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Don Mac

Neonicotinoid Study Published

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On 28/11/2019 at 7:31 AM, Don Mac said:

No beekeepers money was used to fund it

Isn't this taking user pays a bit too far? Who is the user in this case? Is anyone suggesting that "victim pays" is now the model? Shouldn't the people who want to use these things prove they are safe prior to their use in the first place and be fined or made to make good damage they cause if it isn't safe? Isn't that why many businesses have public liability insurance? If they pay their premiums then they have every right to expect their insurance companies to indemnify 'victims' of their product, clearly it wasn't intentional; insurance is for mistakes and dumb stuff.

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I agree @Bron regarding what happens next .

 

Is the study conclusive , or does more need doing .

I tend to ignore the media because even that piece is sensationalised to stir emotion , not fact , however , if indeed it’s killing bees via secondary poisoning, then how far up the food chain are we talking .

 

I wonder where Monsanto is with this . They are bound to have something in the pipeline that is more ‘user acceptable’? 

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31 minutes ago, M4tt said:

I agree @Bron regarding what happens next .

 

Is the study conclusive , or does more need doing .

I tend to ignore the media because even that piece is sensationalised to stir emotion , not fact , however , if indeed it’s killing bees via secondary poisoning, then how far up the food chain are we talking .

 

I wonder where Monsanto is with this . They are bound to have something in the pipeline that is more ‘user acceptable’? 

Not Monsanto any more "Bayer"

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28 minutes ago, M4tt said:

 

 

I wonder where Monsanto is with this . They are bound to have something in the pipeline that is more ‘user acceptable’? 

 

Bear in mind that in the good ol USA, the company that spends a fortune developing a new chemical treatment set up and complete the toxicity assessments, not the FDA, and traditionally, they have made sure that the tests were concocted to ensure they passed, although it will be interesting to see if Monsanto being owned by Bayer will change the integrity or lack thereof.

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1 hour ago, Bron said:

I’m not surprised at all. We no longer have bees on the flats. I’d be curious as to what they use on the brassicas as well.

 

 The big question is what happens next?

Hi Bron

The Gisborne beekeepers call it "maize flats disease" which is incorrect;

1) it is not a disease

2) in Gisborne it is not just associated with maize - includes other crops such as Squash, sweet corn, tomatoes etc.

Yes brassicas are also a crop that uses insecticide seed treatments - the Wintermantel paper is concerned with canola cropping ( a brassica).

 

Out biggest challenge is getting accurate data from beekeepers and farmers who all could be citizen scientists. Chemical companies have limited value.

To date we can only find 4 published scientific papers investigating neonicotinoid residues in our Kiwi environment.

There is no research being done on environmental effects.

Since the advent of the HSNO Act, the EPA set Environmental Exposure limits for Neonicotinoids for soils and waterways - no one has been out to measure them since they were set.

We need reports from beekeepers. Please read the February Beekeeper when it comes out.

 

Happy New Year

Don

 

Some additional background info

 

The Pook Gritcan paper resulted in a well known beekeeper Neil Mossop complaining to me in 2014 that he did not know what could be killing his bees in the Whakatane  maize growing area.  Mid winter I did a drive through the Whakatane area, jumped the fence and stole some samples that I had screened at Hills Labs  and AUT.  

I subscribe to the belief that if you are not analysing and measuring, then you have no reason to complain and cannot manage your bees.

See results in slide 8.https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/FileAPI/hsno-ar/APP202077/APP202077_APP202077_Hearing_presentation_Bee_Keepers.pdf

I was at that stage unaware of some earlier measuring work from Gisborne's Paul Badger. But soon had it, our focus group shares lots of info.

You will also note Paul Badger's early work and data round Gisborne in 2004 -05 seasons. See slide 6. Simple records well collected and reported - GREAT STUFF.

 

The Apiculture NZ Science and Research Focus Group pushes barrows up hill, delivering their concerns about new chemicals to the EPA.

We need more beekeeper support now. We do not want to picking up stuffed beekeepers who did nothing. 

Example; a new Bayer product called Method 240SL, “the control of wilding conifers and woody weeds on non-crop farm land and conservation land such as native bush, recreational and tourist areas and on industrial sites such as railways, roadways and utility rights of way.”

