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Independent UK: Study reveals how bees reject 'toxic' pesticides

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:09 PM
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Independent UK: Study reveals how bees reject 'toxic' pesticides
Bees can detect pesticide residues in the pollen they bring back to the hive and try to isolate it from the rest of the colony, the American government's leading bee scientist revealed in London yesterday.

They "entomb" the contaminated pollen in cells which are sealed over, so they cannot be used for food, said Dr Jeffrey Pettis, head of the Bee Research Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture.

Yet pesticides are not the only major factor involved in the declining health of bees, Dr Pettis told MPs. He also highlighted poor nutrition and disease, and how these interact. Great interest has been shown in Dr Pettis's work on how a new generation of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, which are increasingly used over enormous acreages of crops in Britain and the US, and may be contributing to the worldwide decline in honey bees by making them more susceptible to disease.

Dr Pettis has discovered that bees infected with microscopic doses of imidacloprid, the best-selling neonicotinoid made by the German agribusiness giant Bayer, are far more susceptible to infection by the harmful nosema parasite. ..........(more)

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:19 PM
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1. Ah! Finally! The Connection! WHY bees BECOME vulnerable to parasites!
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 09:40 PM by Peace Patriot
Though this researcher downplays the role of pesticides (as the ONLY thing affecting bees and causing colony collapse), he DOES mention the INTERACTION of three impacts-- "poor nutrition, pesticides and pathogens." Pesticides are the chief CHANGE to the environment that has greatly accelerated with monstrous bio/chem corporations pushing their poisons and exerting monster pressures on regulatory agencies and politicians. I would ban them all. Nevertheless, the "missing link" that I've wondered about is WHY bees, which have operated as vital workers in our food chain for tens of thousands of years, have suddenly become vulnerable to parasites. It is so myopic to say that bee colonies are vanishing because they have been infected with parasites. WHY is this affecting them so drastically, when it never did before. And that is where pesticides come in. Nutrition is surely also a factor, which this researcher mentions. Constant encroachment of human development on wild plant areas may be seriously affecting bee nutrition. COMBINE the two--poor nutrition AND pesticides--and you have catastrophe.

This guy sounds like an industry shill, trying to silence those who highlight the drastic pesticide CHANGE to the environment. They very rightfully stress this impact, in my opinion. But he does point out the CUMULATIVE EFFICT of several things, which I think is vital to solving this problem. FIRST, ban pesticides. THEN, see what can be done about bee nutrition.
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