Nothing is worse than a poster who does not reply .. hands up that me!!. However better late than never. .. to answer your questions I will start by giving you the background. Next post a bit more detail but check out the research on the web site.
At this moment in time all the evidence linking pesticides and peripheral colony losses ( from legal chemicals) was circumstantial. See attached photo
Worst months for colony losses April/November (UK) coincide with peak months for pesticide use (DEFRA statistics).
No Summer colony losses this year for the first time for years possibly because of the very hot weather the farmers did not spray.
The problem in the UK is the pesticide industry has fingers in every pie. In 2006 the hapless Tony Blair set up a thing called the Voluntary Initiative (VI .. vested interests?) where the use of pesticides would be rigorously controlled by the industry. “Pesticides of Mass Destruction?” Predictably it is 100% run by the pesticide industry and what they don’t want is any link between cause and effect.
If pesticide users, Golf Courses, farmers, hotels, local government etc notified of any spraying then an illness of a bystander or loss of bees by a bee keeper could link the cause and the effect.
The VI have a “system” called Bee Connected (https://beeconnected.org.uk/) which is supposed to warn bee keepers of pending spraying. We have had 1 notification in the past 14 months and 3 in 3 years yet 80% of the land within 5k of us gets sprayed. It only deals with pesticides! 7% of what is sprayed, while some herbicides and fungicides are detrimental to bees and who knows about cocktails? After 3 years out there, it is not used by hardly anyone and does not even have an app. Needless to say, its funded by the pesticide industry, and unbelievably … its voluntary!! You could sign up today as Donald Trump, put in a spurious e-mail and post spray alerts in the UK, and no one would know who you are! try it.
However the problem that is coming to light now is something NZ should be aware of. That picture of the 10m high spray drift was delivering a chemical Pacifica, a herbicide which has other effects such as its a neurotoxin, i.e. brain poison to mamals, the 80-acre field is surrounded on 3 sides with residential property and just out of shot to the right is a day creche.
In the UK people who are unknowingly subject to the effects of spraying are known as Bystanders and the problem all comes back to the density of population. Empowering the people to demand that everyone is notified of spraying is the way to go so we are developing a system to do exactly that. www.bee.watch
I envy you guys, learn from the UK on how not to manage pesticides, Blair should have taxed their use (Denmark) and invested that money in University research. What we have now is research funded by the industry getting the results they want, and the Universities take the funds because there is not enough coming from Government.
From November last year to April this year we lost 10 of our 16 colonies, we are backup to 14, but honey production will be down 70% to 110 kg.