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GMOs can be used to make war, and there are two methods- the soft option and the hard option. The soft methods are those advocated by certain countries. They enable companies to take control of the entire agriculture of a country. The hard (military) option would involve sterilising/ exterminating the bees and insects that pollinate plants, or you could release and spread devastating insect plagues onto the country's crops.
|Bees are back in the news this spring, if not back in fields pollinating this summer's crops. The European Union (EU) has announced that it will ban, for two years, the use of neonicotinoids, the much-maligned pesticide group often fingered in honeybee declines. The U.S. hasn't followed suit, though this year a group of beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups sued the EPA for not doing enough to protect bees from the pesticide onslaught.|
|An American entomologist is questioning the effectiveness of planting seed coated with neonicotinoids.
The controversial class of pesticides is in the news right now because of a possible link to bee deaths.
Christian Krupke, an associate professor with Perdue University, isn’t calling for a ban, as are other entomologists, but he does say North American growers should consider the true agronomic value of these treatments because the costs may outweigh the benefits.
|Bumblebee biologist Dave Goulson might be the pesticide industry’s worst enemy — and therefore a bee’s best friend. A professor at Scotland’s University of Stirling, he was part of the team whose 2012 Science paper called out the effects of neonicotinoid pesticides, which pose a considerable threat to fauna large and small. They’ve proven especially lethal to bees.|
|May 8, 2013. In apparent contradiction to its stated intention to protect pollinators and find solutions to the current pollinator crisis, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the unconditional registration of the new insecticide sulfoxaflor, which the agency classifies as highly toxic to honey bees. Despite warnings and concerns raised by beekeepers and environmental groups, sulfoxaflor will further endanger bees and beekeeping. EPA continues to put industry interests first to exacerbate an already dire pollinator crisis.|
|Scientists now warn that other nerve-agents targeting insect pests may also be harming bees and other pollinators.
"These neonicotinoids are just one of hundreds of compounds being used and I would be surprised if it was all down to just these chemicals" says Christopher Connolly, a neuro-scientist at the University of Dundee, UK. He argues that we should not allow farmers spray a toxic soup of chemicals onto their crops.
Pesticides not adequately tested
Connolly exposed bee brains to these pesticides and organo-based pesticides and reported that the nerves spun into hyperactivity and then stopped working.
A combination of these two pesticides types had a stronger impact, suggesting the combined soup of pesticides could be causing more serious harm.
"I don't understand how this was missed. As a neuroscientist it just seemed blindingly obvious. The biggest effect was hyper-activation of the major learning centre, which was completely predictable" Connolly said.
|“American Bird Conservancy (ABC) would like to direct your attention to the neonicotinoid coatings that are commonly applied to corn, canola, sunflower, millet, and other types of seeds.” ..."Our recently completed scientific assessment concluded that these insecticides routinely are incorporated into seeds and are lethal to birds. We want to ensure that these insecticidal treatments are never found on the bird seed that your companies sell to consumers for feeding pets and wild birds.”
ABC recently released a 100-page scientific report on the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides on birds, The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds. These chemicals are applied as seed treatments in agricultural and horticultural seed products. For some crops such as corn, close to 100 percent of seed on the market is treated.
|The world's most widely used neonicotinoid insecticide is devastating dragonflies, snails and other water-based species, a ground-breaking Dutch study has revealed.
"We are risking far too much to combat a few insect pests that might threaten agriculture," said Dr Jeroen van der Sluijs at Utrecht University. "This substance should be phased out internationally as soon as possible."
The pollution was so bad in some places that the ditch water in fields could have been used as an effective pesticide, he said.
|The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue.
There is great concern across Europe about the collapse of bee populations.
Neonicotinoid chemicals in pesticides are believed to harm bees and the European Commission says they should be restricted to crops not attractive to bees and other pollinators
|This pale, straw coloured blonde-style beer is brewed with organic malt, hops and Highland Heather Honey. Light on the palate with a honeyed finish this beer is not only tasty and refreshing but 10 pence from every bottle goes to the 'Bumble Bee Conservation Trust' and 'Bees for Development'. This will help support their valuable work protecting the threatened UK bumble bee population which play a vital role in pollinating our food crops and native flowers. As organic farmers and brewers we feel it is essential to stop the destruction of bees and their native habitat by intensive farming practices|
|To encounter a landscape in England overflowing with birds, I mean bursting with birds, is now a very rare event, if that landscape is farmland.