You can read all about it here - https://www.epa.govt.nz/database-search/hsno-application-register/view/APP203816

Familiar areas I am certain for many beekeepers. We are the only group representing beekeepers calling for controls to be applied to this product to protect bees. 

 

Happy New Year

Don

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Does this mean that "Cororapa" may actually be "Neonicotenoiditis" ?

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@Sailabee  @M4tt @ChrisM you raise some good points.

My point is that with research funding beekeepers could do the research to show the chemical companies and regulators are wrong.

The chemical companies and regulators are in close cooperation.

Please review the application document for the EPA to simplify our hazard classification system which includes the removal of hazard classes for ecotoxicology.

https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Documents/Hazardous-Substances/GHS_Consultation_Document_for_Public_Release.pdf

Submissions are due 9/1/2020

6 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Does this mean that "Cororapa" may actually be "Neonicotenoiditis" ?

@yesbut  no bloody way - NO.

I had to say it that way because of your nom de plume.

 

Coromandel is not a major cropping area. What crop that are grown do not need seed treatment.

Samples analysed from hives showed no chemical residues of concern.

The sampling of surviving bees in hives were clear that two pathogens were present nosema ceranae and lotmaria passim.

 

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27 minutes ago, Don Mac said:

My point is that with research funding beekeepers could do the research to show the chemical companies and regulators are wrong.

The problem with going down that track  is , we get into a David and Goliath scenario where each cause claims to know better and the mud gets endlessly slung back and forth and the reality between science and opinion becomes non existent . 
Those with money and power tend to ‘win ‘

and everyone involved gets frustrated and angry . 
 

Think 1080.

 

I was kind of hoping for a more black and white conclusion . Yes it’s bad , or , no it’s harmless , but again , those with money and power appear to be pulling the puppet strings , unfortunately. 
 

I’d like a more sensible approach . A bit of proof that harm is being done , followed fairly quickly by a solution being found because we can always do better where the environment is concerned . Forget the political nonsense . 

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@Don Mac this group of chemistry isn’t only used as a seed treatment. Last I looked there were foliar-applied versions available also, which broadens the range of uses and crops. Cheers

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3 hours ago, Don Mac said:
Quote

5 samples were randomly removed from each paddock. Wet areas were avoided. 

pity.

water soluble insecticide, bees need water. fairly obvious link that would be first on my list to test. 

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2 hours ago, Pinnacle said:

@Don Mac this group of chemistry isn’t only used as a seed treatment. Last I looked there were foliar-applied versions available also, which broadens the range of uses and crops. Cheers

@Pinnacle you are correct, but fortunately due to some major customers overseas for our fruit our growers have stopped using them.

The major use for imidacloprid was for foliar spraying of kiwifruit and pip fruit (apples and pears). When the link between bee deaths and neonicotinoids was established in Europe

the major supermarket buyers such as COSTCO, TESCO, Sainsbury, ALDI, etc (companies we love to hate and COSTCO are moving here soon) said they did not want the fruit they purchased sprayed with neonicotinoid chemistry. When you biggest buyer says do not spray these chemicals, growers in NZ stopped using them.  They are still used on some minor crops.

 

@M4tt   Oh why did you mention 1080?

Imidacloprid is much more soil and water persistent than 1080........The Wintermantel paper I copied above for you, noted that imidacloprid residues in soils 5 years after application.

No one has detected residues of 1080 in NZ that are that old.

Our EPA has set EELs (Environmental Exposure Limits) for 1080 and imidacloprid.

The EPA only measures the residues of 1080 in application areas to check the EEL is not being exceeded. They have not detected it yet. My guess is that they will never find it!

The EPA has never measured residues of imidacloprid in soils and waterways in application areas or checked to see if EELs are being exceeded.

What we do know now as beekeepers is that it sticks around and is out there in larger amounts than we expected - large enough to kill a bee.

 

@tristan  You are correct that imidacloprid is very soluble in water. There was water in the soil sample. Wet areas are avoided because puddling can cause concentration of soluble chemicals. 

