Friday, August 6, 2010

Minute Quantities of Imidacloprid

A new study strongly indicates, after much frantic speculation, that the most widely used pesticides in the world are to blame for Bee Colony Collapse.

"It says even low concentrations of the pesticides may be more deadly then previously thought due to their high persistence in soil and water, supporting claims for the role that pesticides may play in bee deaths. 'The acceptable limits are based mainly on short-term tests. If long-term studies were to be carried out, far lower concentrations may turn out to be hazardous. This explains why minute quantities of imidacloprid may induce bee decline in the long run,' says study author Dr. Henk Tennekes."
Contrast the sense of dire urgency expressed in this prediction:

"If the honeybee disappeared off the surface of the globe forever we'd be facing up to an unimaginable food crisis,' said a spokesperson. 'This latest research only adds to the evidence that is already strong enough to justify an immediate ban on neonicotinoids today.'"

With this inanity from the UK government! The usual, "more studies are needed!" garbage:

"Government disregards warning

Responding to the new study, Defra said the UK would not be following some other EU countries in restricting the use of neonicotinoids.

'This research highlights a need for more data on long-term risks to bee health. We have already been considering this and pesticide companies will soon need to provide this data under new EU rules.

'We will keep this area under review and will not hesitate to act if there is any evidence of an unacceptable risk to bees,' said a spokesperson."


  1. rachel carlson was sooooo right, what a prescient GENIUS. and bill mckibben too about time to take gloves off...

  2. True about Rachel, however so far McKibben is wedded to the polite and ineffectual path even though his rhetoric has become a bit more urgent. He won't go near the environmental damage from ozone anymore although he has in the past - see this post:

    He has never responded to that or several direct comments I have made either, even though I know he has read them.

    There has been a strategic decision made by most prominent climate change activists to focus on CO2 and warming, and downplay other forms of pollution that are harmful to the ecosystem, based I guess on the unpopularity of dirty old boring pollution, the difficulty of proving causation (although it shouldn't be any more complicated than proving CO2 is a greenhouse gas) - and a prejudice towards physics. I think it's a really stupid decision, because it's not working.

    Sure, it will really scare people if they understand the link between industrial society and cancer and crop loss. But nothing less is going to motivate them to change. Personally i don't see what we have to lose by pointing out the very real and current price we pay to leave the lights blazing and tootle around on snowmobiles.

  3. I think that a Bayer chemical is on of the biggest manufactures of Imidacloprid.

    Ok...let's see how this reads:

    No bees? Blame Bayer.

  4. A bit late, but I thought you might be interested in this article from the Sunday Herald (published in Glasgow). (sorry, don't know how to make the links pretty). It is also true that inner London also has very successful beehives for exactly the same reasons.

    Some of the research you tend to be impatient with in the UK will, I believe, shed light on a problem I would describe as yet another instance of the Law of Unintended Consequences: while individual pesticides are tested for harm, inevitably the bee meets a combination of pesticides, the consequences of which have not been tested. This research is designed to investigate the "cocktail" effect. The three universities undertaking this research (Dundee, Royal Holloway and University College London) are starting from a standpoint that there is obviously a problem. Their questions revolve around finding out what the problem is *before* suggesting a fix.



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