The intensification of agriculture after the Second World War devastated British wildlife. In the crowded countryside of southern England in particular, much of the fauna and flora were obliterated by the tide of pesticides which swept over the fields, followed by the mass uprooting of hedges and the creation of giant, sterile crop plains.
|Why this is important
Neonicotinoid insecticides have killed more than 10 million bee colonies worldwide since 1994. They have killed billions of bumblebees, butterflies, ladybirds, hoverflies and earthworms.
They are the prime suspect in the death of millions of birds in Europe and the USA - by direct poisoning or by the eradication of almost all insects and worms that birds feed their chicks with. No insects = no skylarks. No worms - no blackbirds.
Many garden centres in the UK have already withdrawn neonics from sale: Wickes, Homebase and Wyevale; but Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com are selling MILLIONS of litres of neonic-based garden pesticides which kill bees and pollinators.
|In the last half century, the domesticated honeybee population has declined by about 50 percent. In the United States, this year marks the highest losses of honeybee populations, with some of the biggest beekeepers losing more than 60 percent of their insects. But identifying the culprit has proved daunting. Pathogens, parasites, pesticides, and habitat loss are likely involved. Recently, the potential role of neonicotinoid pesticides has taken center stage, as a flurry of studies has yielded conflicting findings—and the controversy is getting political.|
|A BATTLE is raging inside Scotland’s beekeeping community over a proposed ban on pesticides thought by some to be wiping out billions of bees worldwide.
The UK charity Friends of the Bees has accused the Scottish and British Beekeepers’ Associations (SBA and BBKA) and the Stirling-based Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BCT) of “greenwashing the truth” about the links between chemicals called neonicotinoids and the decline of bee populations.
|The UK environment secretary, Owen Paterson, must end his department's "extraordinary complacency" and suspend the use of pesticides linked to serious harm in bees, according to a damning report from an influential cross-party committee of MPs.
The UK is blocking attempts to introduce a Europe-wide ban on the world's most widely used insecticides, neonicotinoids. But MPs on parliament's green watchdog, the environmental audit committee (EAC), said the government was relying on "fundamentally flawed" studies and failing to uphold its own precautionary principle.
The full House of Commons(UK) Environmental AuditCommittee on 'Pollinators and Pesticides' report can be downloaded here
| Published on Apr 3, 2013|
This year marks the highest losses of honey bee populations in the U.S. Some of the country's biggest beekeepers have lost over 60%. Some say they won't be able to rebuild their numbers with such high losses and if these kinds of losses continue, the industry may only be able to sustain itself a few more years at most. With one in three bites of food we eat dependent on bees for pollination, will there be enough bees to pollinate the crops this year?
|By examining Bayer product literature I have looked at various claims made about the killing of another social colony insect: termites.
I could have explored independent scientific data much more, but this would have made the article far too long.
Personally, just like manufacturer patents, I think manufacturer product literature is very revealing.
Basically, by examining a manufacturer’s own product literature, we find:
|An excellent article from Beekeeper's Quarterly (March 2013) by Scottish Beekeeper Graham White
"It is not just bees which are disappearing in vast numbers across Europe; a recent EU report found that over 300 million European birds have vanished in just 20 years."
|A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.
"Mr. Dahle said he had planned to bring 13,000 beehives from Montana — 31 tractor-trailers full — to work the California almond groves. But by the start of pollination last month, only 3,000 healthy hives remained."
Two new studies have highlighted a negative impact on bees' ability to learn following exposure to a combination of pesticides commonly used in agriculture. The researchers found that the pesticides, used in the research at levels shown to occur in the wild, could interfere with the learning circuits in the bee's brain. They also found that bees exposed to combined pesticides were slower to learn or completely forgot important associations between floral scent and food rewards.