What you need to understand is that the research did not establish how the bees died as reported by Neil Mossop and Paul Badger. That is still to be determined.

I walked for hours with Dr Chris Pook through harvested maize paddocks looking for bees - never spotted any. We placed some hives in maize paddocks to observe bee behaviour, they flew regularly out of the maize paddock - we expected the bees to die but our sample hives did not.

We did have a Masters Student who was to study the relationship of the environment to the beehive in these areas in the Gisborne region, but they decided that they did not wish to do a Masters thesis and pulled the plug. So there is a lot more research to be undertaken on this project alone.

 

My thoughts are this is the first testing to be done. Hopefully more researchers will follow this up in other areas and look more closely at what is happening in the environment.

Neonicotinoids have been used in NZ for 30 years, seed treatments, general home garden insecticide, horticulture foliar insecticides and as a remedy for pet fleas and fly strike in sheep.

We should not be waiting for 30 years for this environmental research to be undertaken - it is our environment and we should be doing more monitoring and measuring.

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It used to be safe for the garden plants to put any old sheep or horse poos on the garden .

But the modern  selective herbicides they use go into the poos when the animals eat the non target weeds .

And your garden plants end up with herbicide damage .

Another unintended consequence of modern sciences best intentions .

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3 minutes ago, Don Mac said:

Oh why did you mention 1080

Because of the similarities .

 

 Both are broadcast poisons , designed to enhance one thing or another, with no understanding of long term unintentional side effects, and virtually no ongoing monitoring of anything .

 

Its extremely difficult to extract facts as to whether or not either is safe .

8 minutes ago, Don Mac said:

it is our environment and we should be doing more monitoring and measuring.

Absolutely , but who is ‘we’? The concerned public or the authorities that are supposed to protect us . Some time ago , I was keen to involve the local Regional Council in monitoring water quality in a drain that passes along our boundary . It seemed like a simple exercise that was met with excuses via the Council of excessive cost , and it never happened . If it had , what would I have done with the info anyway at a farmer level. I was hoping to spark some enthusiasm across the catchment and collect real useable data . 


 

I used to grow maize and keep bees side by side ,  it I don’t know how you’d monitor if anything was wrong with no control , or even how you’d do a control in a field situation . Cropping in the Waikato , generally , is quite different to Gisborne because in the Waikato paddocks are usually rotated through a cropping regime ,  not continuously cropped. At the very least , bees therefore have choice as to where they forage . If 10% of a farm is cropped, then 90% will , in theory , be clean .

 

There are many more examples of chemicals and organic concoctions being used to enhance or improve crop yields . No doubt the list will grow as time goes by of stuff we would have been better off not using . That’s one of the problems with intensification - not enough time has passed to fully understand the consequences 

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1 hour ago, Don Mac said:

@tristan  You are correct that imidacloprid is very soluble in water. There was water in the soil sample. Wet areas are avoided because puddling can cause concentration of soluble chemicals. 

exactly. thats the sort of thing that needs to be found. does water thats available to bees have lethal amounts of insecticide in it?

water usage by bees is not straight forward. it would have to be lack of nectar and no other easy sources around. plus bees seam to prefer some types of water ie out of rocks etc you often see them lined up. there may be a narrow window of exposure when bees need it and enough insecticide has leached out of the soil and concentrated enough.

plus not all bees drink. you don't see thousands of bees drinking at once even when there is a large amounts of hives. a small number constantly dieing off will certainly drain a hive of field bees.

1 hour ago, M4tt said:

Cropping in the Waikato , generally , is quite different to Gisborne because in the Waikato paddocks are usually rotated through a cropping regime ,

thats just it. 

here not many places constantly crop. a lot of frames rotate it as part of paddock management and paddocks are not left, they are reseeded with grass straight after.

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I know that a long time ago maize crops caused considerable poisoning to beehives. They were sprayed with insecticides to deal with I think Army worms but this stopped after a parasite was introduced which controlled it naturally. It was before my time but I have been told that the poisoning was caused by bees collecting pollen from the maize which they apparently did when there was a dearth. I  don't discount this but  I would think it was more likely  that the poisoning was caused by bees working flowering weeds growing amongst the maize.

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