saving them. Honeybees, OTH, have a "cachet" about them that draws people into the discussion about saving them.
    That's possible but I suspect the fact that mosquitos are in no danger of extinction has something to do with it.

    If you told people that they had to stop spraying in order to protect mosquitos, they'd be screaming bloody murder. But when you tell them they need to stop spraying to in order to protect honeybees, suddenly it's a different story. Odd that the mosquito populations (which are highly present in agricultural areas as well) have shown no signs of collapsing.
    Again, we're talking about domesticated food crops, not wild plants. If wild plants were having pollination problems, public education might lead to people embracing mosquitos. It wouldn't be the first time a previously maligned species gained public favor. Sharks used to be pretty much hated but are now seen as species which should be protected.
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  2. #52
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Every beekeeper I know tells me that it's is the mites, since they are the one thing that has gotten worse in the last few years. The insecticide levels haven't gone up an in a lot of areas they've actually down (since the less insecticide the farm has to use, the less expense it has to pay out, a lot of large farms are re-looking at how much they use in order to save money).
    Saying "It's mites" really doesn't explain much, even if it were true. If true, then why are mites such a big problem now? Has something changed that has caused an increase in the mite population? If so, what?

    Or maybe it's because the bees are more vulnerable to mite infestations. If so, what's the cause of that?
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  3. #53
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Small/med. sized farms are no competition for agricorps. They wouldn't sweat them for one minute if it cost them so much as a dime.
    Given current conditions, of course they're not competition. But if things changed, then things would be different.
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  4. #54
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    I understand, but it's not a pesticide problem. For a couple of decades, we've been losing honeybee colonies from varroa mites, and we keep trying to come up with new and improved methods for treatment. I am an organic beekeeper- I don't put any chemical in the hives unless I am concerned that they are near-death. That hasn't happened for the past few years. What I have now, appears to be a mite-tolerant colony out in my beeyard. They have not been manipulated or re-queened for personality. They have been left to do their own breeding as per their nature. They are a hot hot hive, and will attack with little provocation. That being said, they appear to be naturally resilient and are surviving, in spite of many losses.

    Pesticides are not what is causing the honeybee decline. It's been varroa mites for years now, and there's also a not-yet-well-understood colony collapse disorder which appears problematic, but we've had pesticides around for many years, and some of them were much more lethal than what is often used nowadays.
    What I have read - and I can only go by what has been studied and reported by scientists - is that no one is 100% of the cause, or if there is only one cause, but there is indication that pesticides are related to the susceptibility of bees to mites. There may have been some different pesticides in the past, but apparently there are more pesticides now, and a variety of them, so that they form a deadly concoction in pollen. Fungicides are a particular problem, I read. The mites, like pesticides, have been around for a long time, right? The whole thing strikes me as a sort of weakening of their immune system, like humans will idsick if we have a weakened immune system. I don't know if that's a correct analogy, but that's what that pesticide connection sounds like to me.

    This discussion reminds me of a recent discussion I had regarding newly occurring earthquakes in my area, where earthquakes had never occurred before last year. I asked what is causing the earthquakes? Someone responded that it's caused by the fault line we live on. That's not the answer, of course. The fault line has always been there, but the earthquakes started last year. So something has recently started happening that is causing the earthquakes. The location of the earthquakes is determined by the fault line.
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    I believe that the "cachet" about honeybees is the fact that human beings like to eat.

    And I believe that you made that up about mosquitoes.

    Prove me wrong if you can.
    Not made up. Mosquitos feed primarily on nectar (they only need blood when they reproduce) and as such function as pollinators. Once the weather warms up, take a walk in the woods and see what flying nectar feeding insect you see the most of. A little basic real world research project for you. I also got the information about mosquitos form a book I read MANY years ago and that one little factoid has always stuck with me.
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    That's possible but I suspect the fact that mosquitos are in no danger of extinction has something to do with it.
    Neither are honeybees.

    Again, we're talking about domesticated food crops, not wild plants. If wild plants were having pollination problems, public education might lead to people embracing mosquitos. It wouldn't be the first time a previously maligned species gained public favor. Sharks used to be pretty much hated but are now seen as species which should be protected.
    So why not breed mosquitos to do our pollinating? I fully understand that a world without honey would be a sadder place, but if we can replace bees with mosquitos, then the risk isn't that of this fabricated crisis of worldwide famine, but rather that of bad PR.
    Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals, yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us and it is each generation's responsibility to continue that work. - Laura Bush

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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Saying "It's mites" really doesn't explain much, even if it were true. If true, then why are mites such a big problem now? Has something changed that has caused an increase in the mite population? If so, what?

    Or maybe it's because the bees are more vulnerable to mite infestations. If so, what's the cause of that?
    Now we're making progress!!! You just made a BIG step, sangha. You stopped jumping to conclusions and started asking intelligent questions. I don't why we suddenly are having these infestations, possibly by breeding for personality (less aggressive mostly) we've also eliminated a trait in bees that helps them resist the mites. Maybe we've moved the bees around so much that they've picked these mites from places where they normally exist and moved them to places where they don't normally exist. That's two theories (not conclusions, but theories) in less than a minute. This is how these kind of issues should be addressed, not by jumping in a bandwagon, but by asking questions based on facts, instead of assumptions and then looking for answers to those questions that prove or disprove the theories you posit.
    Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals, yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us and it is each generation's responsibility to continue that work. - Laura Bush

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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Given current conditions, of course they're not competition. But if things changed, then things would be different.
    Then why did you go on about how agricorps are trying to get rid of small/med. sized farms??
    Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals, yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us and it is each generation's responsibility to continue that work. - Laura Bush

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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by faithful_servant View Post
    Not made up. Mosquitos feed primarily on nectar (they only need blood when they reproduce) and as such function as pollinators. Once the weather warms up, take a walk in the woods and see what flying nectar feeding insect you see the most of. A little basic real world research project for you. I also got the information about mosquitos form a book I read MANY years ago and that one little factoid has always stuck with me.
    Sure, mosquitoes, bumblebees, butterflies, ants, a whole lot of insects feed on nectar and pollinate flowers. Mosquitoes are the #1 pollinator? That was the claim.
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    Re: Should Pesticides that are detrimental to honeybees be illegal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Sure, mosquitoes, bumblebees, butterflies, ants, a whole lot of insects feed on nectar and pollinate flowers. Mosquitoes are the #1 pollinator? That was the claim.
    Like I said, that was a book I read a LONG time ago (early '90s??). But take the time on a nice day to take a walk in the wild and see what flying nectar eating insects you see the most of and judge for yourself.
    Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals, yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us and it is each generation's responsibility to continue that work. - Laura Bush

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